How to register your small business in South Africa

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The South African government has been encouraging its citizens to create their own businesses in an effort to address the country’s high unemployment rate.

While coming up with and starting a small to medium business (SMB) is tough enough task as is, one of the crucial steps in the process will be registering your business. In order to assist you in that regard, we’ve explained how to do so below.

There are a handful of steps when it comes to registering your small business, each of which requires a bit of research and hard work on your part.

Register as a customer at CIPC

Before you can get into the registration process for your business, you will need to be a customer at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Here you will need to register your personal details and have a CIPC customer code in order to facilitate the process.

Choose your company name

From there you will need to carry out a name search with the CIPC (PDF) to be sure that no other company bears the trademark or name. CIPC does not charge business owners to search for patented information as long as they have registered on the main portal to access CIPC’s online services.

CIPC charges R75 for the manual registration of the company’s name and R50 if you file electronically on the portal. From the date of application it will take approximately three days to reserve the name until its is approved. Once approved the name registration will be valid for six months.

Check for name availability

You will need to file for a company name that will identify your business in the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI). You may choose to register a name by registering the company first using your name and file for registration of the name later, or reserve the name and then initiate the company incorporation process thereafter.

If your initial name reservation application has not been approved, you will need to apply for new names. You may apply between one and four names during each application process. Name registration may vary between R125 for a private company and R475 for a non-profit company registered without members.

Register your company

You will need to deposit R125 for company registration without a name reservation or R175 for a company registration with a name reservation into the CIPC bank account. At the time of registering a company you need to be 18 years or older.

To complete the registration process, the following supporting documents are needed:

  • Certified copy of applicant’s ID.
  • Certified copies of the ID of the Directors and Incorporators.
  • Non- South African applicants need passport copy as proof.
  • The name confirmation certificate (COR9.4), which is an application form downloaded at CIPC.
  • Power of attorney (if required).

As a CIPC customer your business will automatically be registered with the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

It’s also important to note that the above process and pricing is accurate as of the time of writing.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]



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