What is a utility bill?
A utility bill is a detailed invoice from a service provider for your consumption of utilities such as electricity, internet, water. Some companies send you the utility bills monthly or every 2 months, especially for us in Trinidad and Tobago for electricity.
Why are utility bills important for entrepreneurs?
As a business owner, you will be asked to present a utility bill as your proof of address in order to conduct the following transactions:
1.Open a Business Bank Account (as well as personal bank account);
2.Get a Business Loan;
3.Get a credit card;
4.Purchasing a car
5.To get a mortgage to buy land.
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What is Proof of address?
This is verification of your residential address. Financial institutions and listed businesses in Trinidad must obtain a utility bill from all customers. This is stated in law , particularly at Regulation Proof of Address 15 (1) (b) “permanent address and proof thereof” Financial Obligations Regulations. There is a body of laws and regulations that aims to fight anti-money laundering and the countering the financing of terrorism.
What happens if utility bill is not in your name?
If the bill is not in your name, you must present a letter of authorization from the person whose name appears on the bill as well as a copy of the persons National ID card. The signature on the letter must match the signature on the person’s ID card.
Usually the utility bill is in the name of a parent and you can get a letter of authorization from your parent.
There are other cases where, you are renting, and your landlord has to provide you with the authorization letter and copy of ID.
In the event that the person whose name is on the utility bill is deceased, this bill will not be accepted by financial institutions. You will be asked to return to the Service Provider and follow their internal process to get the name changed.
It would be wise to get a utility bill in your name; it can be as easy as taking out the internet in your name in the instance of persons living with their friends.
ANTOINETTE SYDNEY LLB LEC CAMLFC CFRMP is an author and entrepreneur based in Trinidad and Tobago.
The content herein is only for informational and educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please be advised that no attorney/client relationship is created by the publishing of this content. You should consult with your attorney at law for independent legal advice.
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