The Process of Legally Registering a Business in Guyana and the additional Requirements for Registering with the Small Business Bureau
Types of Businesses
Sole Trader under the Business Name Registration (can still employ people).
Partnership: Can be done by way of a simple Agreement or under the Business Name Registration (as above). Up to 50 names can be registered under a partnership, but more than this then must register as a Limited Liability Company.
Limited Liability Company under the Companies’ Act. Minimum fee to register is around GUY$30,000 plus strict company formation, auditing and reporting requirements.
A Cooperative under the Cooperative Societies Act. This is a business arrangement between individuals who have voluntarily come together, pooling their financial, human and other resources to pursue common economic, social and cultural aims by means of a business and is explicitly about sharing the profits. No cost to register.
A Friendly Society or Friendly Association. A group with a common interest or goal. The sole interest is not financial but this is a spin-off benefit. If assets are accumulated that benefit the members then they don’t belong to any single member but to the group as a whole. Any profits made are pooled, to develop the aims of the Society. E.G. to build an extension to a processing plant. Minimum of GUY$1,000 to register. Note: Friendly Societies are not always recognized legal business entities in terms of accessing bank finance.
Registering your Business with the State Regulatory Agencies – The Process
If you are a small business owner and your business is not registered, then follow this step by step guide to complete the process:
Step 1- Certificate of Business Registration
1. Approach the Deeds Registry (Ministry of Legal Affairs) in your respective business district. A list of the Deeds Registry Offices in Guyana is in Appendix 1.
2. Ensure you have a name for the business and an address to fill out on the application form.
3. Uplift and complete the business registration form. Note: Form is also available on line via a link at http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/deeds-registry/registry-overview.html
4. Currently a registration fee of G$6,500.00 will be charged for first time registration and G$ 2,500.00 for annual renewal.
5. Process time— five working days.
Step 2 –Tax Identification Certificate (TIN- Certificate)
1. Approach any Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) office in your respective business district. A list of the Deeds Registry Offices in Guyana is in Appendix 1.
2. Present original & a copy of your ID card or Passport
3. Uplift application form, complete and return to GRA Office.
Note: Form is also available on line at: http://www.gra.gov.gy/images/Forms/comptin.pdf
Step 3- A Certificate from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS)
1. Approach the NIS office (Ministry of Finance) in your respective business district.
2. You will need to provide your Certificate of Business Registration and NIS card, if
Available, ID card and monthly receipts of your business if self employed or most recent pay slips if last in employment.
3. Uplift form and complete. NIS or SBB officers can guide you to fill out the form.
Note: Form is also available on line at: http://www.nis.org.gy/pdf/FORM%20R1%20Application%20for%20Registration%20as%20Employer.pdf
NB: There is no cost for registration and the process takes 3—4 working days.
Step 4- A business license to operate. (ONLY REQUIRED BY CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF BUSINESS)
There is one additional Step if the business is of a type that requires a license to operate (e.g. Fast Food Outlet, Restaurant, Cigarette or Liquor Retailer, Lottery store or Retail Shop etc.).
A business license is needed to regulate business practices in order to establish how certain items can be sold, to whom, and safety serving standards
Present Certificate of Business Registration to the License Office along with:
Approved building plan from Mayor and City Council.
Sanitary letter from NDC or Mayor and City Council.
Letter of approval from the Guyana Fire Service.
Identification Card & Tax Identification number (TIN).
Inspection of business premise is required before Business License is granted
It costs GY $5,000.00; this varies according to the location of the business.
Registering with the Small Business Bureau (SBB)
In addition to the above Laws of Guyana criteria, to register with the Small Business Bureau, the business must fall within at least two of the following three conditions:
- Employs less than 25 persons
- Has gross annual revenues of not more than G$60M
- Has total business assets not exceeding G$20M
One of the advantages of registering with the SBB is that as an ‘approved small business’ you will benefit from the Government procurement opportunities.
Section 2 (11) (1) of the Small Business Act requires that Government procures at least twenty percent (20%) of goods and services annually from small businesses. The Small Business Bureau is tasked with drafting and implementing a Small Business Procurement Program (SBPP) which will facilitate the 20% procurement.
The SBPP will provide real opportunities for small businesses. Government is the largest purchaser of goods and services and thus government contracts could aid in providing a source of reliable and sustainable growth for small businesses.
To register contact the Bureau at 225-3276/227-1439