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JIS News

Business operators in western Jamaica are invited to participate in the mobile outreach service of the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ), which began on January 25 and ends on January 29, as part of efforts to achieve a higher compliance rate among businesses, in terms of company registration and the filing of annual returns.
Throughout the week, the mobile team will be visiting three parishes, beginning with Westmoreland (January 25 and 26) at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Savanna-la-mar; Hanover (Wednesday, January 27), at the Lucea Parish Church Hall; and St. James (January 28 and 29), at Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Market Street, Montego Bay. The mobile team will be operating from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Speaking with JIS News, Acting Compliance Manager at the COJ, Miss Heather Sutherland, explained that the purpose of the mobile outreach is to facilitate company registration; the filing of annual returns, change of directors, secretaries and the registered office, as well as business name registration.
Miss Sutherland added that groups, such as churches, charities, service clubs, non-profit associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) may also use the opportunity to file outstanding documents at reduced costs of 50 to 75 per cent under the present amnesty, which ends in February.
To complete the registration and filing process, the Acting Compliance Manager said that persons should take along the business, company and personal tax registration numbers (TRNs), the fees for filing the documents and the relevant, completed forms, which are available online at: www.orcjamaica.com or at the venues.
Highlighting the importance of filing documents, Miss Sutherland explained that, “under the Companies Act of 2004, it is a statutory obligation for all companies to file documents with the COJ. If they are not filed, then you are in breach of your statutory obligations, which means that the COJ could pursue actions against you, to ensure that the documentation is filed.”
She pointed out that it is important for all company documents to be up-to-date in the COJ’s register, so that the general public, entities or persons who wish to give loans or get information may have access via the website.
This, Miss Sutherland explained, is in accordance with the COJ’s mandate to ensure that the documents and information on companies and businesses registered in Jamaica are up-to-date and available to persons who may need it.
Commenting on the effectiveness of the mobile outreach, Miss Sutherland pointed out that the initiative allows persons to have direct contact with field officers, alleviates the hassle and inconvenience to travel into Kingston and creates the opportunity for “us to come to you, instead of you coming to us.”
Other outreach activities are being planned for Manchester, Portland and St. Mary in the months of February and March.