The Jamaican Rube-Goldberg machine

The overly complex steps to getting a Bank Account for your Company after your documents expire.

A friend of mine just got awarded a grant and needed a bank account to accept the funds. They had registered the company over a year before and all their compliance documents had expired. The bank gave them a list of requirements. He asked me where he could go to find all the steps in one place to fulfil the requirements and I said he couldn’t, but I could tell him what the current process is for getting all the documents renewed. After speaking for a few minutes his phone battery died and so I made the notes in WhatsApp. Here is the transcript of my contribution to the conversation, in case I ever have to do that again. All prices quoted are in Jamaican dollars.

Step 1: Bring your company documents and ID to the NIS Office on Ripon road. Ask to speak to a compliance officer about a clearance letter. If you do not have a PAYE account all agencies will require a support letter from a relative or significant other. The letter states how long the signatory on the letter has supported you.
Step 2: Bring your company documents and ID to the NHT Office behind Emancipation Park. Ask to speak to the compliance department about a clearance letter.
Step 3: Carry both clearance letters, proof of address, income (grant), IDs of directors and your company docs to Tax Admin on Kings street downtown
Step 4: There is a line for TCC on the ground floor join the line and register for TCC. They will then send you up to compliance
Step 5: Present all your documents and answer a number of questions. State that you would like a multiple purpose TCC, this lasts 3 months. It only lasts one month if you ask for bank account
Step 6: Tell the Compliance officer a date in the future when you will start operations.
Step 7: When the Compliance Officer generates an account for you, expect to be hit with penalties. Ask for a payment plan in lieu of getting a bank account to collect funds and doing business.
Step 8. They will give you documents back to which you go downstairs and join the TCC line again
Step 9: After they give you your TCC, be sure to observe the payment plan schedule
Step 10: Go to Companies office and file your annual returns. It is a form 19a that you need to fill out. Ask for one of the customer service reps to help you. This form is pretty complex the first time around, you will need the help. Pay the $5000/year returns fee and the $10000/year to get the returns on file.
Step 11: Pay $3000 for the letter of good standing
Step 12: When you get the letter, go to the bank (I recommend First Global Bank) with all the documents you have gotten so far, including your company seal and your company secretary, a financial projection and two forms of ID for each director/ signatory
Step 13: Work with your business banking rep to fill out the forms. Have the rep witness everyone’s IDs
Step 14: Give the bank a week while calling your bank rep every day to follow up.
This is easier if done within 3 months of incorporation. The first 11 steps are because your documents expired.

We realise how difficult this process is, so we offer fully compliant shelf companies with bank accounts that we pre-register and file for a name change and transfer ownership to you, once you reserved your desired name and buy the Company from us. This allows you to collect funds immediately with a generic name and a legitimate TRN number while we make the desired changes to your new company details.

Learn more about your options at StartupRobot the next time you need to register a company in Jamaica.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.