Business licence regime faces overhaul

| 23/01/2018 | 27 Comments

(CNS): The local trade and business licensing regime is set to undergo another review in a bid to introduce tiered fees reflecting the size of businesses, more support for small businesses and to cut red tape. Premier Alden McLaughlin told an audience of local Chamber of Commerce members last week that his government would be taking another look at the laws surrounding the business environment, as starting a small business is the route many Caymanians take to successful participation in the economy.

Speaking at the Chamber Legislative Lunch Wednesday, McLaughlin claimed that his administration understood that government must be “an enabler of entrepreneurship and not put stumbling blocks in place to prevent Caymanians from starting and growing businesses”.

Pointing to the reduction in some fees and the support offered by the last PPM administration, he said the number of micro and small business start-ups had increased dramatically, and that small businesses are faring better than they have done for over a decade, though he did not offer any detailed statistics. But he also stated that government should do more to help.

“We are now looking again at further ways to cut red tape that may put unnecessary hurdles in the way of business,” the premier stated, adding that Commerce Minister  Joey Hew, who is also a business owner, “understands very well the challenges of starting and running a business in these islands, including the impact – positive or negative – of government actions and policies”.

The premier said Hew had started to make “reductions in unnecessary red tape a priority” and was reviewing the Trade and Business Licensing Law and Regulations.

“There are also plans to introduce a tiered fee structure that recognises the need to ensure that smaller enterprises are not expected to pay fees at the same level as much larger organisations with higher revenues. We recognise this will not be easily done, but it will be done,” McLaughlin said.

Hew was committed to working closely with the Cayman Islands Small Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce, the premier assured the audience, as he revealed plans for the creation of a Small Business Development Centre that would cater to the needs of local entrepreneurs.

“We also need to make it easier to transact with government. The business section of the e-government portal already includes the online planning system, the national job link portal and immigration online. In the coming months you can expect an expanded range of e-services to simplify your interaction with government,” the premier added.

Government has been criticised for being too slow to make use of modern communication technology to reduce the amount of time businesses and individuals spent transacting with government for services or paying fees. From the immigration hall to the department of vehicle licensing, hundreds of hours of productivity are lost by the business community by queuing in government buildings.

Pushing what McLaughlin sees as his government’s pro-business credentials, he said that the growth delivered by the private sector contributes significantly to the fiscal performance of the government, with business activity delivering huge revenues into public coffers.

“What distinguishes my government is our willingness to act responsibly in terms of how we utilize those revenues. Our first duty is to make sure we put the income received to good use, delivering public services our people need,” he added.

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Category: Business

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is too little, too late, Mr Premier. As a Caymanian, it is easier to do business in the United States where banking is easier to set up, incorporation is dirt cheap, most services are online and agents and virtual assistants are plentiful to run a business. The market here is saturated for most businesses that Caymanians are trying to set up and there is no competition law to keep it fair with the bigger players. Worse, the cost to start a business here is prohibitive and the local banks are generally against helping locals. Good luck with it though.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      The Premier need to stop talking bologna and start addressing the crime issues that are destroying the Islands.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    “It will be done” sounds like thy will be done on Cayman as it is in Purgatory.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Blah, blah blah! Shut up Alden!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Those who voted for this Unity government should be put in this paperwork hell forever! although this suffering was cause by the previous PPM genius who was sorting out his big business mafia associates.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    More dismantling of Wayne Pantons legacy! He seemed intent on destroying small businesses and killing Caymanian entrepreneurship! Well done Minister Hew




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    • Anonymous says:

      Minister Panton’s performance can be measured by the fact that the number of new small businesses doubled. If Minister Hew can reflect those numbers then he will be doing just as well.




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    • Anonymous says:

      He let DCI create red tape and destroy small business here! I hope Minister Hew really delivers changes, I haven’t seen any changes in DCI yet.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You won’t see changes either. This department is a joke and does not have caymanians at heart. This is one of the worst Government offices I have ever had to deal with.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Joey Who?




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Clear as mud! Thanks Mr. Hew




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  7. PPM Distress Signal says:

    Easy come easy go but wasn’t this the same government that lauded the TBLL?
    This is another nail by Premier Alden McLaughlin, Speaker McKeeva Bush, Minister Joey Hew and the PPM in the political legacy of former Minister of Commerce Wayne Panton. What have you done for me lately?




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  8. nauticalone says:

    Don’t forget Customs! I was recently at Customs importing a vehicle (1 single import item) and I had gone online to complete the required documents and had supporting documents from US dealer and my shipping company and local insurance.
    All I’s dotted and T’s crossed…except one – I hadn’t filled in the “code” as I presumed the officer assisting me could / would actually “assist”! But oh no…she pointed to a row of computers and barked “go find the code”. This after I had spent several hours waiting. I asked ” can’t you just tell me the code?” She replies ‘No!”
    Luckily another customer walking by heard this and said “hold on sir, what are you importing, a car?” what year and one or two other details plugged in to his phone and less than a minute….I had the code.
    Is there really any reason why the Customs officer couldn’t be more helpful? Of course she could! And think…my cheque to Customs for duty was over $CI 16,000 (that’s from one customer for one item) and Customs collects more than one hundred million CI dollars annually! And by reports from many others….customer service is often wanting!




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great except there is not a single up to date government website presently, so how on earth do you think the civil servants can run something like this. As to licenses, precisely how do you expect to find out how big a business actually is. Nobody is required to keep any records since you have neither sales tax nor income tax. Possibly you could base it on number of employee, but then everyone will be turned into independent contractors. Good luck.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    I doubt the CIG would be decreasing fees for businesses that are smaller so this just means that they are adding new fees to bigger businesses right?

    There are no specifics, no actual information provided, this is just a talking point or a proposition at most

    How are these businesses going to be separated?

    This seems like another round of arbitrary government fees,




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  11. Anonymous says:

    If that’s the case why did government just introduce another form filling exercise for construction companies big or small to register with the builders board. in order to register a small business of 2 people earning less than 40,000 a year they have to pay the same insurance rates as a much larger construction company earning millions. You have just added 1,800 onto the costs of running a small business legally along with the medical and pension contributions. A small business completing small jobs should not be considered in the same bracket or the same insurance requirements as a multi million dollar construction company. This new introduction will not only put young caymanians off starting a small construction company but will also close some down.
    On top of that we also now have to apply and pay for a business license in the next month …..
    This needs reveiwing and please include someone on your board that has an understanding of what it is actually like to run a small business and what it is like not to be able to afford 1,800 in Insurance per annum.




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    • Anonymous says:

      $1800 a year for insurance is a good rate. I would expect any construction company to have adequate coverage regardless of number of employees or size of jobs and any new business needs to be realistic about startup costs and subsequent costs of running a business and should therefore plan accordingly before opening. Not everyone can be a business owner.




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    • Anonymous says:

      $150 per month for business insurance is a bargain!




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Yawn!!!




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