Chapter 01 - Business Licenses
The rules codified in this chapter are issued pursuant to the authority granted the territorial planning commission under Chapter 27.02 ASCA.
(a) Any applicant who wishes to operate a business in the territory who is not an American Samoan as defined by the ASCA shall appear before the territorial planning commission, following referral to the commission by the Governor, for review of and subsequent recommendation on the business license application..
(b) A partnership in which any interest is owned by a nonAmerican Samoan must appear before the commission for review of a subsequent recommendation on the business license application.
(c) A corporation with majority capital stock held by nonAmerican Samoans must appear before the commission for review of and subsequent recommendation on the business license application.
(a) Upon submission of a business license application, and upon referral by the Governor to the executive secretary of the territorial planning commission, the applicant's name will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the commission. The applicant will be informed by the secretary regarding the time and place of the meeting and will be asked to appear before the commission to present his business proposal.
(b) The recommendation of the commission, following the presentation of the applicant, will be forwarded in writing to the Governor with a copy to the applicant.
(c) Should the commission deny the issuance of a license, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the governor of American Samoa. Since under present law the Governor cannot reverse a denial for license from the commission, the commission will, upon referral from the Governor, consider such appeals where there are special circumstances or conditions not previously considered or presented to the commission.
(d) The Governor, under authority of the licensing laws may reverse a positive recommendation of the commission and withhold license approval.
(a) A foremost factor among the priorities which influence recommendations of the commission is the economic contribution, or benefit to the economy of American Samoa, proposed by a new business. Economic contribution means. the direct and indirect benefits received by the community through establishment of the proposed business. Such benefits include employment opportunities to American Samoan residents, potential ASG tax revenues, payroll, capital investments, etc.
(b) The objectives for license review by the commission are not only to promote and establish a more viable private sector economy through establishment of new industrial and commercial activity, but as well to provide an atmosphere in which American Samoan entrepreneurs may enter into business activity in keeping with their increasing capacity to invest in and manage such activities.
(c) The commission recognizes that competition is necessary in a free enterprise system and it will be constantly alert that licensing restrictions not create an overly protective altitude which enables establishment of monopolies, regardless of ownership. The welfare of the American Samoan people will not be sacrificed in pursuing the application of the Economic Development Act and the licensing law.
(a) New businesses that are majority-owned by nonAmerican Samoans must submit certified financial statements for each nonAmerican Samoan principal.
(b) Industries seeking establishment in the territory must transmit a formal business proposal to the commission.
(c) A license application form must be filled out by each applicant.
(d) It is to the advantage of the applicant to submit any relevant documents which would solidify his proposal.
(e) The commission may at times request a sum of money to be placed in escrow to offset unanticipated payroll deficit and/or other liability.
(f) The commission shall have the authority to demand additional information if original data submitted is not satisfactory.
The commission recognizes that in assessing the merits of business proposals and license applications, it is necessary for applicants to submit information which is of a confidential nature and which may conceivably benefit competitors of the proposed business. The commission thus recognizes the confidentiality of such submittals and will restrict review of, same to members of the commission and such officials of government as are necessary.
A license must be obtained for each separate business activity as defined in the classification set out in this section. No single classification includes any other unless specifically referenced.
(a) Retail outlets: covers retailing only of any merchandise not covered in any of the following classifications;
(b) Wholesale outlet: covers wholesaling only of any merchandise not covered in any of the following classifications;
(c) Professional services: includes doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, surveyors, beauticians, accountants, and all other activity which provides a service in which the practitioner is licensed, con trolled, or qualified by passing examinations or by formal acceptance of qualifications by a regulatory agency;
(d) Service organization: includes, with the exception of those in subsection (c) of this section, all other businesses where a fee is paid for service rendered. Transportation is also covered under this caption;
(e) Hotels and restaurants;
(f) Bars, nightclubs, discotheques, taverns, cocktail lounges;
(g) Package liquor sales: includes all outlets, not otherwise licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, who sell packaged alcoholic beverages across the counter;
(h) Automotive sales and services: includes sale of new and used motor vehicles and the provision of repair and maintenance services;
(i) Manufacturing/processing: includes all activities which involve the fabrication, assembly, finishing, processing, or preprocessing of organic or inorganic substances into any product which is intended for wholesale or retail distribution within or outside of the territory of American Samoa. Each such license must specify the product(s);
(j) Printing and publication: includes any performance of the titled activities which is for monetary compensation.