Industrial Estates Available in Guyana
Coldingen Industrial Estate
Located thirteen miles east of Georgetown on the East Coast of the Demerara River, this site occupies 39 acres of land divided into 36 plots that average 1,858 sq. meters (20,000 sq. feet). Infrastructure work includes both access and internal roads capable of accommodating heavy-duty vehicles and internal concrete drains. Electricity is provided at the site for industrial purposes and street lighting. A sum of G$28M (US$140,000) was spent to install a new well that supplies potable water to the estate and adjacent community. Telephone lines are available for businesses.
Eccles Industrial Estate
The estate is located about four miles south of the capital city Georgetown. The site is approximately 55 acres and is divided into 84 plots, the smallest plot being 1,115 sq. meters (12,000 sq. feet) and the largest 3,252 sq. meters (35,000 sq. feet). The development at the site includes paved roads and concrete internal drains. An access road makes the estate easily accessible from the East Bank Public Road. This estate has its own street lighting circuit and is provided with potable water. Telephone landlines are available.
Belvedere Industrial Estate
The estate is located in the village of Belvedere Hampshire on the Corentyne coast (Region 6). The site has been identified for an industrial estate, with an electricity circuit installed onsite by GPL. MinTIC is also planning to build a reinforced concrete bridge, which will allow investors to gain access to the site.
Lethem Industrial Estate
MinTIC is proposing to develop about seventy acres of land at the Bon Success site, in close proximity to the Takatu Bridge between Guyana and Brazil. This estate holds tremendous prospects in view of the proposed Georgetown/ Brazil road link that will substantially increase trade with Brazil’s northern states. An Environmental Impact Assessment has been completed and the design layout of the site prepared. The infrastructural work for developing this site is scheduled to begin in 2006.
Any individual engaged in a project or activity that may significantly impact the environment must apply to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an environmental permit, possibly upon completion of an environmental management plan or environmental impact assessment. Projects requiring a permit include: construction of hotels, guest houses or inns above 10 rooms, hydroelectric projects, construction of roads, harbors and airfields, construction of dams, importation of any waste matter, release or use of genetically modified organisms, harvest and utilization of forest resources and the extraction of mineral resources.
Starting a Business
To start a business in Guyana, investors must comply with the administrative procedures established under the relevant business acts. Compared to a sample of other countries in the region, the procedures and time required to start a business are low compared to the mean, and relatively consistent with the median. Table 3.11 shows data from the World Bank Doing Business Guide 2005. This section provides an overview of the most salient aspects of this process. More details on business start-up are found on GO-Invest’s website.
Forms of Ownership
Forms of business ownership include single ownership (i.e., sole proprietorship), partnership (in any form), and company (incorporated businesses both domestic and foreign). No regulations govern the proportion of ownership by partners or joint ventures in a partnership. Rather, the individual concerned has the right to choose whether to invest alone or to have partners, and to determine the form of that relationship. With regards to a private incorporated company, there must be at least 1 and no more than 20 shareholders. There are no restrictions on the nationality of shareholders. The company’s capital structure may comprise more than one class of shares including redeemable preference shares, with such conditions as the articles may provide. Shares in a company are without nominal or par value.
The Business Names (Registration) Act and the Partnership Act are the governing regulatory documents for single ownerships, partnerships, and companies. The Companies Act (9/91) governs the registration of an incorporated business. Though three different acts address the different business types, the government office for business registration of any kind is the Deeds Registry in Georgetown.
Incorporation, Registration and Fees
The process for incorporating a business is relatively straightforward, and takes, on average, approximately 8 days. Incorporated or foreign firms may wish to engage a competent lawyer to facilitate the process and save time. Registering a foreign company requires additional steps. Appendix 3 provides a summary of the information and documents required to incorporate and register a foreign or “external” company in Guyana, as well the pertinent fees.
An investor (foreign or domestic) is free to exit from a venture in accordance with the law. Unlike other Caribbean jurisdictions, the law relating to the liquidation of companies is embodied in the Companies Act. Under this Act, a company may be wound up either by an order of the Court or voluntarily. In bankruptcy proceedings, additional obligations may be imposed on directors, managers or principal officers of an external company who reside in Guyana.