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Everything you need to know when starting a company in South Africa

Stefan on 28 July 2022
Everything you need to know when starting a company in South Africa

Starting a new company and keeping it compliant might seem hard but we have listed everything you need to know in order to keep your company up to date and make sure that you stay compliant.

Registering your company

All (Pty) Ltd companies must be registered at the CIPC department and SARS. The CIPC department issues company registration and income tax registration numbers that are used to identify your company on any Government database.

Registering a company requires that you create a CIPC account, complete forms, and signing registration applications. Luckily, you can complete the entire registration process online within a few minutes via Govchain.

Register your company

Read more: What are the different types of businesses in South Africa?

After your company is registered

All registered companies must keep their CIPC annual returns and SARS tax returns up to date in order to stay compliant regardless if they were active or not.

1. CIPC annual returns:

You must submit your company’s CIPC annual returns to the CIPC department every 12 months in order to keep your company registered with the CIPC department.

For example; If your company was registered on 05/06/2021, you would have to submit your CIPC annual returns on the fifth of June of every year.

The CIPC department will start deregistering your company if you do not submit your company’s CIPC annual returns as they would see your company as inactive.

Read more: How to create a business plan

2. SARS tax returns:

A company must submit its own tax returns to SARS as companies receive a separate income tax number from its directors. You must appoint a registered representative at SARS after your company is registered in order to list your preferred contact details at SARS. You will only be able to complete SARS-related requests/submissions once you have appointed a registered representative.

You can appoint yourself as your company’s registered representative if you are the sole director of your company.

All companies are required to submit tax returns to SARS 3 times each year:

  • First provisional tax return - due 6 months after your financial year-end.
  • Second provisional tax return - due on your financial year-end
  • Income Tax Return - due within 12 months of your financial year-end

Your company will be listed as non-compliant at SARS if you do not submit your company’s tax returns.

Read more: How to deal with SARS admin penalties

Here are a few tips you should keep in mind after your company is registered:

Workmens Compensation fund (COID)

All companies that have at least one employee must be registered for COID at the department of labour.

The department of labour also issues COID letter of good standing certificates that are used when applying for tenders and contracts.

Get a COID letter of good standing

Central Supplier Database

All companies that are applying for tenders should be registered with the Central Supplier Database (CSD).

Complete a CSD registration

Business plan

Setting up a business plan is a great way to set your company’s missions and goals, it’s also required for most tenders and funding applications.

Read more: How to create a business plan

Following the information listed above, you can have peace of mind knowing that your company will stay compliant and up to date with the CIPC department and SARS.