The Micro Business Companies Act, 2017 could make it easier and more affordable for small local businesses to register, some lawmakers argue.

House of Assembly members debated the bill during Thursday’s sitting. It is designed to create a new, cheaper business vehicle for companies with no more than 10 employees and an annual turnover or gross asset value capped at $2 million

The businesses would be less complex and more transparent — with publicly available participant data online — than the standard BVI Business Company, according to a draft of the legislation Gazetted in March.

The bill is considered a possible revenue generator, offering the financial services industry a new international business regime to market.

Lawmakers, however, touted its potential benefit to residents.

The act would offer small businesses in the territory a cheaper way to incorporate and access some level of protection, Education and Culture Minister Myron Walwyn (R-at large) explained while speaking in support of the legislation.

Mr. Walwyn called for a public education component to accompany the bill’s passage to enlighten business owners on how best to take advantage of the new company regime.

Each HOA member who rose during the debate spoke in support of the act.

Lawmakers spent Thursday evening and Friday revising the bill in committee.

This week, they are expected to give second and third readings to the Limited Partnership Act, 2017 and the Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2017.