Friday, February 12, 2016

Business Licenses for 7 Categories Not Required

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Hj Mohd Abdoh Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Salam (R) and Deputy Permanent Secretary Hj Mohd Sunadi Hj Buntar (L) at a press conference. Picture: BT/Koo Jin Shen

Koo Jin Shen
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Friday, February 12, 2016

SEVEN business activities scheduled under the Business Licence Act are now exempt from the rule requiring a business licence, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced.

The activities are:

(1) Eateries, 
(2) Boarding and lodging houses or other places of public resort; 
(3) Street vendors and stalls; 
(4) Motor vehicle dealers; 
(5) Petrol stations including places for storing petrol and inflammable material; 
(6) Timber store and furniture factories; and 
(7) Retail shops and workshops.
In a press conference held at the ministry headquarters yesterday, senior ministry officials announced the changes, noting these were initiatives to promote a pro-business and business-friendly environment in Brunei.

These seven business activities made up of about 80 per cent of the overall business activities in Brunei, said deputy permanent secretary Hj Mohammad Sunadi Hj Buntar.

“Like retail shops, it comprises a lot of business activities, could be supermarket, could be shops selling sport accessories or garments, sundries shops and so on,” he said.

This meant that businesses that fall under these activities can now start businesses once they have received approval for their business name or company incorporation at the Registry of Companies and Business Names, an application process which can be done completely online.

“You also no longer need to pay the registration cost of about $50” if companies fall under one of the seven business activities, said Permanent Secretary Hj Mohd Abdoh Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Salam.

While these activities no longer need to apply for the business licence, they would still need to comply with existing rules and regulations regarding the type of business they plan to conduct, said officials.

Officials note that inspections on business premises will continue to be implemented and carried out by the respective government enforcement agencies in accordance to existing legislation, regulations and guidelines laid out by the relevant ministry and departments.

Officials suggest that anyone wishing to start a business also visit relevant government agencies to seek clarification if they are unsure of a particular issue. Relevant agencies include Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health, Industry Division under the Prime Minister’s Office, Fire and Rescue Department, the Land Transport Department and the Authority for Building and Construction Industry (ABCi).

Officials also stated that business activities that require authorisation or approval by other agencies are still in force and should be adhered to.

“If it fails, then the relevant agencies can act to restrict the business activities,” said Hj Mohd Sunadi.

Hj Mohd Sunadi noted one example of a business activity that still requires a business licence is establishing business related to beauty and health, such as spas, salons, hairdressing and massage, he said.

The Brunei Times

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