New requirement for business license, beneficial owner must be declared says MCR


The Ministry of Customs and Revenue plays a key role in supporting the Government’s mission to build a confident and dynamic nation by helping to ensure it has sufficient revenue to fund its priorities and the protection of its borders.

Acting CEO Seumanu leni Asani Sheppard said the Ministry is also responsible for ensuring compliance of business operators with key legislations that govern the operations of the business in Samoa such as the Business Licence Act 1998 and the Business Licence Regulations 2012 (’Regulations’).

Seumanu informed the public that the Regulations have been amended via the Business License Amendment Regulation 2022 (‘Amendment’) to address issues that the Ministry and other agencies have encountered in the past. 

This Amendment sets out key prerequisites in which business operators must satisfy and comply with when lodging an application for a business license with our Ministry (including renewal of licenses). 

“Our focus is to ensure that all businesses fully comply with relevant legal requirements for the protection and safety of our citizens but also for a level playing field in the business community.”

The Ministry is now implementing the new requirements for all business license applications and business license renewal for the year 2023. 

One main aspect of this Amendment is the declaration of the Beneficial Owner (BO) of the business, which was first introduced in another amendment in 2018. 

Further amendments to BO are required to ensure continuous cooperation between Samoa and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where Revenue Administrations are required to determine the Beneficial owners of its local businesses.”