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Expired Trade and Business Licences Subject to Penalties and Revocation Published February 13th, 2017, 10:00 am

Starting this month, persons who operate their businesses using expired trade and business licences will be subject to paying fines and, if they do not correct the situation within the prescribed timeframe, having their licences revoked under the Trade and Business Licensing Law (TBL).

This is in accordance with section 23 (2) of the law, which addresses persons operating with expired licences. Unless waived by the Trade and Business Licensing Board, a licensee who fails to pay the renewal fee within 28 days after the expiry date of the licence must pay a surcharge not exceeding 25 percent of their renewal fee. The surcharge increases every month or part of a month that the renewal fee is not paid, until the licence is eventually revoked.

The Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI) has been notifying affected licensees of the potential fines and revocations since December 2016. Important dates for business owners to keep in mind are:

  • If your licence expired on or before 31 December 2016, you have until Tuesday, 28 February 2017 to renew your licence; otherwise it will be revoked as of Wednesday, 1 March 2017. No penalties can be assessed because these licences were issued under the previous TBL.
  • If your licence expired on or after 1 January 2017, you have 28 days to renew your licence. As the new TBL was in effect when these licences were issued, persons who do not renew their licences will begin to incur penalties as of Sunday, 29 January 2017. DCI will begin revoking these expired licences as of 1 June 2017.

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.

'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. This serves the interests of the economy and consumers alike,' said Commerce Minister Wayne Panton.

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