Business Registration: Dispelling the Myths of Registering your Business

Accountant Kelisha Garvey, Business Registration
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Jamaica News, January 15, 2018

(McKoy’s News) Business Registration: Conversations with self-employed individuals about registering their business is often bombarded with the assumption that once they register, the Government starts charging hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Before we go into to shutting down that myth once and for all. Be informed that once you are operating a business (small or large) you need to register with the Companies Office of Jamaica in addition to any license that governs the activities of your business. You can be fined for operating without the proper documentation.

First, let’s talk about your options to register; As an individual carrying on a trade you have two main options of registration; As a Business or as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) depending on the type of operations being carried out. Both types of registration allow the individual or entity to operate legally and access the benefits that come along with registering.

A Limited Liability Company comes with some standard but affordable fees through the Tax Administration of Jamaica. However, it has the perk of shielding its owners from any debt or lawsuit that the company may have.

A Business, most times referred to as a Sole Proprietorship or a Partnership if more than one persons are involved. This type of registration secures your business name for a maximum of three years (with the option to renew) whilst allowing you to operate. With this type of registration, there is no standard fee at the Tax administration for registering and though you are expected to file your tax returns on an annual basis, income tax is only paid if you have a net profit that’s higher than the current threshold. All other taxes are not fixed and is paid as a small percentage of your net profit.

In a nutshell, the government will not tell you to pay five hundred thousand dollars because you have now registered.

Benefits of Business Registration

Registering your business has a wide range of benefits, a few of them are:

  • It legalises your business
  • Gives you access to financing from banks and other financial institutions
  • Adds value to your hard work
  • Boosts Customer Confidence thereby increasing your income

So, the next time you think about registering, forget the myths and the hearsays think about your options and the many benefits.


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