Business Names Bill now in Parliament - Solomon Star News

Business Names Bill now in Parliament

20 August 2014

THE Business Names Bill 2014 is part of the Government’s on-going program of reforming business laws to bring them into line with modern best practice and the conditions of Business in Solomon Islands.

The Bill when becomes an Act will provide for the Registration and use of Business Names, for the Repeal of the Registration of the Business Names Act (cap. 178) and for related purposes.

This Act will replace the existing outdated Registration of Business Names law.

Therefore, the objects of this Bill are to:

-        Ensure that, if an entity carries on a business under a business name, those who engage or propose to engage with that business can identify and contact the entity;

-        To ensure that business names that are the same or almost the same as other business names, or the registered names of companies, charitable trusts or co-operative societies, are not used where that would confuse or mislead; and

-        To ensure that business names that should not be used, including because they are misleading, deceptive or offensive to the public, are not used

When introducing the Bill, the Minister of Commerce, Industries, Labour& Immigration, Elijah DoroMuala,explained that the reason for this new Bill is that the existing Registration of Business Names Act is outdated and needs to be replaced entirely.

“The current system is paper-based and it takes two to four weeks after an application is received to register a business name,” he said.

He stated that this outdated law creates unnecessary inefficiencies and places unfair costs on the private sector in Solomon Islands and in particular those in the Provinces.

Mr DoroMuala further elaborated that the Bill is aimed at promoting a strong private sector development and in particular the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) that has ready access to business name registration and the benefits of entering the private sector that goes with it.

According to MrDoroMuala the new Bill will create a more efficient business name registration system that can take less time and resources, especially for people living in rural areas who are finding it difficult to access registration of their business names.

These “Business names”, or sometimes known as “trading names”, enable entities to differentiate themselves in the market and communicate with their customers about their business activities.

He said over one thousand new businesses emerged every year in the Provinces and Villages and the existing Registration of Business Names is somewhat inaccessible for our small business to register their Businesses hence the importance to have an up to date Business Names law.

Therefore, this new Bill is intended to provide entrepreneurs with flexible ways to have their business names registered as separate entity.

The new reforming systems of the Bill are:

-        Reducing the time taken to register business names

-        Keeping information electronically

-        Encouraging more informal businesses to enter the formal economy and

-        Assisting government activities such as National Provident Fund Contributions, tax enforcement and issuing business licenses.

The passage of this Bill will be accompanied by an upgrade of the current Business Names Register to a new electronic system.

This system will also allow entities to register for business names, and provide the required reporting on-line and members of the public will have online access to the register for free.

By Joy Angi
Parliament Media