In order to conduct any sort of business in Jamaica you must first register to get a TRN or Taxpayers Registration Number. I knew we would need a TRN for things like opening up a bank account, buying a car and opening a business so I decided to get one while in Kingston. I was in pursuit of a bank account in Jamaica so I can move some money here and avoid the ridiculous fees charged to withdraw some cash here in Negril. Opening up a bank account turned out to be a little more difficult then expected but I found a way around things for us and maybe someone else can appreciate the information but first back to the TRN.
The TRN application is pretty simple and straight forward and forms can be downloaded from the Jamaica Tax Administration in advance so you’re prepared once you arrive. Any government office in Jamaica is going to be busy but the Tax Collectors Office must be the worst. I was actually very lucky on my first trip through and getting the TRN was pretty fast, subsequent trips for the motor vehicle transfer would prove much more difficult. After filling out the forms and submitting them I was given a slip with my TRN number and told I could pick up my TRN card at the Sav La Mar office in about one months time. I have not yet done so but the month is almost up.
Opening a bank account in Jamaica was quite a bit trickier but there is a solution for those of us without strong connections to the island already. Commercial banks in Jamaica such as NCB, ScotiaBank and RBTT are required to secure quite a bit of paperwork on you before they can open an account for you. I was told by managers of each bank that they simply could not open a bank account for me without a reference from an existing account holder and a letter from a Priest, Police Captain or Justice of the Peace in Jamaica who has known me for more than 6 months. After talking with each bank it seemed I would have to cheat the system and bribe someone to vouch for me but then I went into the Jamaica National Builders Society and things changed. As a Builders Society and not a Commercial Bank they have their own rules and within 30 minutes I had not only a bank account but a listing of homes for sale in any Parish I wanted was printed for me to review and in the future it will be easy enough to secure a home loan or financing of some sort for our own slice of heaven here in Jamaica. It’s not a checking account, it;s a savings only with debit card available but thats exactly what I need here in Jamaica and it’s a lot easier then tracking down two references.Tags: Jamaica, Jamaica Business, Jamaica Tips, kingston, negril, re