How to: Getting a trade licence

May 27, 2016

Persons who conduct business in Jamaica are sometimes unaware of the various licences required to legally operate their businesses. One such licence is the trade licence. A trade licence is issued to retail and wholesale dealers with a designated place of business with liberty to store in and deliver out of public and other warehouses. Here is how to acquire a trade licence:

1. Every person carrying on a trade or business specified in the first schedule of the Licences on Trade and Business Act is someone who needs a trade licence.

2. Applications for the trade licence, along with payment of the relevant fees, are made in each parish on April 1 each year.

3. The fees for the trade licence is $5,000 and should be presented with documents that show ownership of the business.

4. There are various classifications of traders; they range from wholesale dealer, merchant, super-cargo, auctioneer and proprietor of newspaper.

5. It is essential that the business owner picks the correct classification when making his or her application.

6. There is an additional fee, which depends on the annual turnover of the business. The fee ranges from $2,500 to $75,000 depending on the turnover being between $500,000 and $100 million.

7. The tax authorities can exercise their power to seize goods and chattels, including motor cars, industrial equipment, office furniture and equipment, money and bonds, if persons operate without a trade licence.

8. The Commissioner of Taxes may hold them for 10 days, during which period, the delinquent person may redeem his goods and chattels by paying the outstanding licence fees, a five per cent commission, along with all costs associated with the proceedings, including bailiff fees.

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