Companies Office Provides a Range of Services to Business Operators

The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) provides a range of services in its effort to enable the legal creation and operation of businesses in Jamaica.
A major service offered by the COJ is the issuing of documents, which business operators need to carry out transactions on a daily basis.
“The COJ is primarily a registry for companies and businesses and as such, once somebody decides that they want to go into business, there are certain documents that they need to bring into the COJ,” said Business Registration Manager at the COJ, Camille Neil.Ms. Neil, who was speaking in an interview with JIS News, pointed out that “having decided that you want to enter into business, you would come into the COJ, file the requisite forms and we at the COJ would issue you with a certificate.”
She explained that operators of a company will receive a certificate of incorporation, which brings the company into existence and proves that it was created, while businesses will be issued a certificate of registration of business name, which shows proof of registration and ownership of the entity.
The Business Registration Manager pointed out that these two critical documents are required by banking and other institutions, government bodies and persons wishing to enter into business with companies or small business entities.
Additionally, Ms. Neil informed that one of the major things that most persons will need are certified copies of the documents that they have submitted to the COJ. “Sometimes, you might need a certified copy of your articles of incorporation because you want to borrow money from the bank and more and more banking institutions are requiring the production of your documents that you filed with us,” she pointed out.
“Also we find that more and more banks are requiring the certificate of registration before you can borrow money from them as well as for certain government contracts, you must produce copies of your documents before you can get the contract,” she stressed.
A certified copy, she said “is a special paper with special features that is issued only by the COJ and it basically sets out the name of the company or business and who the owners are.”
The certified copy paper has a number of validation features including a tamper-safe hologram, which changes when viewed at different angles and touch-safe, which causes the word ‘valid’ to appear when touched.
Ms. Neil further pointed out that “the certified copy paper has a special seal on it, once you try to photocopy it, it will come out with the word ‘VOID’ on it.”
“The COJ is the only institution that can issue this certified copy. It attracts a fee of $1,000 for certified copies of your registration and certificate of incorporation.for other copies of other documents that have been filed with us, the cost is $150 per page,” she informed.
Another document issued by the COJ is letters of good standing. This is a document issued to certain institutions such as banks, which certifies that a company has satisfied all filing requirements and is compliant with the Companies Act and in good standing with the registrar.
“Where a company owns land and wants to transfer that property or sell it, they must come to the COJ and get a letter of confirmation,” Ms. Neil highlighted.
This document, she noted, basically says to the registrar of titles that this company is still on the register and have not been struck off or removed for not filing its documents. “Once a company has been removed or struck from the register, they cannot enter into any that company would be prohibited from transferring their land,” Ms. Neil pointed out.
Another service offered by the COJ is reports on directors and shareholders.
“You can, as a member of the public, come in to the COJ and search our records to find out for example, how many companies a particular person sits on as director or how many companies a particular person owns shares in,” the Business Registration Manager pointed out.
She informed that the COJ provides information on companies highlighting whether they are keeping up with obligations under the Companies Act or the status of the company in terms of its financial holdings.
Persons may go in to the COJ and conduct searches to retrieve such information at a cost of $100 per hour or receive copies for $100 per page. Searches may be done at

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