Registering a company in South Africa

Intellectual property commission

Registering a company in South Africa

The first step when registering a company in South Africa is applying with the Companies and Intellectual property commission.

Foreigners who wish to establish a company or invest in an existing one in South Africa need to submit the following forms to the Companies and Intellectual Property commission  (CIPC):

CoR 9.1: Application to reserve a name - With this form you apply for a name reservation. You are allowed to fill in up to 4 possible company name alternatives for the commission to consider. Only one of those will be registered. You should indicate in the application if any part of the names (symbols, fonts) represent a registered trade mark and provide supporting documents for the associated name. The applicant listed in the name registration form and the applicant listed in the new company registration form must be the same person.

If the name is rejected, the company can still be registered and it will be incorporated under the registration number until a new name is listed for registration.

Manual application for name reservation costs R75.00 for each name and electronic application is R50.00 per name

CoR 14.1: Notice of incorporation - This form is attached to the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) and with it you need to bring certified copies of the IDs of the applicant, the founders and the members. The fee for this form depends on the type of the Memorandum of Incorporation form.

The name of the company, the incorporation date and the financial year end should be filled in the Notice. The registered address of the main office, the number of directors and the (approved) company name should be listed too.

CoR 15.1A-E: Memorandum of Incorporation - this is the governing document of a company. The Companies Act 2008  sets some detailed regulations to the content of a company’s MOI. The goal of the regulations is to protect the interests of shareholders in the company. The Act also enforces some default company rules, some of which can be changed by the companies, as long as changes don’t oppose to the Companies Act.

The Memorandum of Incorporation contains information about the details of the founders, the number of directors and alternate directors; it needs to indicate the maximum issued share capital and the content of the MOI.

The basic fee for the MOI and the Notice of Incorporation is R175 for forms CoR 15.1A or 15.1C, and R475 in any other case.

Here is a complete list  of all company forms related to incorporation and company name registration.

After registering your company with the CIPC, you should open a bank account. In order to do that, you need to present a valid paper which states the names of the directors. You also need the original company documents.

Further reading

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