NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Parliamentarians on Tuesday passed a bill in the House of Assembly, which according to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, will make it easier for Bahamians to enter into and sustain small businesses.
During the final sitting before the Christmas break, Parliament approved the Bill for an Act to amend the Business License Act, 2018.
The Bill is an amendment to the previous Business License Act, which was passed during the last budget.
The Prime Minister said after consultation with the business community, the government is rolling back on the requirement for business owners to have audited financial and bank statements.
However, Dr Minnis made it clear that Bahamians with businesses generating revenue of $100,000 or less will still be exempt from business license fees.
“In light of the recently debated legislation around our offshore sector, we will defer these and other planned changes until such is considered a broader tax reform effort,” Dr Minnis said.
“This will mean we shall revert to the status quo before July of this year, which required businesses with a turnover of $100,000 or greater to submit with their renewal application a certified statement of verification signed by a licensed member of BICA.”
Opposition Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said while the opposition supports the bill, it is obvious the government is now scrambling to undo what many people told them they should never have done in the first place.
“One would think we would get tired of telling this government ‘I told you so’ but one does not because again I did tell you and again you did not listen and again you end up looking like you don’t know what you are doing,” Cooper said.
“Because somewhere in your head, you cannot fathom that grown men and women who invested a lifetime in these businesses do not have their own sense to know what is good or bad for their business.”