“Trade isn’t about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them.” ― C.J. Cherryh, Chanur’s Legacy
Commerce and trade have always been at the cynosure of an empire’s expansion and stabilisation endeavours throughout history. Trade not only enlivens the livelihoods of the people but also factors into the economic growth of a nation. Indulgence in arts and engineering and the subsequent trade of the products of these disciplines strengthens a nation’s political and economic stature. The interdependence between tourist trade and glorious hotels & beautiful restaurants is analogous to the relationship that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has with the influx of foreign entrepreneurs whose ambition is to set-up trading establishments in South Africa. All inbound, non-indigenous entrepreneurs encounter the prerequisite of registration with the DTI. Screening through the DTI is by no means any kind of a daunting procedure, and all trading joints need their approval prior to an entrepreneur organising themselves around their enterprise. The premise articulated in this article is not just limited to foreign immigrants, but local entrepreneurs also fall within the periphery of DTI approval procedure.
Terraforming of the politico-economic landscape becomes an expedient and zealous opportunity for a nation through boundless trading negotiations. Outlined on the Department of Trade and Industry’s website are the innumerable benefits of corporate registration characterised by an inherent predilection in favour of the entrepreneur to run an enterprise undergirded by the regulatory firewall furnished by DTI. Concisely and thoroughly detailed guidelines available on the website enable an applicant to easily weave through the process entailing the acquisition of legal business certification.
Adherence to the requirements of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is an absolute necessity to achieve DTI registration. CIPC is the government body that keeps an oversight on the DTI registration process. This commission also spearheads the sharing of business information and logistical handling, and organisation of awareness campaigns. CIPC also guides on how to establish small businesses in South Africa. South African business community members have always turned to DTI for gaining insight into the legal laws and relevant legislature that govern company and intellectual property ownership.
Robert Haydn Davies — former minister of trade and industry of South Africa from 2009 to 2019 – made an announcement two years ago proclaiming that the registration process was made easier for all companies, both local and foreign, owing to simplification of the technical jargon used in the application forms. This relative ease is also augmented by the fact that the list of requirements has been curtailed and revised. This process circumnavigates the consultation with DTI Pretoria office at Sunny Park for individuals opting for self-registration. As of now, the registration centres have been dispersed in a way that encompasses all localities. All branches of First National Bank (FNB) have been made available for DTI applicants.
Registration of a Business in the Republic of South Africa
Ever since the South Africa Companies Act took effect in 2011, Companies and Intellectual
Property Commission (CIPC) took over from the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO). This was a landmark change that revamped the corporate registration process for all business owners and entrepreneurs.
The Dichotomy between Business Entities
We all know that the business type bifurcates into two entities – profit and non-profit. These two business entity types are unequivocally highlighted on the application form for the entrepreneurs and business owners to select the required option. A non-profit company is propelled into existence by virtue of its array of public benefits that include, but are not limited to, public groups and interests. On the contrary, profit companies have a principle of no restriction on shares’ transfer-ability and consist of four independent types. These include a private corporation, a public business, personal liability company, and finally, a state-owned company. Deciding on the type of business entity is the choice of the business owner, and CIPC takes all necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition for all business owners.
Ascertainment of a Company’s Name
A company should have a compelling name that titillates the chords of captivation in readers when this name makes appearance on business transactions. CIPC has all guides on its website that help an applicant to conjure up a moving name for their entrepreneurial brainchild. Caution must be utilised whilst bestowing a name to one’s company since CIPC reserves that name and undergoing a rechristening process pulls a lot of money from the applicant’s pocket. The timeframe for the CIPC to decide on the eligibility of the name is two days.
Application Requirements for registration
Making that leap into the land of milk and honey crossing the line of demarcation heavily guarded by CIPC watchdogs has never been a quasi-unlaborious task, and one needs to circumvent complications by thinking ahead of the curve. A Note of Incorporation and Memorandum of Incorporation need to be attached with the application. An applicant locates these forms from CIPC’s website and downloads them to fill them out. All the relevant details of incorporators, the exact number of the company’s directors, or alternate directors should be handed in. The Notice of Incorporation should be filled with due diligence, and not a single mistake should be made.
List of Documents to be Attached
Documental evidence serves as an auxiliary support to the claim made by an applicant to further clarify their identity and lays cement to their argument. Documents essential for the application process are enumerated below:
1. Business entity type;
2. Date of incorporation;
3. Fiscal year term (from inception to culmination);
4. The official registered address for the head office ;
5. Number of directors;
6. Company’s name;
7. Information on whether the companies name will remain to be its registration number;
8. Companies reserved name and reservation number; 9. A list of 4 other names that will be analysed by CIPC.
Copies of identity cards of all directors and incorporators are to be attached with the application form. Full background checks are made for all members of the company. A national identity cards copy of the applicant is also required for this process.
Invocation of the power of attorney becomes imperative when an incorporator performs duties under government jurisdiction. Documents relevant to this scenario must also be signed. In a scenario wherein a different person fills the application form on behalf of the incorporator, a copy of the national identity card and power of attorney is needed.
Online Registration Process
DTI registration has online venues to simplify this arduous process. CIPC has stipulated payment of specific fee amounts that vary depending on the enterprise. The initial company registration fee is R175. Registration of a private corporation without provisions of its name reservation entails a quicker culmination of the application process, i.e., within 24 hours. The standard window to register a company in South Africa is 15 days.
DTI circumscribe all legalities that need to be fulfilled for a prospective applicant to establish their business with firm roots in South Africa. Abstinence from short-cuts and demonstration of conformity towards CIPC’s terms and conditions paves way for an applicant to sow the seeds of their enterprise on South African soil.