In 2011, the Companies Act. No. 71 of 2008 replaced both the Companies Act of 1973 and the Close Corporations Act of 1984. In addition to defining new business entities in South Africa, the new legislation has also signalled changes to the process of business registration. Read on to find out more…
Must I register my business?
All companies, bar sole proprietorships, must be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), formerly known as the Companies and Intellectual Properties Registration Office (CIPRO).
How Do I Do This?
- Registering a business is easy enough to do yourself. Simply go to CIPRO’s website andregister as a CIPC customer.If you have neither the time nor inclination for DIY, then hire an attorney or accountant to do it for you – be warned, though, their services will cost you.
- You must deposit sufficient funds into CIPC’s account for the specific services required (e.g. name reservation or to file a private company online).
- You will have to reserve a business name, first, before registering your company. Once the funds you deposited into CIPRO’s account reflect in your account (login with your customer code and password to check this), go to ‘Name Reservation’ and click on ‘Proposed Name’. Complete the online form and supply three different company names, as options in case your preferred name is not available or clashes with a company name which is already registered. When you click ‘Submit’, the system will do a preliminary check on your names and alert you to any clashes so that you can amend your proposed names. Once the system is happy there are no disagreements, it will process the online application. NOTE: Your company name is only approved once the human processing team has processed the application. This could take several weeks, so be patient.
- Once your name has been approved, logon to your CIPRO account (using your customer code and password) and go to ‘Companies’ on the left-hand side dashboard. Select ‘New Companies’. Fill in the extensive online form (which includes company details, incorporator’s details, director’s details, auditor’s details and company secretary details). Once you’ve submitted all the details, save the information as pdf documents on your computer. Print out these documents, sign them and post or hand-deliver them to the CIPC. Wait patiently for your company incorporation to be processed and approved.