All You Need to Know About Registering a Business

There are a lot of tricky things that can go into registering a business. Navigating your way through the ins and outs of forming your own company and expanding on multi-national terrain can indeed be quite the task that requires experienced guidance in following the general procedural guidelines. But with the advent of technology and global interconnectedness through digital spheres, company formation services are currently available to provide their assistance when it comes to this matter.

This article aims to serve as a structural guide to understanding the general procedures of international company registration templates by going through a general step-by-step examination of business registration in South Africa. Procedures can vary from country to country but the general process is as follows:

Basics of Registering a New Company

Basics of Registering a New Company

With the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) ceasing to exist and with replacement by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), there have been many changes to the way business owners register a company.

The Companies Act provides for two company categories: profit and non-profit.  Each of the many several business entities that exist under these categories have their specified requirements in terms of information and documentation for company registration.

The Types of Company Entities

  • Non-Profit Companies This is generally a company that is incorporated for the benefit of the public or any other object that relates or connects one or more social, cultural, communal, activities and group interests. The property and income are not distributable to its members, directors, incorporators, officers, or any persons related to these individuals.
  • Profit Companies These types of companies can be identified and categorized as business organizations that hold no restrictions in terms of the transferability of their shares and do not prohibit company officers to the public or larger public companies, and do not have restrictions with regards to transferability of their alleged shares and that prohibit offers to the public or smaller private companies. These companies may take one of four different forms:
    • A personal liability company
    • A state-owned company
    • A public company
    • A private company
  • Personal Liability Companies  These companies hold that directors, as well as previous directors, are together liable to the company in terms of debt and liabilities that arise during their time in office. The names of personal liability companies also commonly end with the title ‘incorporated’.
  • State-Owned Companies  State-owned companies are defined as state-operated enterprises or companies that are both owned and managed by a particular municipality. The names of these companies typically end with the title ‘SOE Ltd’.
  • Public Companies  The defining elements of a public company have not changed. But the main difference is that currently, a public company is only requiring one member for the process of incorporation, as opposed to the strictly enforced seven members during the past decades.
  • Private Companies  While current private companies are comparable to those under the old Act, there have been a number of changes made to private companies that’s is inclusive of a fewer number of transparency and disclosure requirements. Private companies are no longer being limited to 50 shareholders. And a board is only required of at least one director. The name of a private company must necessarily end with the title ‘Property Limited’ of ‘(Pty) Ltd.’

Company Registration Documentation

Company Registration Documentation

Incorruption of a company is made possible through the lodging of a Notice of Incorporation (CoR 14.1) and Memorandum of Incorporation (CoR 15.1 A-E). These forms are readily available for download online.

Memorandum of Incorporation

The MoI mainly contains the following details:

  • The details with regards to incorporators
  • Number of directors that includes the alternate directors
  • The maximum issued share capital

Incorporation Notice

The Notice of Incorporation or NoI is lodged with the MoI and should contain the following information:

  1. The type of company
  2. Date of incorporation
  3. Financial year-end
  4. Registered address or the main office
  5. The number of directors
  6. The name of the company
  7. Whether or not he company name will serve as the organization’s registration number
  8. The reservation number and the reserved name of the company
  9. A list of four names to be checked and assessed by the Commissio

Required Supporting Documents

In order for you to register a private company you will have to complete either a CoR 15.1A for a standard private company, or a CoR 15.1B for a customized private company, as well as a CoR 14.1. The required supporting documents that will be asked of you include the following:

  • Certified ID copies of all the indicated director and incorporators
  • A certified ID copy of applicant if not included in the indicated list of initial directors and incorporators
  • If an incorporator is a juristic individual, then the power of an attorney is required for the representative authorized incorporate said company and in signing all the related documentation
  • If it is the case that another individual incorporates the company and signs all the related documentation on behalf of any of the incorporators as well as initial directors, the power of an attorney and certified copy of said individual’s ID is a requirement.
  • If there was a reservation of a name prior to the filing of incorporation documents, then a valid document for name reservation is necessary.

Aspects of Company Registration

Aspects of Company Registration

Opening and setting up a business on foreign terrain poses many difficulties, especially in terms of company registration.  Red tape, tax registration, opening of bank accounts, licenses etc. can be incredibly frustrating, also with consideration to the new Companies Act. Several business entities have and are continuing to undergo change in varying aspects.

Name reservation for instance can be very tricky, all the more would it be the best choice to coordinate and comply with company registration services for their assistance. Whether you are a sole proprietor, limited liability company, non-profit company, or public company, the professional guidance that company registration services can provide will help you in all of the twists and turns of company registration and name reservation.

