Blantyre City Council gets tough on business licencing

Post was last updated: June 15, 2018

Blantyre City Council (BCC) has asked business owners in the city to request inspection and renewal of their businesses or risk losing their licences by the end of June 2018.

This is in line with the 2012 Business Licensing Act, which stipulates that every business entity must have a licence to operate in the country.

The Act empowers Local Government authorities to license locally owned businesses while foreign owned businesses are licensed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

The licences are renewed annually at the end of the government’s financial year.

BCC Director of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Dennis Chinseu, told journalists at a news conference in Blantyre Tuesday that the council expects every business entity to renew its licence by July 1.

He said every business that would operate without valid licences risks closure.

“Business owners have often felt bad whenever we close them down but we are now reminding them to renew their licences before the said date,” Chinseu said.

He said BCC expects the number of business operators to increase from the current 7,763 to 8,500.

According to Chinseu, this is a result of improvements in the operating environment.

Chinseu said business licensing activities are done frequently to check illegal businesses and trading, compliance with various legal provisions and hygiene and safety issues.

“We are now ready for inspection in readiness for issuance of the licences for 2018/19 year. If we find shortfalls within the business premises, owners would have to address such issues first to conform to the council’s standards,” Chinseu said.

As of June 8 2018, BCC had collected about K400 million through business licence fees, according to Chinseu.

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