Too much red tape!

Businessman complains about excessive regulation

Dear Editor

Overly burdensome regulations are stifling business in Barbados.

Every day we hear how difficult it is for young entrepreneurs to get finance for their projects in Barbados, so I was particularly interested when I heard of a new company that had been formed by a group of experienced finance professionals to take deposits from people who have money to invest and lend it on to people who wish to borrow money for their homes, businesses etc. I went along full of enthusiasm to hear the owners of the company present their new venture and honestly I was very impressed, so I told them that I would join their list of depositors and send them a cheque from one of our companies.  I was so happy that something more was being done to support business activity and growth.

Sounds simple enough, but alas I was soon to find out that there is no such thing as simple in Barbados anymore. Our regulators are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that they make it as difficult as possible to get anything done in Barbados now.   

The new finance company sent me the following list of things that our regulators require us to provide before they can accept a cheque from our company that has been in legitimate business in Barbados for over 30 years and has bank accounts with two banks.

(a) Certificate of incorporation.

(b) The name(s) and address(es) of the beneficial owners(s) (anyone owning 10% or more of the company) and/or the person on whose instructions the signature on the account are empowered to act.

(c) Memorandum, Articles of Association and By-Laws (and any amendments thereto).

(d) Resolution authorizing the opening of the account and conferring authority on one signatory to operate the account. Resolution, including full names of all directors and their specimen signatures and signed by no fewer than the number of directors required to make up a quorum.

(e) Copies of Powers of Attorney or other authorities given by the directors in relation to the company;

(f) A signed director’s statement as to the nature of the company’s business. The source of the company’s funds to invested and estimated total investment;

(g) Principal place of business, registered office and mailing address;

(h) Contact telephone, cell phone, business phone number, email address. Copy of ID (Passport (or drivers licence) of signatory empowered to operate the account. Details of the company bank account to be used to make or send withdrawals (copy of cheque or top portion of bank statement showing bank, branch and account number).

Now bear in mind that our company would have to have provided the banks with all this information before it could open an account so why the unnecessary duplication I ask? Can you picture a young business person who has recently started his or her business and is working non-stop to get production through the door to make ends meet, having to stop, seek a lawyer or corporate secretary and pay to get all these things done? Are we hell bent on being at the head of the list of the most difficult countries to do business in the world?

Ralph (Bizzy) Williams

Founder & Chairman of Williams Industries

11 Responses to Too much red tape!

  1. Julia Robinson
    Julia Robinson April 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for speaking out. Tried registering my organization in Bdos and it is a nightmare. “There is a form you need to fill out to add to your bylaws, but the computer is broken so I cannot tell you which form it is”. Can you believe that crap coming from a government organization which is suppose to help you. Half the people in these government offices don’t even know the regulations and procedures for getting things done. Shameful!

  2. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray April 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Welcome to Barbados.

  3. Helicopter(8P) April 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Brother Williams! That is what capitalism and protectionism has done to the globe. Past squandermania, greed and selfish adventures by the money cravers have led to such questioning applications for business purposes at micro and macro levels with the negative effect of your transactions, and internal operations being broadcast in the broad band spectrum of telecommunications. It’s an advancement in tranparency but can also be a breach in your own business privacy!

  4. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis April 26, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Ive got to convince my U.S. partners Barbados is a viable option to film a weekly action series and set up a studio here, right now the accountants and attorneys are complaining about the red tape and no local investors..saying Trinidad is more entertainment business friendly, this would be a positive thing for Barbados. time is running out

    • Eddy Murray
      Eddy Murray April 26, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Daniel, more action going to be in the USA soon so do not let them come yet.

  5. June Naime April 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

    That Is The Socialist Pattern…. Rules Rules and More Rules Under Guise Of ‘For Our Betterment’, When In Fact It Is A method Of Control And To Stifle Innovation… The Result , Nothing Is Accomplished Except Those Who Are Responsible For These Burdensome Regulations Are Fattened And Enlarged!!

  6. Andrew Simpson April 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve heard the terms “Implementation Deficit Disorder” and “Regulatory Paralysis”. Also ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’.
    I would suggest that these requirements be safely deposited at CAIPO (once) and that a simple certificate of eligibility for conducting business in Barbados be issued, upon application and remittance of a small fee, to authenticate companies going forward into new ventures such as this. They might call it an ECG (Essential Corporate Governance) Certificate.

  7. Kim April 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Go Bizzie!

  8. Laurie A Parker-Williams April 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Words of wisdom. Government needs to get out of our lives. They are suppose to help, not RULE our lives.

  9. Martina Pilé Zahles April 30, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I suppose that this will be the job of the next administration to remove all the red tape and obligations that are strangling our businesses and the country’s economy, if we are to have a thriving economic recovery in Barbados.

  10. Jeff Evanson May 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Ever notice how the lights mostly turn to red as you approach. That’s why they are called “Stop Lights” . Government folks love stop lights as opposed to traffic lights. Many good business ideas flounder at these institutional stop lights


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