Forms of Business Organisation
Forms of business ownership include single ownership (i.e. sole proprietorship), partnership (in any form), and company (incorporated businesses both domestic and foreign). No regulations govern the proportion of ownership by partners or joint ventures in a partnership. Rather, the individual concerned has the right to choose whether to invest alone or to have partners, and to determine the form of that relationship. With regards to a private incorporated company, there must be at least 1 and no more than 20 shareholders. There are no restrictions on the nationality of shareholders. The company’s capital structure may comprise more than one class of shares including redeemable preference shares, with such conditions as the articles may provide. Shares in a company are without nominal or par value.
The Business Names (Registration) Act and the Partnership Act are the governing regulatory documents for single ownerships, partnerships, and companies. The Companies Act (9/91) governs the registration of an incorporated business. Though three different acts address the different business types, the government office for business registration of any kind is the Deeds Registry in Georgetown.
Incorporation, Registration and Fees
The process for incorporating a business is relatively straightforward, and takes, on average, approximately 8 working days. Incorporated or foreign firms may wish to engage a competent lawyer to facilitate the process and save time. Registering a foreign company requires additional steps.
Information and Documents Required to Incorporate a Company
• The proposed name of the company.
• The proposed address of the registered office in Guyana.
• The classes and any maximum number of shares that the company is authorised to issue
• Registration of shares, if any.
• Number (or minimum/maximum) of directors.
• Restrictions on business the company may carry out, if any.
• The names, addresses, occupations and signatories of owners.
• The names and addresses of directors and secretary.
Information and Documents Required to Register a Foreign or “External” Firm
• The name of the company.
• The jurisdiction within which the company was incorporated.
• The date of its incorporation.
• The manner in which it was incorporated.
• The particulars of its corporate instruments.
• The period, if any, fixed by its corporate instruments for the duration of the company.
• The extent, if any, to which the liability of the shareholders/members of the company is limited.
• The undertaking that the company will carry out in Guyana.
• The date on which the company intends to commence its undertakings in Guyana.
• The authorised, subscribed and paid-up or stated capital of the company and the shares that the company is authorised to issue and their nominal or par value, if any.
• The full address of the registered or head office of the companies outside Guyana.
• The full address of the principal office of the company in Guyana.
• The full names, addresses and occupations of the directors of the company.
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