Trade and business changes remove ‘inconvenience’

A few aspects of Cayman’s licensing regime for local businesses will be changed during the next Legislative Assembly meeting, partially in response to concerns expressed by the private sector.

Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said this week that a number of changes proposed to the law, which received a wholesale revamp during 2014-2015, aim to reduce the “inconvenience” associated with some licensing provisions.

For instance, requirements that police clearances be obtained are proposed to be removed for shareholders of publicly traded companies. Only the directors of those companies listed on the stock exchange needed apply for clearance.

For non-public companies, only those individuals with significant level of interest [10 percent ownership] would have to apply for such clearances.

To receive trade and business licenses, companies are still required to obtain a pension plan and healthcare coverage for workers, but that requirement has been removed for owners.

Requirements to provide banking details for renewal trade and business licenses can be substituted by providing a local bill in the license applicant’s name for services such as electricity or water.

Among other changes the proposed amendments seek to make are:

Proper classifications of “money services businesses,” including those that offer “payday loans” for people who don’t have bank accounts

Clarification of fees charged to license both real estate brokerage firms and licensed individual brokers

Clarification of how many properties an individual may rent for profit before having to obtain a trade and business license. The bill states any individual can rent out up to two properties before obtaining a trade license.

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