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How do I start a same day loan company in Jamaica?

by Brandal Clayton
(Portland, Jamaica)

Great question from Brandon! And at a time like this, perfect timing too! And although this one is about a same day loan company, general information and references are also provided for businesses in general.

Here's his question...

Information in Jamaica is as elusive as ever, I want to start a same day loan company, but I don’t know the process. What steps to take, who to talk to, who do I register with, do I need a license? Is so, where do I apply? What are the requirements?

- Brandon, Portland Jamaica.

RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke, Associate Writer

Hi Brandon,

Thank you for your questions. First of all I must say "Congratulations" on wanting to start your own company. I will be happy to assist you by providing the answers to your questions and as much information as possible.

Understandably, the information you are requesting is not very forthcoming and may partly be due to the fact that measures are underway to regularize the business with the passage of the Microcredit bill which is known as the Microcredit Act.

This was first tabled in parliament on February 26, 2019. This bill will seek to curtail lending practices that are predatory to consumers such as exorbitant interest rates which tend to go over 50 percent and also intimidation practices to get borrowers to repay their debts.

It will also require lenders to apply for a licence through the Bank Of Jamaica (BOJ) who would be the supervising body.

There has been a number of adjustments to this bill and I am unable to get any update at this time as to whether this bill has been passed as yet as the timeline appears to be uncertain.

As such, I would suggest that you religiously follow any updates on the passage and enactment of this bill as this would be the ultimate guide to your operations along with the Money Lending Act, which is another act that you should familiarize yourself with for this business.

It is important to note that the Microcredit act does not replace the Money Lending Act. Currently the Money Lending Act (about 11 pages) and the Companies Act, 2004 (about 400 pages) are the two main statues that govern the operations of same day loan businesses.

And I suggest that you also familiarize yourself with:

  1. The Income Tax Act
  2. The Consumer Protection Act
  3. The Fair Competition Act
  4. The Labour Relations and Industrial Dispute Acts

As an aspiring business owner or company owner, I suggest you do some extensive reading to get an understanding of these acts.

For now, I would suggest you first get your company name registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica; you can also register your business name online and ensure that you select reputable persons for your board of directors.

They too will be able to point you to the relevant department and agencies.

We also have a related article on this, please see the link below for the requirements for registering a business or company.

You may also want to form an alliance or become a member of the Jamaica Association of Micro Financing (JAMFIN) for additional support. Membership fees can be up to $5,000 monthly depending on the size of the company.

I hope this was helpful. Best of luck and success as you embark on this journey.

P.S. Related: Do I need a work permit to work in Jamaica?.



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