Ministry cuts red tape for T&B applications

| 29/01/2018 | 24 Comments

(CNS): As part of a raft of changes to trade and business licence applications being introduced to make the process less onerous, government has removed the requirement for small businesses to submit proof of health insurance to qualify for the T&B incentive grant. This was designed to encourage small businesses to provide the mandatory health cover for their employees; it entailed the submission of a simple self-certification form detailing what health and pension plans employees were enrolled in. The updates to the T&B licensing forms, which come into effect on Thursday 1 February, still apparently require proof of a pension plan at this stage.

Commerce Minister Joey Hew said that more changes are coming to the law and regulations over the coming months that he claimed would make life easier for local traders.

The amendments to application requirements, which have been approved by both the Ministry of Commerce and the Trade and Business Licensing Board, will be reflected on the Sole Trader and Registered Companies forms, a release stated.

In addition to removing proof of health insurance for the small and micro business incentive grant, the changes also eliminate the need for owners to fill out a simple one-page business plan.

The board has also agreed to remove the requirements for first time applicants to produce a character reference for foreign workers or partners, strata approval for residential businesses, and replacement of a lease agreement with a letter of intent regarding the location of the proposed business.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Cayman Island’s economy. Their success contributes to the overall national economic progress,” Hew said. “That is why this government has prioritised reducing regulatory hurdles. We want to make doing business easier for business owners. These changes are one step forward in that effort.”

A new online application system is also being developed by the e-Government unit and the Computer Services Department. Officials said this will launch later this year to streamline and expedite the application process.

Category: Business, Small Business

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Equating lawful employee benefits as unnecessary red tape, is absurd and inhumane! With regressive decisions like this, the Cayman Islands really deserves its reputation as a pirate territory.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a small business owner, why get rid of the Health Insurance part? I have no issue with applying for the certificate that I have paid this. It comes back promptly and my health insurance company does not charge for it. What is very wrong is that the pension element hasn’t been dealt with and that comes with a $75 charge, which is a totally unreasonable tax on businesses which seek to be compliant. I know complaints have been made about this before, but we are still waiting for something to be done. Mr Hew???

    CNS: I have no idea what the new forms will look like but under the old system (which expires tomorrow) you can fill out a “self-certification” form, by which you can avoid dealing with either the pension or health insurers and any costs involved. You just have to provide the relevant info about the plans.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    So the victims here are workers exposed to poorer health care protections to subsidise the income and capital growth of business owners.

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  4. Leroy B. Whorms Sr. says:

    For the small business person struggling to provide for their family this is not a step but a huge leap in the right direction.

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    • West bay Premier says:

      Nothing against expat workers that are hard working and honest and good People , we need those kind in the workforce on the Islands.

      But some of the red tape that Government is cutting . The Board has agreed to remove the requirements for first time application to produce a character reference for foreign workers and partners . I guess that there isn’t a need for a Police Clarence Record too . How would the Government know what kind of People are coming into the Islands ? I think that could be part of the problem why there’s so much more crime and criminals today, Government don’t have a clue of who is on the Islands today . And we know how well the C.I Government fight crime .
      God help those Politicians cause i don’t think anyone else can .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Submitting a business plan (of any type) to a public body was always a moronic idea. Thanks!!

      The health insurance decision is weird though, unless there is a “small business” government plan to completely remove this as a requirement for work permit grant/renewal OR to provide such coverage via another means.

      Maybe, as a mandatory “upfront” payment as a condition of the work permit grant and an annual advance payment to CINiCO or a private insurer, as a condition of annual work permit renewal.

      In the end it all comes down to enforcement really.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    “Small businesses are the backbone of the Cayman Island’s economy.”
    – Minister Joseph Hew

    Another platitude from the PPM, saying what he is expected to say, and sticking to the script
    Even though we all know that Tourism, Financial Services and Work permits are the real backbone of the Cayman Island’s economy and that the government doesn’t give a damn about the average small business

    Anything for support from the business owners
    anything for a potential party donations

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Some of this makes sense and could stimulate small business. But the proof of health insurance exemption should be strictly enforced not waived. It’s small business who tend to be the main offenders of the relevant laws.

    I know several in blue collar / labour jobs had deductions from pay only to be denied at hospital in emergencies. Employer had no policy, or didn’t kept up payment (therefore stealing employees money). I know employees in construction paying deductions for cost of their work permits (and who knows what they are told those costs will be).

    This is wrong, and it’s the employees who lose every time. So unfair .

    10 steps backwards instead of forwards.

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    • 2 + 2 = 3 says:

      Joenomics. This was why the HSA was owed 75 million in health insurance. Small business owners did not have health insurance for employees.

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      • West bay Premier says:

        Agree 2+2 , the Government are smart business people like the guy from West Bay , who sold his bicycle rim to buy the tire .

    • Anonymous says:

      Friend of mine works for a medical clinic and says her company regularly doesn’t pay health insurance even after taking the money for employees and their families. One staff member got denied at the ER and another had to fly home because she couldn’t get tests. Lots of docs left because of this and other financial problems. No point in checking at the start if nobody checks after a business is set up.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like my ex employer. Never paid me what was owed. Cleaner got turned away after an accident. Doc left and reported them about pensions but nothing happened. They owed money to every doc who left. Nothing ever happens.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Some of these make sense (lease intent vs agreement, business plan not Govt. business, etc.). Others (no health/pension checks) sound like a step back to the problems these rules were designed to address in the first place. Hopefully the Govt. will explain (in print) their rationale better in the immediate future now that this is in the public.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Is our government enabling slave labor?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    They have to remove Wayne Pantons memory from their minds, that’s what this is all about

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hope he isn’t fool enough to run with them again
      he is a good enough candidate and MLA to stand on his own two feet he doesn’t need to be dragged down by the PPM name, especially if he is going to run in BT again

      ain’t no love for the PPM in BT

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  11. Anonymous says:

    What checks are being carried out that all these “random” businesses have a T&B license to begin with? What about those annoying beach vendors? Was this ever resolved? What about so many of the car repair shops and garden maintenance services who seemingly seem to be working out of their house?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s free for all beach vendors now. Just start selling anything you wish at the Seven Mile Public Beach when the sun rises tomorrow. The first offenders must be partying tonight!

      Hope those vendors turn that beach into a war zone / zoo. Stopped going there so it probably already is a zoo!

  12. Anonymous says:

    These changes sound like the government is simply making it easier for small business owners to break the law without being caught. It is ridiculous to remove these requirements.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Great news Bobo , Joey & Alden come thru on their promise. Its time some assistance was given to small businesses & sole traders. Well done C.I.G. Thanks for helping Caymanians.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The presence or absence of company formation requirements doesn’t stop law breaking. Look at XXXXX! Deducts pension but doesn’t pay it to a fund. Doesn’t pay its health insurance which staff find out when they are denied care. Tackle corruption yes but don’t let the corrupt businesses make it harder for new businesses. This is good.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Gov need to check in on these bus owners that haven’t paid pension to some workers since the start .shame ,shame .and gov know about them.

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