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Guide to starting a Business in Jamaica

Staff Reporter | 4:22 PM |


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 Jamaica. 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
1Ascertain from the Registrar of Companies whether the desired name is available and acceptable1 dayJMD 500
2Have company documents stamped by the Stamp Commissioner1 dayJMD 500
3File the company deeds to the Registrar of Companies1 day with expedited serviceJ$15,000 (registration fee) + J$3,000 for each additional document of which there are three:(a) Notice of Registered Office, Notice of Appointment of Directors and Notice of Appointment of Company Secretary; an additional J$6,000 for expedition service (same day)
4Obtain national insurance scheme (NIS) reference number from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security2 daysno charge
5Obtain taxpayer registration number (TRN) from Collector of Taxes1 dayno charge
6Obtaingeneral consumption tax (GCT) registration1 dayno charge