- The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is to launch an electronic business registration form (EBRF), to facilitate a hassle-free and more convenient option to transacting business.
- Highlighting the benefits of the EBRF, Mrs. Ramlogan pointed out that with the implementation of the system, persons will be able to save time, money and enjoy more convenience in registering their business.
- The Business Registration Form or ‘super form’ was introduced in January 2014 to address a wide cross section of issues faced by individuals in the process of business start-up.
The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is to launch an electronic business registration form (EBRF), to facilitate a hassle-free and more convenient option to transacting business.
“The electronic business registration form is just converting the manual form to an electronic version and this will allow you to register your business name or your company from wherever you are in the world, and to be ready to start working, because all the other agencies that are responsible for regulating business start-ups will be included in the process as well,” Chief Executive Officer of the COJ, Judith Ramlogan, outlined to JIS News.
Explaining the electronic business registration procedure, she noted that persons will need a computer, internet service, a signing pad or a token for digital signatures and a scanner, as some documents may need to be uploaded to the system.
“Once you have these things in place, you go to the COJ website at www.orcjamaica.com to complete the form (EBRF), scan and upload the necessary documents, sign the documents whether with a signing pad or a digital token, which will produce a digital signature, then submit the documents along with your payment by credit card to COJ,” Mrs. Ramlogan informed.
She added that with this done, and once the form is properly completed and submitted, then the registration is done automatically and a notification sent when the certificate is ready.
The CEO said that persons will need to indicate the method of pick up, that is, whether by courier, bearer or a visit to the COJ office in New Kingston.
Persons who do not have access to the internet or a computer, may still be able to utilize the EBRF, as kiosks will be set up at select offices of the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and the COJ.
“We will put these kiosks in the larger revenue service centres in Kingston, Montego Bay, Mandeville and St. Ann’s Bay…so persons can come into the tax offices and do their registration without coming into Kingston,” the CEO informed.
Highlighting the benefits of the EBRF, Mrs. Ramlogan pointed out that with the implementation of the system, persons will be able to save time, money and enjoy more convenience in registering their business.
“As it stands now, with the manual business registration form, you have to come here (COJ office in Kingston) or get somebody to come here and present the paper forms. Customers bemoan the fact that we only have one office in Kingston, so with this arrangement, they will not have to come into Kingston to register their businesses,” the CEO pointed out.
In terms of savings, Mrs. Ramlogan pointed out that the new system will eliminate the use of paper as customers have complained that the forms are voluminous.
“Savings for us (COJ) is that we will not have to convert the paper documents to digitized images, because that is how we will receive them,” she added.
She said, however, that the COJ will continue, in the short or medium term, to facilitate persons who wish to register their documents manually after the roll out of the EBRF.
“We hope that in a few years, people will see the necessity and the savings that can accrue to them if they decide to register online rather than come into the office to register. We also have space and parking constraints, so I would say to persons if you can register your business online, do so and benefit from the savings and convenience,” she urged.
Mrs. Ramlogan revealed that as soon as the EBRF has been implemented, consideration will be given to the electronic registration of other documents, such as annual returns, change of directors, change of registered office and change of company secretary.
The CEO noted too, that discussions are being held with the Caribbean Secretariat and the various registrars of companies for the establishment of an online registry for CARICOM companies.
The Business Registration Form or ‘super form’ was introduced in January 2014 to address a wide cross section of issues faced by individuals in the process of business start-up.
This multi-purpose registration form, available at the COJ, is a ‘one stop shop’ for businesses and eliminates the need to visit multiple agencies to process a TRN (tax registration number), NIS (National Insurance Scheme) number, GCT (General Consumption Tax), and NHT (National Housing Trust) requirements or to procure clearance letters.