COJ Special 29th edition newsletter

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SPECIAL 29th EDITION I July-December 2017


COJ to Implement New Incorporation, Annual Return Forms December 18 WITH AMENDMENTS to the Companies Act having taken effect in June, the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) will be rolling out amended company incorporation and annual return forms on Monday, December 18, 2017. Customers interacting with the new forms will now be required to provide the names of persons who are considered beneficial owners of the company in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

According to Judith Ramlogan, CEO and Registrar of Companies, “the implementation of the forms on December 18 follows several sensitisation sessions in the Corporate Area, St. James and Mandeville that sought to inform customers of the impending changes and obtain feedback from them as to how the forms could be made more user friendly. From these engagement sessions, adjustments were made to ensure that they are user-friendly and capUnder the Act, a beneficial owner is anyone ture the specific information required such that exercises ultimate ownership of a com- as the name, nationality and address of the pany or the individual on whose behalf the beneficial owner.” shares are held or on whose behalf a share transaction is conducted. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Opening Hours Our office is opened for business during the following hours:

Kingston Office: Mondays to Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Montego Bay Office: Mondays to Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fridays: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Our Drop-Off Box facility is available Mondays to Fridays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 A beneficial owner under the amended act must be an individual, even in circumstances where an entity is owned by a company. “It is part of the mandate to establish a stronger corporate governance structure; an accurate register; and to ensure that persons who are doing business in Jamaica are legitimate operators and not engaging in business for illegitimate purposes. Therefore, the inclusion of beneficial owner is to lift the veil, so to speak, on who is really exercising true control of a company,” stated Ramlogan. As it pertains to the current forms, the CEO indicated that the Agency will continue to accept the old forms up until March 31, 2018 in order to facilitate a smooth transition. “We understand that some persons may have already completed forms, especially for the Annual Returns, so we will continue to take those until year end, then going forward we will only be accepting the new forms,” said Ramlogan. However, for those companies refiling documents due to error, they will have up until a year to submit those changes. Features of the new form include less pages with more space for writing as well as explanatory notes to aid applicants in understanding how the forms should be completed. With December being a busy period for Annual Return filings, the COJ will also be implementing a Status Quo Annual Return form for companies who have had a previous filing using a standard Annual Return Form. Considered a onepage declaration the new form will allow company officers to indicate if there are any changes to the company. However, Ramlogan indicated that, “the status quo form can only be used by companies with at least a previous filing using the standard form companies having a shares capital.” Following the introduction of this new form, the COJ is hoping that it will facilitate an increase in compliance, especially among customers who consider the process to be tedious. “It will take less time to complete with a greater degree for accuracy, hence reducing the need to return documents to the customer to make corrections,” Ramlogan stated. The new forms along with samples can be downloaded from the Agency’s website –




Out &




At the Companies Act Amendment Seminars held in St. James, Manchester and Kingston & St. Andrew.


COJ Improves Service Time for Business Name Renewal, Closure CUSTOMERS OF the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) renewing and closing business names registrations will now have these services delivered on the same day at no additional cost, a significant improvement over the five day turnaround time that existed previously.

the customer will submit the application would be getting back my registration for processing and pick up the document today. I was shocked! But to actually see an hour after paying the $2,500 fee”. it done, I am very impressed.”

According to Judith Ramlogan, Registrar and CEO of the COJ, “we have been listening to our customers and the improved offering is another step in catering to entrepreneurs and investors doing business in Jamaica. Provided that there are no changes to the business name,

The now expedited service has been receiving positive feedback from customers. According to Tracy Francis-Clouson, a customer that benefited from the service, “I don’t have to come back here another day … . I was really impressed with the service when I was told that I

Under the Business Name Registration Act, business owners must renew their registration every three years and file a closure notice with the COJ if the Prior to this, customers requesting same business ceases to operate. Failure to -day and next-day express services renew the registration or close the would be required to pay an additional business name may result in fines and $3,000 and $1,500, respectively. penalties.


Ramlogan noted that testing for the improved service started in June in order to ascertain the Agency’s capacity to offer the new service. The results were overwhelming and “we saw that it would improve overall efficiency and customer satisfaction. Further testing was done In-house and on our recent COJ Mobile in Trelawny and St. Ann and the feedback has all been positive.” The Companies Office of Jamaica is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries tasked with the registration of all companies and businesses operating in Jamaica.


Know Your Forms Forms can be downloaded from the COJ’s website at

Form BN6: To close a Business Name (fee to close is Business is $600) Form BN1: To renew a Sole Trader — Business Name Form BN2: To renew a Partnership — Business Name Remember to file your Annual Return today!

Our Partners: The following Government Ministries and Agencies have partnered with the Companies Office of Jamaica to make your business registration and start-up experience easy and convenient: Ministry of Industry Investment & Commerce eGov Jamaica Ltd (formerly Fiscal Services Ltd) Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) Ministry of Labour and Social Security (N.I.S.)

National Housing Trust HEART Trust/NTA Jamaica Business Development Corporation Contact us: Companies Office of Jamaica 1 Grenada Way, Kingston 5 Telephone: (876) 908-4419–24 Fax: (876) 960-7152

The Companies Office of Jamaica is an Executive Agency under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries

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