Business Entities and Tax Obligations

Although sole proprietors can have several employees, sole proprietorship by definition is a one-person business operation. Although (depending on jurisdiction) sole proprietors are not necessarily required when it comes to registering their business with revenue services, you do need to include income that is derived from sole proprietorship in your annual tax returns.


In this type of business entity, two or more individuals are in ownership of the company. But it also entails that these individuals are not held as separate legal entities from the alleged business. With that being said, the business liabilities as well as the assets are the liabilities and assets in person. They are each to be taxed in accordance with their profit shares of said business.

Name Reservation Process

Unless you are planning to conduct trade under your company’s registration number, it would be more optimal to reserve and register an official name for your business. This will ultimately be a great aid with problems or issues with regards to trademark registration later on –also in terms of website names, etc.

Fir this process, you can apply for name reservation as part of the initial business registration procedure. Simply register the company registration number in lieu of the business name or use one that CIPC has already approved of. For purposes regarding name reservation and registration, you must provide four company names in order of desired preference. CIPC will immediately approve the first name that has availability –this is typically processed within a 3 to 7-day time span.

After this, you are going to receive an email that will request proper documentation serving as support for the name registration application. These documents include: certified ID copies of the incorporators and directors, and a certified ID copy of the applicant.  Once the company is officially registered, you are going to receive a confirmation email and can get the disclosure certificate and incorporation documents from CIPC

4 Ways of Registering a Business

Business registrations are mainly handled by CIPC:

  1. The first method is through the official CIPC website.
  2. The second method is through registration at a self-service terminal located in most main cities.
  3. The third method is by registering the business through banks such as First National Bank.
  4. The final method is simply through email.

The Process of Working with Company Registration Services

Incorporating and registering a business is highly-dependent on the jurisdiction that it encompasses. Partnering with the assistance of company registration services is the most ideal option. Legal entities have their own obligations that are in accordance with local regulations and laws. In order to avoid the hassles and possible apprehensions, below is how the specialization of company registration services can be of help:

First, it is important to have a clear picture of Business Scope, Company Structure, Business Environment, Tax System, Company Name, Capital Requirement.

Company registration services will provide you with accurate information with regards to the jurisdiction which would be most beneficial for you and your organization’s endeavors. Some jurisdictions offer optimal business environments, wherein there are no limitations or restrictions in terms of business scope –also accompanied with a promising tax system.

Besides the best environment for maximizing your business, the legal infrastructures of you company will also be put into great account by company registration services. You need to assess the shareholders and directors of your company in relation to registration capital prior to the actual business registration process. After selecting the best and most appropriate name for your company, the process is as follows:

The company registration services’ consultants will do the following:

  1. Check the name of your proposed company
  2. Following their guidance, you will need to exercise preparatory efforts as to submitting all the application documents in line with local regulations and laws (including letter of appointment).
  3. The third step is the application for company registration. Simply fill out the applications, and the company registration services’ team will file these on your behalf.
  4. The consultants will administer and file the documents along with the registration application
  5. At this point, you are simply to wait for the company registration to be approved
  6. The final step: company formation and registration completed

After the newly registered legal entity has been incorporated, you are going to receive the business registration certificate of incorporation. From this point and onwards, the consultants of your company registration services will continue to assist you in your efforts to run and maintain your business.

Benefits of Company Registration Services

Benefits of Company Registration Services

  • Saving Time and Money The global presence of a company registration service and the entirety of their team is well aware of each business jurisdiction. They are very knowledgeable in terms of local laws and policies as they select the most time-efficient means for managing your applications. Their experts are also very much in tune with preserving the most monetary value for collecting all required documentation.
  • Experience and Expertise Company registration services and their team members provide only the highest-quality of assistance when it comes to meeting the clientele’s business needs and fulfills them with utmost accuracy.

Company Registration Services with NN Road

NN Road is a company registration services that aims to support clients on a global scale. The reliable employment solutions, HR outsourcing, payroll processing, benefits administration, corporate formation, and international support are in coordination with strict legal compliance and built on a foundation of excellence.

The team’s cumulative expertise is the combination of 30+ years in Human Resources, the sister company HROne is managed with the same leaders and founders of NN Road. HROne is a business that has been providing HR Outsourcing in greater China for the past 12 years. The NN Road team and each individual member is an expert of the global market and all policies that come into play with a wide-range of jurisdictions. The multi-lingual capabilities are what sets the bar for success and support.

This concludes our lesson on what you need to do when it comes to registering your business. To find out more about NN Road, click here!

What NNRoad can do for you?

As a platform, NNRoad selects and engages qualified and professional service providers in target countries/regions to provide company formation, payroll, benefits administration, work VISA applications, and accounting services in multiple countries.

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