How to register a company online in South Africa (Guide)
Registering an official company in South Africa doesn’t need to be complicated.
If you have all the information ready, the whole process can be done online in a few minutes. This guide outlines what you need to know to make the process as easy as possible.
1. Understand the basics
Here are some of the most common questions people have when registering a company.
Who can register a South African company?
Any South African citizen or foreign persons that are over the age of 18.
What documents will I need to register a company?
A valid ID Document or Passport (For Foreigners).
How long does it take to register a company?
Once your application is submitted you will receive your new company within 5 days.
2. Get your information ready
Completing an application to register your new company is the most difficult and time consuming part. You want to make sure it’s done correctly as mistakes can be costly in the future. Here is a breakdown of the basic things you will need:
Your company will need a unique name. This name will be registered with CIPC and must be used on all official documents like invoices and legal agreements.
Tip: The name you register for your business (your registered name) can be different to the name you use publicly (your trading name).
The company address should be the place where your company will be operating from. If you don't have a company address yet, you can use your home address.
A company needs at least 1 director. Company directors manage the day-to-day activities, finances and are legally responsible for the business.
Each company director will need the following information:
Certified ID document
Tip: Govchain will collect this info from directors on your behalf.
Financial Year End
A company is required to have a financial year. This means there must be a start and end date.
It's standard practice to have your financial year end in February each year, meaning your financial year starts on the 1st March of each year. This makes things easier as it's also when SARS requires you to submit tax returns.
Your company will need to initially make an amount of shares available to the current and future shareholders. This is done during the company registration process and reflects on the initial company memorandum of incorporation.
## 3. Register Online
Registering your company is a big step forward and it's important that it's done correctly.
It's also just the first step of many in keeping your company compliant. Things like annual returns, changes to ownership and directors need to be filed timely and according to the rules of the Companies Act. Failure to do so could make you liable for penalties or costly legal expenses.
Govchain removes all this stress and complexity, making things simple for you. Your company can be registered online in a few minutes and you can be confident it's done correctly.