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Options for business owners on when they want to renew business licenses

The government in the 2019/2020 budget will give business owners the flexibility of choosing four options when they want to renew their business licenses, as part of its measures to facilitate the ease of doing business in The Bahamas.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday while presenting the 2019/2020 budget communication, that the business community has been asking for this change.

“This revision is something that the business community has been requesting for some time, given that their fiscal years do not always coincide with the calendar year,” he said.

“The amended legislation also makes provision for a transitional phase to allow for the necessary adjustments to be made by the business community.

“These are specifically associated with amendments to the Business Licence Act, which will allow for flexible dates for the submission and issuance of business licenses. Thus, as opposed to being restricted to an application deadline of January 31, and a payment deadline of March 31 for renewals and new applications, there will now be four periods in the calendar year, when businesses can now select a time designation as their payment date so as to better correspond to their respective fiscal years. They can choose either March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.”

In order to improve the ease of doing business for businesses interested in the export of services, the government is removing the taxation of revenue from these businesses and the VAT will be exempted. These services exports include accounting services, legal services, information technology services, management consulting services and, of course, financial services.

Turnquest said this will “make it easier for Bahamians to compete on a global scale”.

“Consistent with the recent legislative change to equalize the playing field for Bahamians in removing preferential exemptions for non-residents, we are implementing a broader policy of incentivizing the export of services across the board for all Bahamians,” he said.

“In this digital economy, export services are growing rapidly and we do not want Bahamians to be constrained within our territorial borders. In fact, we want to incentivize them to build clientele on the international market, taking advantage of all the business opportunities that can be delivered through a mobile device or on a computer. As Bahamians increase their skill sets and expand their reach, there will be increasing opportunities to participate in the export economy.”

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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