DLCA Offering Large Discount on Penalty For Late Business License Renewal, Threatens Fine, Jail Time For Extended Delinquency

Business Published On June 28, 2022 07:11 AM
Staff Consortium | June 28, 2022 07:11:49 AM

Screengrab of DLCA website's licensing portal.

The V.I. Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs on Monday announced that throughout the month of July it will reduce up to 70 percent the penalty fees incurred by establishments/persons that have failed to timely renew their business license. The department will also waive up to 70 percent the penalty issued to those operating without a business license. 

“DLCA is committed to work with businesses who have experienced any type of economic hardship whether due to COVID-19, increasing fuel costs or any other related setback” stated DLCA Commissioner Richard Evangelista. “DLCA wants to issue a current license to everyone who is operating a business. Compliance is simpler and more cost efficient than enforcement. Now is the time to Apply and Comply."

This year  DLCA's Licensing Division issued 64 percent more renewals, while the Office of Boards and Commissions issued 78 percent more renewals than it did this time last year, according to a release from DLCA. The Licensing Division also issued 49 percent more new licenses through June 1, 2022 than it did thru June 2021.

Establishments/persons with expired business licenses or those engaged in a business without a business license are encourage to immediately visit the department’s website to either apply for or renew their business license. 

DLCA said it will resume citations, hold administrative hearings and suspend or revoke business licenses beginning August 1. Businesses requesting a penalty waiver after July 31 may do so by submitting a letter addressed to the Office of the Commissioner explaining what setbacks caused one to fail to renew on time, according to the release.

Businesses and/or persons who willfully fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of the DLCA statute will face a fine not to exceed $500 and imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or both. The department said it would refer persons to the V.I. Department of Justice for prosecution.

Contact DLCA by using its main telephone lines at 340-713-3522 on St. Croix; 340-714-3522 on St. Thomas, and 340-474-2800 on St. John.

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