As Government continues to put measures in place to improve business facilitation, the Companies Office of Jamaica (CoJ) has developed a business registration form, which integrates information from various institutions.
These include the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Inland Revenue Department and the Tax Audit and Administration Department (TAAD).
"It is envisaged that upon implementation of this system, the CoJ would collect information on the business registration form and issue the registration certificate, which would reflect all the relevant information," explained State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams.
She was addressing the opening ceremony for the Jamaica Business Development Corporation’s (JBDC) 5th annual Small Business Exposition on Thursday at the Wyndham Kingston hotel.
She pointed out that while persons have the option to go directly to the TAAD, the the CoJ will be able to co-ordinate the transfer of information between the entities, making it easier to do business.
The CoJ is an agency of the Ministry with responsibility for the registration and regulation of companies, business names and industrial and provident societies.
Turning to initiatives to assist small business, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said significant headway is being made towards the establishment of a secured transactions framework that will allow small operators increased access to finance.
"When completed, this will substantially increase the scope of collateralization, reduce the transactions cost of registering collateral interests, and thereby enable greater access to sources of finance, particularly for small business operators,” she said.
Noting that the objective is to create a favourable environment for all businesses, particularly small operations, she pointed out that thenew structure will also allow borrowers to “pledge movable property in a manner that fully establishes and preserves property rights”.
The State Minister commended the JBDC for “your foresight and steadfastness” in staging the annual exposition, which seeks to empower existing and prospective entrepreneurs through capacity building, business training, and access to information.
More than 30 entities participated in this year’s staging under the theme: ‘Inside the Entrepreneurial Mind: From Ideas to Reality’.
Among the highlights was an exhibition of the top three innovations by students, who participated in the Jamaica Business Lab’s 1-3 High School Entrepreneurship Competition. The contest, sponsored by the JBDC, sought to expose and highlight practical concepts, which would make life easier for students.
The event also featured presentations on a range of issues associated with micro and small business creation and development. JBDC, along with the other exhibitors, showcased a suite of business development services including business, financial, technical and marketing services.
As part of the day’s activities, JBDC also presented a Business Clinic and a Design Clinic.
The Business Clinic highlighted a number of critical services for successful business start-up, while existing businesses were able to secure diagnostic information to make their operations more efficient. The Design Clinic focused on providing design services to existing operations such as business cards, flyers, brochures, product labels and other promotional material.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter