How to Register a Business in Trinidad

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In Trinidad and Tobago, all businesses must be registered before they can begin operation. Registration is accomplished by formally incorporating the business with the Companies Registry. To do this, the business must have certain required documents and complete all necessary forms.

Select your business name by checking with the Companies Registry. The companies Registry will determine whether the selected name is available. Visit the Companies Registry office and request a Company Name Request Application Name Registration form (Form 25). Submit the completed form with a processing fee of 20 TTD (approximately $3.13 USD). This process will take about four days to complete. If the preferred business name is available, it will automatically be reserved.

Notarize the Declaration of Compliance form (Form 31) with the Commissioner of Affidavits. This will register the company’s director, secretary or lawyer as a contact person for the business and act as verification that all necessary documents have been duly created. This will cost 20 TTD (approximately $3.13 USD) and, as of June 2010, will take one day to complete.

Pay a stamp duty by submitting the business's Articles of Incorporation to the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR). The stamping duty fee is 25 TTD (approximately $3.91 USD) and the BIR will complete the process in about one day. Once reviewed, the Articles of Incorporation will be stamped.

Register with the Companies Registry to become an incorporated entity and receive a certificate of incorporation. To do this, submit two copies of the following: the accepted Company Name Request form, the stamped Articles of Incorporation, the notarized Declaration of Compliance form, the Notice of Address of Registered Office form (Form 4), the Notice of Directors form (Form 8), and the Notice of Secretary form (Form 27). All forms are available at the Government Printery. The total cost is 600 TTD (approximately $93.89 USD). Once reviewed and accepted, the company becomes a formal entity.

Make a company seal that will be used on all official documents. In Trinidad and Tobago, it is customary for all businesses to use seals. Creating the seal can cost between 115 TTD (approximately $17.99 USD) for a rubber seal or 400 TTD (approximately $62.59 USD) for a metal seal.


About the Author

Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.

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