Registering your business


Getting a new business off the ground is an exciting time and with it comes a sense of urgency to make the business official. Perhaps you’re in the position where you have developed your small business over time and want to begin the process of formalizing it.

Naturally, registering your business seems the next logical step. Not all business entities, however, require registration.

No registration

If you are a sole proprietor, then you may choose not to register the business. In fact, there may not be sufficient benefits for sole proprietors and informal businesses to register their businesses. Registrations have to be renewed annually at a prescribed fee, which is based on the annual turnover of the business. If you miss this renewal your business could be deregistered and reregistration can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

A sole proprietorship is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one natural person and there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. In this case, you simply start using your chosen trading name, for example, when opening a bank account or getting business cards printed.

Keep in mind however that you may have to obtain a license or permit, depending on the nature of the business you intend operating. For example, places that serve food need trade licenses. Also, you will still have to be registered with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and will be liable to pay tax if your turnover exceeds a certain threshold.

Registering with the CIPC or the High Court

If you’re not a sole proprietor and want to register your business, your next step is to determine whether you need to register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) or the High Court.

If you want to register your business as a trust, then you will need to register it with the Master of the High Court and you will need to do this in the jurisdiction where your business has the most business assets.

In all other cases, you will register with the CIPC. In other words, if you are a private company, personal liability company, non-profit organization, cooperative or public company.

Options for registering with the CIPC

There are several ways you can go about registering with the CIPC. You can do it via the CIPC website at and submit the required documentation at one of the CIPC offices. You can also do it online through the Nedbank website at and submit the required information at a Nedbank branch near you. You’ll also be able to open your Nedbank business account at the same time if you wish.

Remember, in all cases, you will need an ID document and proof of address for each registered owner.

For more information, see Registering your business, page 6-9, The Nedbank Essential Guide for Small Business Owners



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  • What option have you or will you choose to register your business? Share with and learn from other small business owners...
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  • i have already registeted and just awaiting for my documents and reg number
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  • @dmrlab17 Nice one. What process or site did you use?
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  • @DMRLAB17 my company does business registration same day. Tax clearance certificate and letter of good standing from Sars done with 48hours
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  • Business registration is the act of incorporating a company under a particular jurisdiction. It is an important stage that is just as crucial as obtaining a business license. It is a necessary legal process and entity that must be conducted within most jurisdictions.
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  • Our business provides company incorporation services as well as drafting of memorandum of incorporations and sale of shares agreements. Request a free quote at or visit our website for more information

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