Simplified business license application process takes effect

Amendments to the Trade and Business Licensing Law that will further streamline and simplify the application process for trade and business licenses came into effect on Monday.

The amendments, first announced earlier this year, include the ability of the Trade and Business Licensing Board to access, with an applicant’s consent, company documents relevant to the application that had been filed with other government entities.

Another amendment exempts Caymanians and Permanent Residents from submitting a police clearance if they have lived on island for more than five years, and if their company does not fall into a category of business where the board will require a police clearance. These exceptions are child care, dance classes, after-school classes, preschool, baby-sitting, summer programs, elderly care, money lending, accounting, and wellness services specific to children.

Renewal applicants will also be able to self-validate their health insurance and pension information on the application form, with first-time applicants not being required to provide these details.

Caymanian applicants are no longer required to submit a bank reference or current utility bill with their application; whereas non-Caymanian applicants still need to provide this information. Under the changes, Cabinet now also has the power to make regulations that exempt certain applicants or categories of applicants from any or all provisions under the Law.

Minister for Commerce Joey Hew said it was one of the key tasks for government to remove the unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy for small businesses. “These amendments to the application for a Trade and Business License do that. We have now eased some of the burden on business owners and enable the Ministry to push forward with other initiatives that will help to make it easier to do business in the Cayman Islands.”

Other measures to cut red tape are that cover letters, business plans, strata approvals and character references are no longer needed for a license application.

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