1. Register your company name.
2. Acquire the appropriate work permits.
3. Register with Inland Revenue for taxes.
Easy peasy. Here's what you actually have to do:
1. Register your company name.
Woah, slow down there partner. You're a little too eager. Think you can just go online or something and figure out what to do? Goodness no! You'll have to head down to the capitol Roseau from Portsmouth. So fork up some cash, get a transport or a taxi, and spend an hour getting your butt down there. Oh, and don't even think about phoning them, because they won't answer. If you want to, you know, try to figure out where the actual building in which to register your company actually is, be prepared to ask a few locals: there aren't really any comprehensive landmarks or, you know, sidewalks in Roseau, and the office is up a completely unnoticeable set of stairs. But somehow, you manage to get there. Poof, voila.
|I hereby spare you the clusterfuck of finding the cursed office.|
After you've finally completed the form, and were unable to find this phantom "deed paper" anywhere, you print it on the nicest paper you can buy, and head on down again, spending your time and money on a taxi or transport.
"Boom." You say to the registrar as you sit down at her desk and place the document in front of her.
She lazily stares at the papers before her. Boredom seeps through her entire being.
"This is not deed paper," she says to you.
"Yes, but it is very very nice paper. Feel how thick it is!"
She stares at you for a minute. "I need to ask my supervisor." Then she leaves for five minutes. You notice that the ceiling is just as nondescript as you imagined it would be. She returns. "It's ok, we'll take it."
"Well thanks, that's nice of you."
She thumbs through the form. "Uh-oh."
Exhausted apprehension swells inside you. "What?"
"These pages should be double sided."
You look at her and shrug very slowly. She stares at you, her ennui threatening to destroy your soul by osmosis.
"I need to ask my supervisor."
"Right on." You wait five minutes. Behind you another employee chuckles at something she reads online. Good times. Your worker returns. "We'll glue them."
"We'll glue them. So they're double-sided."
"Great! I really, really appreciate your cooperation." You then watch her slowly glue the pages together, aligning the corners juuuuuuuuuuust so. They leave no stone unturned here. Finally, satisfied with her craftsmanship, she looks up at you. "And where is your twenty dollar stamp?"
"Your twenty dollar stamp."
"I don't know what that is."
She sighs. "It explains it on the form."
"Right...ok. Where can I get one?"
"There is a post office five blocks towards the bay. Turn right. Ask them."
"Great, thank you. This is very helpful."
So there you'll go, walking towards the bay, about to discover that they have all sorts of stamps of insane costs here, the purpose for which you doubt even the Prime Minister understands. But there it is in your hand, a stamp worth about 7.50 US in your hand, as you return to the registrar.
|Strange, it feels just like a regular stamp...|
"Ok, thank you," she tells you.
"Not a problem."
"Now I need your registration slip."
"Your registration slip."
"You're filling out my registration."
She does not appreciate your sass.
"You need to pay for registration."
You look at her. You just spent twenty bucks on a stamp for something that won't be mailed anywhere. "They explain this on the form don't they?"
"Where do I pay this?"
"Walk five blocks towards the bay. Turn left, to the courts."
Here we go again.
Twenty minutes later, you've acquired a receipt from a long line-up, which leads to a desk that says only "MARRIAGE AND DEATH CERTIFICATES", for a cool 90$ EC. You march proudly back to the registrar.
"Boom," you say a bit more timidly this time.
"Ok," and she gets to work.
"Sign here." I can do that, you think. Your John Hancock is applied. She hands you a fancy shmancy business certificate, and you are now the proud owner of a fancy shmancy business certificate. You then waste another hour getting back to Portsmouth.
|Oh, the delicious taste of victory.|
2. Don't let it get you down, dear entrepreneur. The government wants you to give up; they don't take no sissy business applicants. This is not for the weak hearted, so man up and get 'er done. Next up: work permits.
You're not allowed to be employed in Dominica without a work permit (cough cough), so you'll need to get yourself one. By this point you're inclined to believe that nothing will be available online, but you check anyways...and of course there's nothing. Ooh! A phone number for the Labour department... nope, no answer, ok then. Alright, saddle up partners, we're heading back down to Roseau for something that should take ten minuts online.
|You said it Johnny.|
"How long should this process take?" You ask her.
"Oh they usually process these in about two weeks."
You find out later that day that most people here wait 7 months to get theirs. She was close.
And so you take the long road back, forking up more time and money. You head right for the Police station in Portsmouth. The officer behind the counter is laughing and talking to a friend. The second she looks at you she seems bored.
"Hi there. I'm applying for a work permit and it says I need a letter from the Commisioner of Police stating that I haven't committed any crimes. Am I in the right place?"
"Um...yeah, yeah. Ok let me see." She looks around her. There isn't a single computer to be found, but piles and piles of slips of paper, and super old looking ledgers. She picks up one paper that says:
"______________________ HAS / HAS NOT committed a crime in Dominica.
Signed, Portsmouth Police _________________________________________"
She asks for a licence, and writes your name. Then she seems stumped. She looks around her again, as if to find a supervisor. She finds none. She looks back at you.
"Have you, um, have you ever committed a crime?"
You shake your head.
"Even been arrested?" She holds her wrists together to let you know what it looks like to be arrested in Dominica.
"Ok...ever been to court?"
"Alright then." She signs it, staples it and hands it over. Excellent screening process, Dominica. And why not? After all, I'm very clearly not a resident here, and they have no way of checking either way. "Please bring this down to Roseau to Police Headquarters. They'll make it into a letter." Damn it. Roseau? "Oh, and please get a 20$ stamp."
Back to Roseau with you, assuming you have a letter from your employee. For those not keeping track, by the time you get there, you will have spent about 300$ US in taxis, 15$ US in stamps, and about seven hours on the road. Once there, you make your way to the Police Headquarters, strut in innocently, and place the sheet from the Portsmouth Police on the counter.
"Boom," you say with gusto. You've even supplied the 20$ stamp with it.
"We need a 50$ stamp."
Out you go, down to the bay, into the post office, back down the street, into the police headquarters. This is about the point in which you submit to the all powerful will of bureaucracy. They've broken your spirit. You place the extra 30$ in stamps on the counter.
"Ok. We will process this now. It should be ready in three hours."
"I can't stay here another three hours."
"We'll keep it here until you come back to Roseau."
This must all be a scam to keep taxis employed, you think.
3. Oh God. We're almost done. Lordy this sucks. Alright, onwards and upwards.
You walk into the Inland Revenue agency.
"I'd like to start a business and this is where they sent me."
The worker looks at your business registration, stands up, and gets a form.
"Please fill this out, bring it back with 100 EC, and then you'll be registered."
You stare at him. "That's it?"
"You don't need me to like, ride a horse while I fill this out or anything?"
"You don't need any stamps."
You slowly back away, glaring at him. What is this magic? You get the hell out as fast as you can.
At some point you'll have to return, but for you the battle is essentially over. All that's left are the formalities, and the slow regathering of your manhood. The Dominican system has just had its way with you, several times over.
Now all you have to is actually start the business.