You are an upcoming Entrepreneur. You have a great business idea and you are ready to take on the world. But, the first step is to have a company. Or in this case, a private company.

Setting up a company in SA is as easy as 1,2,3. However, most people are nervous about registering a company. This is either because it seems too complex, or because they want to make sure everything is “right”. This often leads to it being done through a third party and as a paid service offering (sometimes at audacious rates).

When we say it is very simple all you are going to need is:   

  • Certified copy of your ID
  • R175
  • 4 proposed company names
  • Residential address (does not have to be your own – if it’s not your own, seek permission from the owner)

Let’s simplify the process and make everything “right” so you can do it yourself.

All companies in South Africa are registered and maintained by the government sphere CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission). Every company registered in the country is listed on CIPC and every directors’ details is listed there as well (I bet you didn’t know that).

Registering a private company 5 years ago was a lot trickier than it is now and all credit to CIPC who have really improved their service and delivery time, making it extremely easy for every South African to start their own company.

Here are the steps involved:

  1. The first step is to visit the CIPC website and create an eServices profile which is linked to your South African ID number.
  2. Once you have your profile up and running, you must deposit R175.00 into CIPC’s account per the banking details listed on the website which can be found HERE.
  3. Now your account is loaded with the cash required and you are ready to rock and roll. As you login click on “Transact” which is one of the options at the top of the screen which will open a whole host of options for you. The first option is the “COMPANY REGISTRATION” button that looks like this:
    1 How To Set up a Private Company in South Africa
  4. Click on the option and choose a private company. Enter your ID and add it to the list. Add any other directors you wish to include and click continue.Click continue again until you reach a page with a table of each directors’ details.
  5. In the 4th column titled “Edit” click as shown below on the icon listed below for each director. Enter all the specified information for each director.
    2 How To Set up a Private Company in South Africa
  6. Once all director information is capture, click continue. Capture all company information per the specified fields.
  7. I recommend making your financial year end 28 February as it coincides with the tax year and will make your life a lot easier. I further recommend you authorise 1000 shares (or a lot more than you will need) for issue. This gives you more flexibility later on when your company develops.
  8. Satisfied with your company details, press continue to the name reservation page where you need to enter your 4 proposed names in order of preference.
  9. You can now submit your name reservation and lodge your company registration. CIPC will send you an email with a COR39 form to be signed by the directors.
  10. Once signed, scan and go back to your profile where there is a file upload tool. Use this to upload tool (shown below) to attach the signed form with certified copies of each directors ID.
    3 How To Set up a Private Company in South Africa

What Next?

After a couple days… voila! Your company will be registered and CIPC will send an email confirming your registration. It will explain how to retrieve your incorporation documents.

Last and definitely not least you need to issue shares in your private company. You can Google for any share certificate template or simply make one. I recommend issuing 100 shares at R1 each to start and keep things simple although this may change depending on your situation.

You are now ready to take on the world!

Don’t forget to submit your annual returns as well each year. Otherwise it really is that simple. If you have gotten through all this and still couldn’t be bothered, email us and we’d be happy to give you a quote on doing it all for you.

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