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Business Registration 

Sole Trader, Sole Practitioner, Partnership

Under the Registration of Business Names Act Chapter 82:85 a business (including a profession) or a firm (an unincorporated body of two or more individuals) may register under the provisions of this act as a legal entity for purposes of trade. The steps for registration include reserving the business name via a name search reservation and proceeding to register the business within 21 days. After registration the proprietor (or partners as the case may be) is responsible for maintaining the books and records of the business (or partnership) and for compliance with legislation enacted and enforce. A proprietor (or partner) is also required to furnish an income tax return annually. Key points to note are as follows:


  • Liable to pay Green Fund Levy at the rate of 0.3% on gross sales or receipts

  • Required to file an Income Tax Return for partnerships (annually).

  • Value Added Tax (VAT) registration if income exceeds $500,000 in any successive twelve (12) months.

Proprietors and Individual Partners

  • Required to file an Income Tax Return for individuals (Non-Emolument) annually.

  • Liable to pay Business Levy at the rate of 0.6% on gross sales or receipts if income is above $250,000 after three years of commencement of trading (usually interpreted as commencing from the date of registration) and subsequently thereafter.

  • Liable to pay PAYE at the rate of 25% on the profits after deducting business expenses and personal allowances (where applicable). Chargeable profits over $1,000,000 are taxed at the rate of 30%.

  • Liable to pay Health Surcharge at the rate of $8.25 per week (or $429 per annum) if below the age of 60 years.

Businesses (including Partnerships) carry Unlimited Liability in Trinidad & Tobago.


Liability being the condition by which shareholders are legally responsible for the debts of a company only to the extent of the nominal value of their shares and is thus only available to limited liability companies.

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