The Business Licensing Ordinance requires all individuals or corporations wishing to engage in business activities in or from within the Turks & Caicos Islands to obtain a Business License with the exception of Banks, Insurance Providers & Corporate Managers/Agents.
All licenses expire annually on March 31st but the Business Licence Renewal process commences February until end of April which is allotted as a grace period using the prescribed Business Licence Renewal Form. As such, penalties are applied as of 1st of May each year at a rate of 10% per month and licence holders are generally advised to cancel inactive licenses to avoid penalties as it does not restrict them from applying at a future date. Schedule 2 of the Business Licence Regulations prescribes renewal fees for business licenses which ranges from $10-$7,500 depending on the business activity. There are currently 15 prescribed categories and over 200 prescribed activities. 18 activities are restricted and 90 are reserved for Turks and Caicos Islanders.
Business Licence Applicants must complete the prescribed Business Licence Application Form and SIGTAS Registration Form. Applicants will be required to submit supporting documents including other licenses, permits, registrations or authorizations and may even be required to appear personally. Businesses engaging in several distinct undertakings must acquire the appropriate license for each activity.
Schedule 3 of the Business Licence Regulations list activities that are reserved for Turks & Caicos Islanders. Applicants will be required to present proof of Turks & Caicos Island Status in the form of a National Status Card. In addition, applicants whose activities are classified as restricted are required to provide a Summary Business Plan to be tendered for review by the Ministry of Finance and Cabinet.
From time to time, Cabinet may approve Moratoriums and instruct the Revenue Department accordingly to refrain from issuing Business Licenses for particular activities. Currently, moratoriums have been placed on Immigration Brokerage/Consultancy Services, Taxis and VIP Transportation Services.
Where the Revenue Department is satisfied that an application meets the requirements, a licence will be issued for the remainder of the Financial Year/until March 31st in the form prescribed in legislation. Failure to provide any particulars/documentation or to appear upon may result in a refusal.
Licensed establishments are required to display the issued licence conspicuously at the designated place of operation. A licence is granted based on the particulars submitted in the application and is not transferrable to another person/entity.
Any changes to the particulars submitted upon application must be communicated in writing to the Revenue Department within 30 days of the change. An internal/un-prescribed ‘Change in Particulars Form’ has been provided for the convenience.
Where a business ceases operation, the Revenue Department must be notified in writing within 30 days of cessation. Subsequently a confirmation of Cancellation will follow indicating an ‘Effective Date’ and separately a confirmation of De-Registration where the ceased activity was subject to tax.
More details can be obtained from Business Licence Brochure or contacting the Taxpayer Services of the Revenue Department.