(CNS Business): Starting this month, the Department of Commerce and Investment will be clamping down on rogue businesses who have not paid for their trade and business licences or who are not compliant with the other laws. Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said he wants to see a level playing field in the local business environment. Unpaid or non-compliant licences will be revoked from now on and businesses will need to pay up before they can resume operations.
“These provisions are designed to encourage compliance with the TBL, ensure that businesses are properly regulated, and foster fair competition on a level playing field,” Panton said. “This serves the interests of the economy and consumers alike.”
DCI officials warned that people operating a business using expired trade and business licences will be fined if they do not correct the situation within the prescribed timeframe. A licensee who fails to pay the renewal fee within 28 days after the expiry date of the licence could be liable for a surcharge of 25 percent of their renewal fee, which increases every month or part of a month that the renewal fee is not paid, until the licence is eventually revoked.
The department said it began notifying affected licensees of the potential fines and revocations in December and owners whose licences expired on or before 31 December have until Tuesday, 28 February, to renew, otherwise the unpaid licences will be revoked from Wednesday, 1 March. However, no penalties can be assessed because those licences were issued under the previous TBL.
But businesses with licences that expired on or after 1 January have 28 days to renew and under the new regime they will begin incurring penalties from Sunday, 29 January. The DCI said it will begin revoking these expired licenses as of 1 June.
To operate legally in the future, business owners will have to pay all of the outstanding fees, including fines, and the fees associated with applying for an entirely new licence grant rather than a renewal.
Category: Local Business