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Oct 15, 2021

CEO Explains Trade License Reforms

The Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labor and Local Government is moving to modernizes and standardize the trade license regime. This week’s Cabinet brief noted that Cabinet approved the implementation of these reforms. To bring some clarity about how these reforms will affect businesses, News Five spoke to CEO in the Ministry, Valentino Shal via zoom.


Valentino Shal, CEO, Rural Transformation

“For a very long time businesses in municipalities have been complaining about an uneven playing field, when it comes to the charges they pay, the fees they pay for trade license. It is very arbitrary, and there is no standardized way of determining what each business will pay. So, they want a level playing field. They want to be certain what their fees are going to be, this year and the next year, and the year after. So, this is what this reform initiative is about. It’s creating a standard format for determining trade license and trade licensing fees in all of Belize’s municipalities. This is being done by for instance zoning municipalities, categorizing businesses, so that two businesses, two barbershops, for instance, in Belize City will pay two different fees. But, it will be determined by which area of the city they are in. If you are outside, maybe on Fabers Road, it is likely that your fees will be less than if you are a barber on Albert Street. This rationalizes, this makes it easier for businesses to know, if I go in this zone this is the rate I will pay, if I go in this zone this is the rate I will pay depending on the nature of the business. The other part of it is that the way trade licensing is determined at the moment is that when the valuator come to your business, they measure everything, including your parking lot, and they charge you for that. What we are doing now, we are removing that type of charge. We are saying you should be charged on your productive space where you actually do business. The amenities that your business provides, you should not be taxed on.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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