United States Virgin Island’s (USVI) Lieutenant Governor, Osbert Potter announced the first phase of a new online system for the registration of business entities in the territory, at a press conference held in St. Thomas on Friday 31 August.
The announcement is being received a welcome news by residents and business owners who have long called for digital ways of handling such tasks as business registration and payments.
Foster Moore’s Catalyst™ platform has been launched, and was described by Mr. Potter as a sophisticated program developed by a company that is known globally as “the registry people”.
The Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of Corporations and Trademarks handles business and trademark registrations in the territory. The office signed a contract with Foster Moore US, LLC to develop what Mr. Potter said was a “long- held dream to bring the process of entity registration into the 21st century.”
Foster Moore has been working on the system since 2016, and although Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused delays, “we are able to offer full functionality to all Corporations and LLCs to e-file all corporate documents as of today, Friday August 31, 2018,” Mr. Potter said.
According to Mr. Potter’s office, members of the public as well as governmental agencies seeking information are now able to search the database to see if a business is registered, and whether its status is “active and in good standing” with the Division.
Two more phases of the online portal will go live later this year and early 2019, according to Mr. Potter.
“For all entity types that are not able to e-file as yet, (i.e. trade names, non-profits, trade and labor corporations, partnerships [LP, LLP, LLLP], and exempt LLCs), they must continue to submit paper documents to the Division,” Mr. Potter said. However, by mid-November 2018, all entity types will be able to file electronically using the Catalyst system,” said the lieutenant governor.
The option for exempt LLCs are expected to come online in January 2019.