How do I set up a Jersey business?

How do I set up a Jersey business?


A useful guide to starting a Jersey business.

Making key decisions

Decide on a business structure

What type of business structure to choose will depend on various factors. In general terms the following are the main structures Jersey businesses will chose to trade:

  • Sole Trader – a sole trader is legally responsible for the business.
  • Company – a company is a legal entity in its own right.
  • Partnership – a partnership can be 2 or more people who are legally responsible for the business.
  • Joint venture – an agreement between 2 or more businesses to work together for the purpose of shared benefit.

Register with the Jersey authorities

Registering a Jersey business

Sole trader – If a sole trader, an application for a business licence is required. This is not required if the sole trader meets all three of the following criteria:

  • Have ‘entitled’ or ‘entitled to work’ status.
  • Only employee.
  • Work for less than 8 hours per week.

Company – the company must be approved and registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission (“JFSC”) before it can apply for a business licence. This is not required if the Company meets the following criteria:

  • The company has only one member of staff.
  • The member of staff has ‘entitled’ or ‘entitled for work’ status.
  • The member of staff works for less than 8 hours per week.

Partnership – If forming a partnership to trade an application for a business licence is required. This is not required if the members of the partnership meet all three of the following criteria:

  • Have ‘entitled’ or ‘entitled to work’ status.
  • Only employees.
  • Work for less than 8 hours per week.

Registering a new business name

If the business is trading under a business name it must be registered with the JFSC. Check that the preferred business name is not already registered, and that it complies with any guidance issued by the JFSC.

Registering the business name as a Trademark

A registered trade mark gives you exclusive rights to use, license and sell the mark. This means no one else in Jersey can commercially use your trade mark for the same goods or services you have it registered for. It can also be a valuable marketing tool because the value of your trade mark increases with the success of your business.

Registering with the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner

The Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 requires all controllers and processors established in Jersey who process personal data to register with them and to pay a fee (subject to certain exemptions). Under the Law anyone who does not comply with these provisions is guilty of a criminal offence and subject to a fine.

Know the law

Understand trading laws

When you sell a product or service, you must comply with fair trading regulations. When you buy a product or service, you have consumer rights and guarantees. Fair trading laws ensure that trading is fair for your business and your customers. It’s against the law for Jersey businesses to limit or prevent competition. It’s important that businesses understand their rights and obligations at all times.

Understand contracts

When you enter into a contract to supply goods or agree to do a job for another person or business, you’re probably entering into a commercial contract. Understanding the contracts entered into, you’ll be better able to understand the pros and cons of such and negotiate contracts that work for you. It is important to get professional advice to fully understand your obligations.

Understand employment law

You have legal obligations when you employ people as set out under Employment (Jersey) Law 2003. It is important for a business to fully understand employment law to ensure it does not fall foul of the requirements and obligations.

Protect the business

Ensure the business has adequate business insurance

Insurance can help a business get back on its feet if things go wrong. A business can insure against disasters and for business disruption – to cover losses during the recovery period.

Ensure the business adequate terms and conditions – read more

If you don’t specify terms and conditions you put your business at risk – it’s vital to establish the actual arrangement between the parties involved.

Ensure the business reviews its commercial contracts before signing – read more

Entering into contracts is part of running a small business and it’s important to manage contracts and relationships carefully. It is important that you fully understand the terms of a contract before signing. Contracts can be complex.

Protect the businesses intellectual property

Intellectual property can be anything from a name, creation or idea. If you develop a new product, service, process or idea it belongs to you and is considered your Intellectual property. As such the business should consider if it needs to protect its intellectual property whether this is by placing restrictions in employment contracts, commercial agreements.

Ensure the business manages health and safety in the workplace

Business owners have a legal responsibility to manage health and safety in the workplace. To do this, it’s important to understand the health and safety requirements that apply to the business type. It may initially cost money and time to implement safe practices and install safety equipment, but it is critical to the success of any business. Not taking action could also result in prosecution, fines and loss of skilled staff.

Prepare for emergency situations

All businesses whether large or small should have a plan to deal with emergency situations.

Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is designed to provide you with an outline of the legal services we offer. Whilst we endeavour to ensure our information is correct and useful, we make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information offered. Information on our website does not constitute legal advice and Parslows Jersey accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising out of, or in connection with, the information found in this website. Please consult a lawyer at Parslows Jersey in the event that you require professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of the same, is correct.

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