Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Jamaica. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

Compare Jamaica to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal Form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in Minimum Capital Requirement: None
  • City: Kingston
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Ascertain from the Registrar of Companies whether the desired name is available and acceptable

The proposed company files a Form 6 - Name Search and Name Reservation with the Companies Office of Jamaica to ascertain the availability of the name at a cost of JMD 500. It is also recommended that a name reservation be done for an additional JMD 3,000 to reserve the name for 90 days.
1 day JMD 500
2 File the company deeds to the Registrar of Companies

Only a single document, the articles of incorporation, is now required to constitute a company. Previously, both the memorandum of association and the articles of association had to be filed with the Registrar of Companies. The rationale for this new requirement is that because the Companies Act, 2004 abolished the doctrine of ultra vires and because companies now have the same legal capacity as individuals, there is no need to set out the company’s objectives in its memorandum of association. The articles of incorporation capture all the essential facts of the company (e.g., the number of shares, the subscribers’ names, and the company’s internal rules and regulations) and are signed by at least one person (for a private company). Articles may be prepared according to the model set out in Table A in the First Schedule of the Companies Act. The other documents that must be submitted to the Registrar of Companies are:
- Form 2: The declaration of compliance—made out by an attorney at law, an International Customer Service Association (ICSA) graduate, or a company promoter (member or director of the company engaged in its formation). This document attests that all the documents conform to the provisions of the Companies Act.
- Form 17: Notice of registered office.
- Form 23: Notice of appointment/change of directors.
- Form 3: Particulars of shares. Where there are two or more classes of shares (e.g., ordinary or preference shares) on incorporation, this form must be filed to set out the rights and obligations of each company share class.
-Form 20: Notice of appointment of company secretary
Form 23 - Notice of Appointment of Directors and Form 20 - Notice of Appointment of Company Secretary may be filed within 14 days and 15 days of incorporation provided these documents were not filed at incorporation. While the Form 17- Notice of the Registered office must be filed at the date of the company's incorporation.

Cost details:
J$15,000 (registration fee) + J$3,000 for each additional document of which there are three:(a) Notice of Registered Office, Notice of Appointment of Directors and Notice of Appointment of Company Secretary; an additional J$6,000 for expedition service (same day)
1 day with expedited service see procedure details
3 Obtain national insurance scheme (NIS) reference number from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security

As of January 2012, Employers are required to file all annual returns affecting NIS, NHT, Education Tax and/or PAYE Income Tax for 2011 and onwards using the SO2 Form which replaces the following:
C4 – Employer’s Annual Return: Declaration and Certificate
IT06 – Employer’s Annual Return PAYE (Income Tax)
IT06 – PAYE Employer’s Annual Return Schedule 5 & 6
ET02 - EDTAX Self-Employed Annual Return (with employees)
ET03 - EDTAX Organization Annual Return.

The Company must complete the National Insurance Scheme Application Form, in duplicate, and submit same along with certified copies of the Company's Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Incorporation.

2 days no charge
4 Obtain taxpayer registration number (TRN) from Collector of Taxes

The taxpayer registration number (TRN) is a unique taxpayer identification number and is used for the payment of government taxes and duties including income tax. Income tax returns are to be filed annually by March 15. The TRN must be affixed to all written communications to all revenue departments.

Documents to be submitted are the following:
1. Completed application for TRN Number Organizations
2. NIS number or clearance letter confirming that the company is not yet liable to National Insurance.
3. Certified copy of Articles of Incorporation
4. Certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation
5. TRN of Directors (or at least one Director)
6. Authorization letter if the TRN application is being made by a third party

Currently, a print-out of the TRN is available within 24hrs and the TRM may be used immediately.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) indicated that effective January 1, 2013, the requirement for persons residing or operating from overseas to have a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) to transact business with the tax authority in Jamaica would be fully enforced.
This mandatory TRN requirement has impacted individuals and companies, particularly persons processing transactions such as land transfers and mortgages through the Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax Section of TAJ, that:
•reside/operate overseas;
•are party to a transaction that is being processed in Jamaica;
•transact with a revenue department any matter pertaining to taxes; and
•is liable to pay taxes, or to do any acts, matters or things in relation thereto, pursuant to any enactment.

1 day no charge
5 Obtain general consumption tax (GCT) registration

The company must apply to the Commissioner of Taxes to be a registered taxpayer if its gross income is at least JMD 3,000,000 (effective January 1st, 2000) per annum or it manufactures prescribed goods. The application for GCT registration must be submitted within 21 days after taxable activity has started. A temporary GCT certificate is issued to the company upon receipt of the application for GCT. An original certificate is issued within 21 days thereafter to the client.

1 day no charge

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