How to Register a Company in South Africa

how to register a company in south africa

how to register a company in south africa

Company Registration in South Africa can be done online, offline, or via a bank including Nedbank and First National Bank. However, according to the Online PTY Registration, a name reservation takes between 7 to 21 days. A company certificate can be registered within 3 to 5 days afterward, depending on documentation and authorization.

Note that when you want to register a company in South Africa, a name is required eventhough a company may be registered with or without a company name according to the Company and Intellctual Property Commission Act 2008. A company that is registered without a reserved name will still get a registration number, this will automatically become the company’s name.

Read: How to register a Company in USA Online

Since May 2011, Company registration in South Africa which is done by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) together with the New Companies Act stipulates that no new close corporations (CC) can be registered, but those registered prior to 1 May could continue to operate as CCs.

Since all companies fall under specific categories, each with specific requirements and documentation required, The Companies Act provides for two main categories of companies – non-profit and profit companies, with other types falling under these categories.​

  1. Non-profit companies:
    This is a compny incorporated for public benefit or other object relating to one or more cultural or social activities, or communal or group interests.
  2. Profit companies:
    This is a company whose primary goal is making money, this includes anything from retail stores to rear estates to insurance companies etc.

Aside from these two categories, the following company types can be grouped under profit or non-profit companies:

  1. Personal liability companies:
    This type of company is controlled by directors and past directors who are jointly liable for any debts and liabilities arising during their periods in office. The company name ends with the word ‘incorporated’.
  2. Public companies:
    These type of company is one that has issued securities through an initial public offering (IPO) and is traded on at least one stock exchange. It has more than 50 shareholders and its shares are offered to the public.
  3. Private companies:
    These are similar to what was previously known as close corporations. Some of the changes made to private companies include fewer disclosure and transparency requirements, no longer being limited to 50 shareholders, and with a board that must comprise at least one director. The name of a private company must end with the expression ‘Proprietary Limited’ or ‘(Pty) Ltd’.

How To Register a Company in South Africa

To successfully register a company in south Africa there are certain documents that are required. Here is a list of the documents needed and the steps to take:

  1. Register a Company (CIPC) – CoR14. 3, CoR14. 1, CoR14. …
  2. Tax Verification (SARS) and Tax Clearance Certificate from SARS.
  3. A BEE Affidavit or BEE Certificate.
  4. UIF Registration.
  5. COID Registration and a Letter of Good Standing from COIDA.
  6. A Business Bank Account
  7. A valid passport copy or RSA ID document and proof of a residential address in South Africa (Non Citizen).

After you have gotten your documents ready, you will need to do the following:

  1. Get a company name ready.

    Although a company can be registered without a name as CIPC says the company can transact with a trading (business) name or may apply to add a reserved name at a later stage. In this case, the company will need to first reserve a name and then apply for a name change.
    Also, if your initial name reservation application is not approved, you will need to apply for new names. During each application process you may apply for up to four names during each application process.
    Each name reservation application costs about R50. A company registration may vary between R125 and R475 (R125 for a private company, R475 for a non-profit company registered without members).

  2. Fill a Registration Form Online or Offline

    You can register your company online on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) website, or the business portal website, a platform created by the CIPC that offers company registration and related services.
    Or You can visit the CIPC office closest to you or any of the banks to fill an offline for for company registration.

  3. Submission

    After you have successfully filled your form, submit alongside your documents and wait for authorization and processing of your registration. You will be duly notified when your company registration has been completed and your certificate of incorporaton is ready.


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