Another beautiful day in St Thomas!!!
Can someone enlighten me on how to speed up the process of getting a small business license. we have applied on line, nothing complicated just a small license to work from home as resellers of a product and have been waiting for over two weeks? please if you know how to speed up the process or have any tips let me know , it would be greatly appreciated
It took me a better part of 6 months and that was with an expediter! I do hear things have gotten better though.
The hold up is usually with the BIR giving tax clearance letters. I'd go in and talk to the folks at licensing in person. Be friendly/courteous, establish a relationship and make them want to advocate for you.
Sean's advice to go in and talk to the people at licensing and establish a relationship with them is spot on.
I got a license for my employer in late 2008. He was opening up a bar and restaurant. From the first contact with licensing to the day I held the license in my hand was six weeks. Realize that six weeks is extremely fast, especially for here. I am sure my experience was not typical based on stories I hear from other people. I made obtaining the license my full time job and number one priority during those six weeks. By this I mean I went and met with the licensing representative on St John very, very often. I was always respectful and courteous. A plate of homemade cookies went very far on my second visit... I talked with Ms Stapleton almost daily and every time I was very complimentary about how much knowledge she had and how sweet and helpful she was. She bent over backwards to help me; even invited me to join her one Sunday in church. I used the same approach with health and fire inspectors. The tax clearance letter was definitely a bump in the road, but took just one visit in person to Nicole Hodge at BIR to straighten out.
This is the kind of place where you can not simply fill out an application and wait for a reply (even if 'they' tell you to). You have to follow up, in person, very often. Be humble and persistent with them and soon enough you will have your license.
Hope that helps you some 🙂
Even though the online system is back online, it DOES NOT DO WHAT IT SAYS. They tell you that you do the online stuff and the DLCA requests all of the other documents on your behalf. Well, they don't. I sent several messages to the DLCA via their online contact and to several emails and I got the oddest response from them 6 weeks later via email. The person had no greeting, salutation, or signature in the email and they did not address 99% of the questions I asked. Anyhow..... on a good note, I filled out the 'tax clearance letter' application, by hand, and faxed it to VIRIB on a Thursday and had a tax clearance letter the following Monday.
And it is sooooo true about the cookies! Put on your chap stick and be prepared to do a lot of a$$ kissing. It goes a long way at every local and federal government office. I've used the cookie trick at the Post Office, and regularly follow it up with candy bars. I get excellent service!
DCLA is in the phone book as well, just call them. In stx it's in golden rock but I have no idea about stt. Not sure how a new business goes about it, I would start by calling them and asking. For an established business we have to get a letter of good standing from the BIR first.
Be sure to keep copies of all of your documentation. DLCA is known for losing things. I had to get a second police report cause they lost the first one. Friends of mine said they lost the whole folder full of info. Be really polite and persistent. Don't lose your cool if you have setbacks. It should take 2 or 3 months. BTW don't bother with email. They don't know how to do it yet.
You will need a police report from the police station, a tax clearance letter from BIR, a zoning clearance from DPNR at the airport, a trade name certificate from the LT Govs office, and any other partnership or other related papers you have. Try to have it all in hand when you go in. They are happier in the AM, less so in the late afternoon.