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Guide to Start a Business in Trinidad and Tobago

Staff Reporter | 4:10 AM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Trinidad and Tobago. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Request company name4 daysTTD 25
2Statutory declaration before Commissioner of Affidavits1 dayTTD 20
3Registration with the Commercial Registry4 daysTTD 600 (TT$400 for Form 1; TT$ 40 for Form 31; TT$ 40 for Form 4; TT$ 40 for Form 8;TT$ 40 for Form 27; TT$ 40 for Certificate of Incorporation)
* 4Make a company seal2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)TTD 115
5Apply for tax payer identification number1 dayno charge
* 6Apply for Registration as an Employer with National Insurance Board1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* 7Apply for Registration of Employees with National Insurance Board30 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* 8Register for VAT30 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.