Guide on How to Register a Business in South Africa

A business begins with an idea. Before you even think of registering a company, you will, of course, have determined the nature of the business and the industry it falls in. If you are planning to set up a shop in South Africa, of cause you also must have been thinking of How to Register a Business in South Africa. Therefore, to do that, you must adhere to some administrative procedures, legal rules, and statutory requirements beforehand.

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There are a lot of problems, and our intentions are to solve them one-by-one, therefore, let’s see some frequently As Questions (FAQs) below.

Do I have to register my business in South Africa?

Unlike a company, small businesses are not legal entities. As such, you are not required to register it with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). After starting your business operations, you are required by law to register for an income tax reference number from the exchequer within 60 days.

How do I register my small business in South Africa?

For every new business established, you are required to register with your local SARS office to obtain an income tax reference number. Registration must be done within 60 days after starting operations by completing an IT77 form, available at your local SARS office or from the SARS website.

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Can I start a business without registering it?

You are allowed to operate a sole proprietorship without registering, but you are required to register with your local government to collect and file state taxes. There is nothing wrong with running an unregistered business as long as your business is legal and meets all licensing and tax requirements.

Guide on How to Register a Business in South Africa

To register a private company with a standard MOI, the following must be done;

  1. First, you must register as a customer and note your customer code and password. Registration may be done at http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/register-your-business/register-customer/
  2. Second, you deposit a sum of R125 for company registration without a name reservation or R175 for company registration without a name reservation. This will be paid into the Company and Intellectual Property Commission’s (CIPC) account whose details you can find at http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/!trash/banking-details/. You must use your customer code as a reference when depositing funds into the CIPC’s account.
  3. You must reserve a corporate name, which you may do by;
    1. Applying for a name as part of the process. A company will only be added to the company registration queue after the proposed name has been approved. If all proposed names fail, then the company will still be registered using the company’s enterprise number as the company name. You will have to apply for another name and when it’s approved you will have to follow a company name change process. Or
    2. Reserve the name first, and then register the company. If you have already applied for a name then your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account. Or
    3. Register using the enterprise number as company name: Your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account. A name may be added at a later stage through a name amendment. A name amendment requires an approved name reservation and a special resolution to effect a change to the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).
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