The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is urging small business owners to register or renew their businesses to ensure compliance with the Registration of Business Names Act before the new fee structure becomes effective on April 4.
In an interview with JIS News, Compliance Manager/Attorney-at-Law at the COJ, Heather Mae Sutherland, said that the Act governs the registration of sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations trading in another name.
She explained that registration should be done by any individual or firm with an established place of business involved in the buying and selling of goods and/or offering a service in a name other than their given surnames and Christian name without any additions to the name.
The Compliance Manager informed that the certification of registration is valid for three years and the Business Names Registration must be renewed after that time period. Failure to do so, she added, can lead to removal from the register or closure of business.
She appealed to business owners to become informed and adhere to the conditions under the Registration of Business Names Act.
On the matter of registration fees, Miss Sutherland pointed out that persons need to take advantage of the period leading up to the implementation of the new fee structure, effective April 4.
The new structure, she informed, would include increases in fees for some services and the introduction of other services, to allow the COJ to operate more efficiently and improve service delivery, while satisfying customers' needs as best as possible.
The Compliance Manager pointed out that the last fee increase was in 2005 and the COJ has since been faced with several increases in terms of its cost to service clients on a daily basis.
"These fees were gazetted late last year and so, we are in the process of informing all business owners that if you are not renewed or registered, now is the time before the new fees come in effect," Miss Sutherland informed.
She said that if the fees are paid now, business owners will not have to worry about the increase until another three years, when next renewal will be due.
The Compliance Manager outlined that the fee to register or renew as a sole trader or one-person operation will move from $2,000 to $2,500.
Registration or renewal of partnerships (two to five partners) will be increased to $2,500, up from $2,000, while registration or renewal of partnerships (six to 20 persons) will be $5,000, up from $2,000. The cost to register or renew a trade name will move from $2,500 to $3,000.
A same-day express service for $3,000 will be introduced, while the next day express service currently being offered, will remain at $1,500.
Likewise, there are other services which will remain at the current cost, including the registration of a branch business for $1,000; notification of change in particulars, that is, change of business name, business address and addition to partners, $2,000; notification of closure of business, $600; certified copy of registration certificate, $1,000, and late fee charge, $1,000.
For further details on fees, current or new services, persons may call: 908-4419-24, or visit the website at: www.orcjamaica.com.
CONTACT: KADIAN BROWN