Any person who wishes to start and run a business in Trinidad and Tobago should have the business registered – especially if the business is going to be run using a name other than his or her own. So how do you register a business in T&T?
Step 1: Decide what type of business you want to register.
There are different types of businesses that you can register in T&T and you must decide which type works best for you. A business can be registered as: a sole trader, a partnership or as a company.
To learn more about sole traders:
To learn more about partnerships:
To learn more about companies:
Step 2: Do a Business Name Search
Once you’ve decided what type of business you want to register, you must then do a business name search to determine whether or not the business name you want is available - you can't register a business name that another business is already using.
You can search the business names public record at the Companies Registry at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs or you can do an online search HERE. This will help you determine if someone is already using the name you have selected or not.
Step 3: Submit Name Approval/Reservation Form
If the business name you want is available, the next step is to fill out an Application for Name Approval/Name Reservation and submit it to the Companies Registry.
If you are submitting a name approval/name reservation form for a sole trader or partnership business you would need to fill out and submit the following form:
Application for Name Approval/Name Reservation for Sole Trader (Individual) or Partnership
The fee on submission is $20.00TT
If you are submitting a name approval/name reservation form for a company, you would need to fill out and submit the following form:
Application for Name Approval/Name Reservation for a Company - Form 25
The fee on submission is $25.00TT
The processing time for the name approval is usually 5 working days. The Registrar of Companies will issue a Name Search/Name Reservation Status Form, indicating his decision. If the name is approved, you can go ahead with registering your business.
The procedures for registering a sole trader, partnership or company are different, therefore each one would be addressed separately below:
Registering a sole trader business
If the name for the sole trader business is approved, the applicant must submit the following to the Companies Registry for the sole trader business to be registered:
Registering a partnership business
If the name for the partnership business is approved, the applicant must submit the following to the Companies Registry for the partnership business to be registered:
Once all requirements are met, the business is then deemed to be registered once the Certificate of Business Registration of a Partnership has been issued.
Incorporating (registering) a profit company
If the name for the profit company is approved, the applicant must submit the following to the Companies Registry for the company to be incorporated:
Incorporating (registering) a non-profit company
If the name for the non-profit company is approved, the applicant must submit the following to the Companies Registry to obtain approval for the use of the proposed articles of incorporation of the company:
The processing time for approval is usually three (3) working days. The Registrar will then return the draft Articles of Incorporation, with a decision endorsed on it. If the draft Articles of Incorporation are approved, you must complete the incorporation process of the non-profit company by submitting the following to the Companies Registry:
The incorporation forms must be completed in duplicate, in block letters, or type written, and submitted in person to the Companies Registry. Once all requirements are met, the Registrar of Companies shall issue a Certificate of Incorporation.
Registration of businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Companies Registry has revised its procedures for the registration of businesses. They are now asking the public to use the Companies Registry Online Search and the Registration facilities at www.ttbizlink.gov.tt.
Important Notice: This post does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with an attorney on any legal problem or issue.
This website is managed by AURORA Chambers; a law practice in Trinidad and Tobago.
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YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ:
WHAT IS A SOLE TRADER?
WHAT IS A PARTNERSHIP?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE REGISTERING A COMPANY IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO