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The Senate on (November 3), approved a Bill to amend the Registration of Business Names Act, following its passage in the House in October.
This Bill seeks to provide for, among other things, the disposal of records and closed files, the recognition of electronic registration of a business name that has not been prior assigned to a company, increased penalties for contravention of the Act, and a sales threshold in order for registration of a business name to be mandatory.
In piloting the Bill, Leader of Government Business in the Senate, A. J. Nicholson, said the new provisions of the Act would protect Jamaican consumers from unlawful business acts and foster increased order in the nation’s commercial landscape.
According to Senator Nicholson, this would occur when information from the Registrar of Companies was given to the income tax department, which would in turn effect its taxation duties.
Supporting the Bill, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Anthony Johnson asked that the Opposition be assured by the Government, “that the information that would be given over, would not be something that could be used against the person”.
In response, Senator Delano Franklyn explained that in addition to a comprehensive review of the Bill, there were “consultations with the Small Business Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Bar Association” and that such concerns were addressed. “One of the principled positions being embarked upon by the Government and the agencies of government, is to make sure that we have the necessary consultation,” he said.