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How to Register as a Sole Trader in Jamaica

February 20, 2021
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Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean with a population of about 2.7 million. According to the International Monetary Fund, Jamaica’s GDP grew 1% in 2019. The economic performance was a result of considerable foreign demand for Jamaican goods and services, including mining, tourism, and gastronomy. In 2021, growth of 3.9% is expected, and during 2022, economic growth of 3%, which will certainly contribute to the Jamaican economy.

Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

Sole traders in Jamaica

As a sole trader in Jamaica will not need to undertake an overly complicated registration procedure; decisions can be made quickly and close contact can be kept with customers and employees. Profits from the business flow-through directly to the owner’s tax return.

How to register a sole trader in Jamaica

If you want to register as a sole trader in Jamaica, the article below will help you.

In order to register as a sole trader in Jamaica you will need:

  • To fill out a company registration form (BRF 1) "Super form"
  • A document confirming your current location. This can be your driver's license, passport, or utility bill.
  • Professional certification, if applicable
  • Work permit or letter of exemption, if applicable
  • Three passport-size photographs signed by a Justice of the Peace
  • To pay a registration fee of J$ 2,500

Business name registration

If u want to register your business name in Jamaica you will need to fill and submit a form at the Companies Office of Jamaica. The fee is J$ 500.00 for the name search and J$ 3,000.00 for the name reservation. Total business name registration cost is J$ 3,500.00. When you fill out and submit the form, you will receive information that the name is reserved for ninety days.


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Taxpayer and VAT registration in Jamaica

To register as a taxpayer in Jamaica, you should follow the following documents:

  • Completed and signed TRN (Taxpayer Registration Number) application form 
  •  Copy of the passport or driver's license certified by a notary. Passport or driver’s license must incorporate name (full last and first name), date of birth, signature, and photograph
  • Cards for applicants who completed their forms via mail from overseas will then be mailed to the applicant’s address as stated on the application
  • If the required documentation is not in English, a translation is required.

The application must be sent to:

Taxpayer Registration Centre

Shops 26-27, Kingston Mall 

Jamaica W.I.

General consumption tax 

VAT or as it is called in Jamaica GTC is a value-added tax related to goods and services and to the import of goods and services to Jamaica. The standard rate is 16.5%. Higher or lower rates of GCT apply to certain goods and services: for example, the provision of telephone services (including phone cards) and handsets are subject to GCT at the rate of 25%, while the tax for hotels and other businesses in the tourism sector at an effective rate of around 10%. Operators within the ourism industry who were granted approval under legacy tourism incentives and who did not choose to move to the current regime cannot benefit from the 10% tourism GCT rate. Subject to certain exceptions, an additional 5% advance GCT is levied on the commercial importation of goods by a GCT-registered taxpayer.

An income tax return is due on March 15th in the year following the year of assessment and is based on a system of self-assessment of the tax payable.