BVI News

New trade licence policies coming down the pipeline

The building that houses the Department of Trade, Investment, Promotion & Consumer Affairs.

The government is expected to roll out regulations in the near future that govern how persons can set up businesses in the territory.

This is according to Trade Minister, Lorna Smith, who told lawmakers in the House of Assembly recently that the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs is currently working to develop formal trade licensing policies and procedures.

Many people have complained about bottlenecks at the Trade Department, including reports that some applicants are asked for documentation of their ability to run their business effectively. There have also been complaints about the time it takes to get approval or even denials for some trade licenses.

Smith was asked by Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn to explain why a degree in Information Technology (IT) was necessary to establish an e-commerce or social media business and whether there was any legislation that gives the Department the authority to do this.

In response, Minister Smith said: “There is currently no trade law or Cabinet-approved policy that explicitly stipulates the necessity for degrees or certifications in the context of business licensing.”

The Trade Minister acknowledged that the requirement for degrees and certifications to start a business has sometimes applied to unregulated professions and industries, but explained that each application is typically assessed on its own merits.

The Minister said her goal is to implement clear, fair, and robust trade licensing policies and procedures based on best practice, as soon as the necessary resources are in place to do so.

However, Smith cautioned that the practice of certain trades and professions is regulated by various other pieces of legislation. She said these serve to ensure the competency and professional standard of individuals in these fields.

“It is within my purview as minister to address any perceived gaps or ambiguities in our current policies,” Smith said.



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  1. THE SPANIARDS says:

    are taking over main street who ain’t selling their body , selling food aka ( sweat food ) when you eat that you will be going back for more ,so you will be hooked and some baking , ( ladies when your man start acting weird or freaky , check where he eating from ),( to the man leave that Spanish food
    for the spaniards / do these people have a license to to do that ? and if some people see how and
    where they prepare their sh*tty food you would think twice before you put it in your mouth. ( you are warned ) And some of them are tapping into the government water lines , and they aemre always adding something on to the building/ but don’t take my word for it , just walk around and OBSERVE for yourself

    Like 11
    Dislike 17
  2. Ditto says:

    And make sure they are not squatting illegally or on gov property. A business should prove ownership of property or legal lease. Too many squatters!!!!!

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  3. HonestTruth says:

    Why should it matter? If someone with no IT experience wants to start an IT business why can’t they? If it doesn’t work out it is they who lose, government still gets its pay.

    Like 15
    Dislike 3
  4. Blind man says:

    Instead of making it easier for people to own their own business she trying to make it harder a dream killer is what you are only for the wealthy just like your husband, Sowanda in for trouble.

    Like 17
    Dislike 3
  5. LOL says:


    Like 4
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  6. LB says:

    Trade needs a full overhaul.

    If I want to open a law firm, why do I need a law degree? Can’t I simply have the financing and hire lawyers? I am not applying to practice law myself, I am applying to own and run a legal services business. I have the money and business management acumen.

    Do I have to be a chef to open a restaurant?

    Why does a simple business name change on a trade Licence have to take 3weeks? Even to change a simple letter in the name! Even if you present the documents.

    Why do I have to write a high school “what did you do this summer” type essay to apply for a trade Licence? All the info you need is on the application form!

    What is the purpose is taking my phone number and email on the application form if you aren’t going to use it? Weeks later you have to go back in to check in your trade Licence only to find out that they want a food handler certificate from you. Well why didn’t you call me or email me with your additional requirements.

    And so much more

    Like 38
    Dislike 4
  7. @THE SPANIARDS says:

    Must suck to be so MISERABLE in life!

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  8. BS says:

    A BVI islander should be able to start any business they want without a TL. It should not be up to a Govt person to say if I can or can not own that business. The only thing that should be regulated is the safety aspect of the business.
    The whole system needs demolishing and start again. TL stop business with all their ridiculous bits of paper required.

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  9. Jim Bob says:

    Me too.squatting. Nobody cant tell me nothing. Baugers bay.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. They dont have to go thru all this bull says:

    Now i see why some people prefer to be in the drug trade

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  11. hmm says:

    This the problem with Trade. You have workers that would see how good your idea is starts to block your application from processing in hopes that you forget about it or just plain out deny the application.
    I have an application that went in for 8 weeks and counting and nobody can find the application. What nonsense is that! sometimes it’s the workers that is the problem, not the system.

  12. Licher and Sticher Good says:

    Blah blah blah…all they want to do is increase fees. That’s their answer for a slow and aging infrastructure on all fronts. She herself is tired and dried up so I do not expect any innovative ideas from this 70 yr old. She need to go home, air out her wig and take a nap

  13. Rubber Duck says:

    Trade licensing is used to protect the monopolies of the elite from competition.

    They dont want competition from outside or inside the country.

  14. SK says:

    Trade License…, pay a fee, get a license. Let’s face it, it’s just another fee to raise funds for the government (no big deal) so why make it hard.


  15. @HonestTruth says:

    I agree with you. That is why it’s called a business. If someone sees a niche to operate, they apply for a license and hire the expertise that is needed. Even if the business owner has the necessary certification, they can’t do it on their own(depending on the size of the business). The government just need to stop the foolishness.

  16. WEW says:

    As long as the business doesn’t compete with any big families business no problem if it does _NO LICENSE ! or they cancel it.

  17. Read says:

    Spaniards come from the nation of Spain. Spanish-speaking persons come from places which Spain colonized. If you are going to insult people with incorrect sweeping generalizations, at the very least you should know how to refer to them…

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