Before you commence the operation of any business, you should contact the Inland Revenue Division for information on what you are required to do to ensure that your business is operated within the scope of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Your first obligation will be to register that Business, by completing a Registration Form . Upon registration, you will be told whether you require a Licence to operate and what the type it would be.
You may also download a copy of the Starting a Business (PDF, 601 KB) document.
Any person who intends to carry on a Business in any building or premises must first obtain from the Inland Revenue Division, a Parlour/Store Licence in respect of that building or premises. The fee payable is based on the value of your trading stock and therefore a Revenue Officer will come to your premise to value the stock. Persons who trade in Livestock or anything made or manufactured in Dominica do not require a Licence. Also, according to the time of the year that your are opening your business, the licence fee may be apportioned. For instance if you are opening your business during the second half of the year, you will need to pay one half of the applicable licence fee.
A Huckster is a person who carries or exposes goods for sale otherwise than in a building. Any person who carries on business in such a manner requires a Hucksters' Licence. Persons who sell from trays/stalls require an ordinary Hucksters' Licence while persons who sell from vehicles require an Itinerant Hucksters' Licence.
Any person who intends to apply to sell Liquor, must within 21 days give notice in writing to the Magistrate and the Commissioner of Police of their intention to do so. They must also publish the same notice in one of the public newspapers on some day within two to four weeks before the proposed application. There are different Liquor Licences that someone can apply for depending on the type of business they intend to operate. They are: the Wholesale, Retail, Tavern, Hotel, Restaurant, Club and Night Bar Licences . The fees and hours of operation for each of these Licences differ. There is also an Occasional Liquor Licence issued by the Comptroller of Inland Revenue . Such licence may be issued to any person to sell liquor by retail at any public entertainment, show, festivity or meeting or at any other gathering where refreshments are likely to be required.
In obtaining a Liquor Licence, the premises is licenced and so if for any reason, there is a change of business address, a new licence MUST be obtained. This essentially means that the applicant would have to follow the same procedure as before to obtain the new licence.
Any person who sells goods, property etc by public auction or anyone who practices a profession must first obtain a Professional Licence from the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.
Value Added Tax
On March 1st 2006, the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) was implemented. V.A.T. is levied on the value added or mark up that one business charges another or the final consumer when a good or service is provided. At the date of its implementation the V.A.T. replaced Consumption Tax, Entertainment Tax, Hotel Occupancy Tax and Sales Tax.
V.A.T. is a tax on consumer spending and it therefore collected on government's behalf by registered business. However, in order to qualify for registration, business must satisfy the Comptroller of Inland Revenue that they will generate annual gross sales in excess of two hundred & fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00).
You may also see the VAT Application for Refund form.
Most people have to pay Income Tax on their earnings or profits in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act . Income Tax is charged on Income of all kinds, including Earnings, Rents, Dividends, Pensions and Income from overseas . However, some Income is exempt from Income Tax, such as Age Benefit payable by the Dominica Social Security , Interest from Banks in Dominica and Income from Agriculture.
As a self-employed person, you will be responsible for the calculation and payment of the Income Tax due by you. For this reason, the Income Tax Act requires that you keep full and accurate records of all your trading transactions.
You may also see the Notice of Claim for VAT Refund Form.