All businesses have to be registered with the Registrar of Companies office. Business registration is crucial, since it is a pre-requisite for the issuance of license. The business registration application and the issuance of the certificate of registration can only be provided by the Registrar of Companies office in Suva. Applicants who live outside Suva will have to either travel to Suva or send their application by mail, however if they reside in the Northern or Western Division they can drop their application with the Registrar of Companies respective agents based in Lautoka (Deputy Official Receivers Office) and Labasa (Registrar Generals Office). At these offices applications are collated and forwarded in batches to the Suva Office who has the only online system for verification and processing for approval.
The formal application takes three to five working days to process while applications from the western and northern division typically take up to four weeks. For the outer islands, the Registrar of Companies Office usually conducts awareness workshops for villages, and at the same time their field officers go around doing business registration and all registration forms are brought back to Suva for verification and approval process. The awareness workshop is mostly conducted monthly depending on the approval of each Divisional Commissioners. Once their applications have been approved, the certificates attached together with a copy of the registration are then sent back to them via mail.
Undue delays can occur due to computer technical problems, since new business names have to be compared with the existing ones using the computer. Delays can also result from applicants submitting incomplete requirements.