JIS News

Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, informed the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Jan. 25) that the 72-day amnesty that the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC) offered to delinquent companies for the filing of documents had been very successful, with revenues quadrupling over the period.
“I am very pleased to announce the tremendous success of this amnesty. We are tabulating the figures now, but it appears as if we were able to do literally thousands of updates on companies that were before now not showing signs of activity,” the Minister stated.
The amnesty period, from November 18 to January 31, formed part of the transition towards implementation of the New Companies Act on February 1, 2005, and allowed companies that had not filed annual returns and other documents with the ORC, to do so.
Mr. Paulwell added that, “we are going to encourage them to ensure that they do not fall back into bad habits and we are not going to be issuing any further amnesties. As of the first of February, all Jamaicans can go to the office and have their companies registered. It is going to be a simple process and by the time our e-transaction laws are passed in Parliament, they will be able to do so online as well”.
In keeping with the modernization of the ORC, government recently took a decision to change the name from ORC to the Companies Office of Jamaica. This name is to be assumed shortly.
Meanwhile, the Lower House affirmed the resolution for the Companies (Forms) Rules 2005 under the Companies Act (2004). The forms were tabled in the House on the 11th of this month.
Agreeing with the passage of the legislation and the subsequent adoption of the forms, Member of Parliament for North Central St. Andrew Karl Samuda stated, “what had plagued us in Jamaica for many years is the complexity, almost mystery about the formation of a company where you had to go through the legal fraternity, or through the chartered accountants, etc..this makes it easier and more in conformity with how it is done in other jurisdictions. The forms are far more user-friendly”.

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