Reducing The Time It Takes To Register A Business
Public Sector Transformation

Project Started on

Jan

2012

Project Ended on

Jan

2012

Current Status

By July 2017, an Electronic Business Registration System which will allow online registration of businesses will be implemented.

Project status

Yellow
  • On Track
  • Slightly Off-track
  • Very Off-track
  • Stalled

In April 2014, the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) launched the business super-form which reduced the need for applications for new business to be completed in multiple agencies. Building on this, work has begun to develop an Electronic Business Registration System to allow online applications for business registration. By July 2017, an Electronic Business Registration System which will allow online registration of businesses will be implemented. We had committed to implementation in April 2016 but unexpected glitches with the system set-up and inadequacies in technical support have caused delays.

In 2008 Jamaica ranked 11 out of 178 economies in the ease of starting a business, with 6 procedures, a duration of 8 days and a cost of 9.4% of per capita income. We have since then, in 2014 dropped to 23/189 in the global ranking, even though we have reduced the number of procedures to 5, the number of days to execute those procedures to 6 and the cost to 6.4% of per capita income. While we have improved, so too have the rest of the world, thereby changing the benchmark from 2 procedures in 2 days in 2008 (Australia), to 1 procedure in half a day at practically no cost in 2014 (New Zealand).  

 

 Jamaica

 Global Benchmark 

 Regional Benchmark 

 2008 

 2014 

2008

2014

2008

2014

number of procedures

6

5

2

1

5

6

time (days)

8

6

2

0.5

19

6

cost (% of income per capita)

8.7

6.4

0

0

0.9

0.9

 

As the above table indicates, if we want to improve our ranking in this area we still have very far to go.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Commerce (MIIC) has been working on a one-stop-shop programme’ for the registration of companies and business names in Jamaica through data sharing among the government agencies involved in business start-ups.   The project was designed to allow Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) to capture pertinent information on one data form to determine the eligibility of applicants for registration according to criteria set by the various agencies.  This would eliminate the need for customers to visit the offices of each of the stakeholder agencies (National Insurance Scheme, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), National Housing Trust (NHT) and Human Employment and Resource Training National Training Agency (HEART) Trust/NTA) to complete the registration process.  After numerous consultative sessions with the agencies, 14 forms totalling 50 pages were reduced to one major form of eight pages, with several legislative changes undertaken in order to accommodate the use of the new Business Registration Form.

On 2nd January 2014 the new Business Registration Form was implemented with a manual exchange of data among the stakeholder agencies.  By 7th April 2014 there was full electronic data exchange among all stakeholder agencies.  The Government will however not stop there but has designed a project that will allow for the implementation by 2015 of an electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) to be implemented on CoJ’s new website.

The implementation of the eBRF will reduce the number of days to register a business from the current 6 days to a maximum of 3 days, allowing all transactions to be conducted online in one application procedure. To ensure accessibility of the new online service, kiosks will be placed in the major revenue collection offices across the island. It is expected that with the implementation of the eBRF it will be much easier for new businesses to be created, and for entities to be compliant with the statutory requirements for operating their businesses.
  • (_/_/_) By July 2017, an Electronic Business Registration System (One Stop Shop for Business Registration) which will allow online registration of businesses will be implemented. We committed to implementation in April 2016 but unexpected glitches with the system set-up and inadequacies in technical support have caused delays.

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