NASSAU, The Bahamas – Before Members of Parliament took their Christmas break, they agreed to proposed Amendments to the Business License Act and the Related Business License Regulations.
The House of Assembly resumes its business on January 16, 2019.
Before the House ended Wednesday, December 12, 2018, Prime Minister Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis introduced and led the debate on the amendments aimed a making it easier for Bahamians to start and maintain their businesses, particularly small ones.
As they go to license their businesses in the New Year, the public will face prompter service and less government bureaucracy, the Prime Minister assured.
Parliament approved a range of amendments during the recent budget exercise, the aims of which were to provide an enhanced level of oversight on certain matters, while at the same time ensuring that the government advances its ease of doing business initiative to make it easier for persons to get into business and to stay in business.
“The most significant adjustment we are proposing is to roll back the planned amendments to the recently passed business license regulation that would have required audited financials and bank statements.
“We are about making it easier for Bahamians to do business and these amendments, coupled with the provisions already in the law, will cause Bahamians to actually witness first-hand, how much easier the government is making it for them,” the Prime Minister said.
He advised though, that the Department of Inland Revenue has been tasked to increase their vigilance and audit activities, to discourage fraudulent statements.
The Prime Minister then offered this advice: “We expect all businesses to file honest, accurate statements – as most reportedly do already.”
Additionally, the Business license unit will do its job – which is to license businesses, he said.
And, the regulators will provide the Business License Unit with information it has on delinquent licensees before the licensing period, or be required themselves to address the businesses otherwise within the parameters of the law, the Prime Minister added.
He said that the Department of Inland Revenue is committed to ensuring that businesses feel the difference this coming year. “The processes have been streamlined and the department is instituting a game plan to ensure that it can address businesses promptly and reduce the time to get a business renewal,” the Prime Minister said.