Making it easier to do business among proposed amendments

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 16TH 2011 (CUOPM) – Proposed amendments making easier to register a company in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, changing the amount required to be deposited by insurance underwriters and providing for the availability and accessibility of certain information for tax purposes are among draft legislation to be debated at Thursday’s session of the National Assembly.

A proposed amendment to section 22 of The Companies Act will make it easier to register a company in the federation by removing the mandatory requirement for the company to have a seal to be registered.

This is in keeping with the regional movement to facilitate the ease of doing business in the Caribbean.

This amendment to the companies’ legislation has already been made in most of the OECS Member states and would now reflect what generally occurs in practice.

A proposed amendment to section 103 is as a result of the launching of the global forum phase one peer review assessment for St. Kitts and Nevis on 1st February.

This assessment was to determine whether the federation has adequate legislation in place to allow for information for tax purposes to be available and accessible in accordance with OECD standards and the saint Christopher and Nevis (Mutual Exchange of Information on Taxation Matters) Act No. 7 of 2009 among other things.

The Limited Partnerships Act is being amended making it mandatory for the general partners of every limited partnership to keep accounting records for at least five years which are sufficient to show and explain their transactions in respect of the limited partnership, disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the limited partnership and allow for the preparation of financial statements and are to include underlying documentation and must be kept to reflect details of all sums of money received and expended and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditures take place as well as all sales and purchases and other transactions, assets and liabilities of the relevant entity or arrangements

The proposed amendment to the Insurance Act makes provisions for underwriters of insurance to conduct any class of insurance business unless it has deposited with the Registrar in cash or partly in cash and partly in prescribed securities the greater of EC$200,000 or an amount equal to 20 percent of the premium income, net of insurance in respect of business carried on in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Proposed amendments to The Foundations Act and The Trusts Act include the requirements to keep proper record of accounts and documents, sales and purchases, assets and liabilities.

Shortcomings were identified by the Global Forum Phase One Review Assessment which began on February 1st 2011.

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