It’s the season of giving: What you should know about Charitable Organizations

If you are thinking of establishing a charity, or have already started one and considering registration, this week we are looking on the process and requirements under the Charities Act (2013).

The Act defines a charitable organisation as:

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Starting A Business: Sole Trader and Registration of Business Name

According to the World Bank Doing Business Report for 2018, Jamaica is ranked number 5 in the World for ease of starting a business. The Companies Office of Jamaica should be commended for continuously improving its procedure.  Over the next few weeks we will examine the various legal structures and factors influencing Entrepreneurs’ choice of registration.

Registering a business as a sole trader is the easiest form of registration in Jamaica. The Registration of Business Act stipulated in section 3(1) that this registration is for any individual or firm buying or selling goods from an established address or any individual or firm offering services from an established address in a name other than its/their own, for example: Joan Pitters offering services in her name need not be registered. However, Joan Pitters operating as Joan’s Meat or Joan Pitters & Associates must be registered. A business name will not be registered if it is identical or too close to the name of an existing trader, individual or firm registered under the Business Names or Companies Act 2004.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of registering a sole trader.


  1. Absence of formalities in the organisation of the business
  2. Absence of regulation, lower cost ($2,500jmd) and privacy
  3. No requirement to file annual returns


  1. Personal liability for all debts incurred. Because the sole proprietorship is in essence the proprietor, there is no distinction in law between so called business assets and personal assets. Likewise, there is no distinction between business debts and personal debts.
  2. Limited options for financing opportunities- the organisational structure of the sole proprietorship provides no mechanism by which other investors may participate in the business. Therefore, one cannot sell shares to raise capital for the business. The only source of financing other than him/herself would be through bank loans or grants.

The Business Registration Form (BRF1) otherwise called the “Super Form” is used for registration. If you are unsure about the best legal structure for your business, contact an Attorney-at-Law for guidance. Registration of your business is imperative to operate legally within the jurisdiction.

About Author:

Abi-Gaye White-Thomas B.A., LL.B (Hons)
Manchester, Jamaica

Tel: (876)964-4046
Whatsapp: (876)827-8050

Adopting a Child in Jamaica

Over the past weeks, I have dialogued with a few professionals who have expressed their desire to adopt a child. Adoption is a very personal decision for prospective parents to make. It’s impossible to say there is one reason why people adopt — because, in actuality, every family chooses adoption for different reasons. Adoption is the process by which a child’s biological parental rights are transferred to another adult or a couple who will assume all the responsibilities of raising the child. In Jamaica, there are two types of adoption procedures:

  1. Application for an Adoption Order – this is required to complete an adoption locally
  2. Application for a Licence – this is required when seeking approval for the child to be released to citizens of scheduled countries to be adopted abroad.

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Farm Land Lease and Its Importance

As an Attorney-at-Law practicing in the parish of Manchester for over two years, I have come across several civil matters involving farm lands. Whether the issue is with the landlord or the tenant, the first thing I ask the client is, “Do you have a lease agreement?”

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6 Key Steps After An Accident

Many motorists are having the unfortunate experience of dealing with a collision, which can result in serious injury, as well as loss of life and property. Below are 6 key things to do at the scene of the accident and soon afterwards:

  • Stay at the Scene

Never leave the accident scene until it’s appropriate to do so. If you leave, particularly where someone has sustained injuries or was killed, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run driver. Make notes in respect of any tyre marks on the road, positions of the vehicles and take photos if a camera is available

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What is Personal Injury?

Personal Injury is that body of law that deals with the issue of liability and compensation where one is injured as a result of an accident. That accident may fall within the category of a motor vehicle accident, an accident while one is on the job, a slip and fall or any other accident tor incident where because of the Negligence of another person, injury results to a Claimant.

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