CIPC Registraion - what to know

Find out everything you need to know about CIPC registration.

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CIPC registration - everything you need to know 

Are you looking to grow your business in the formal sector, from underdog to a household name? If yes, now could be the best time to register your business with CIPC.

Your business could benefit from being registered as a company. So, what is it, and what else do I need to know? Let's get info from a small business to learn more.

We spoke to Anne, a director of MWRK Accountants and Consultants, to help us make sense of the jargon and the registration process.

We asked Anne popular questions about CIPC registration, which she expertly answered with practical information and tips.

What is CIPC?

“CIPC stands for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. One of its functions is the registering body for all companies registered in South Africa.

“You can transact via the BizPortal or Eservices. To transact with CIPC, you will need to open up an account with CIPC and create login details. Once this is done, you can transact with CIPC.”


How do I register a name with CIPC?

  1. Log onto the CIPC website.

  2. Go to Eservices – transact – name reservations – proposed name – and then enter 3 names in order of preference. 

  3. CIPC will respond to the email that is registered on your profile.

What documents are needed to register a company on CIPC?

“You need certified identity documents of the directors and the signed company registration form.”

Where can I get a CIPC company registration form?

“All forms can be found online, on the CIPC website.”

How do I do a CIPC company search?

“This can be done via the BizPortal option: bizportal.gov.za.

“The company name or registration number or directors identity number can be used to search for a company.”


What are the steps needed to register a company?

“This can be done via the eServices transact or Bizportal option.

We have not used the Bizportal option, so I will only comment on the Eservices function.

  1. Log onto the CIPC website.

  2. You can register a company with a name or a numerical number provided by CIPC.

  3. If you choose the name option, first apply for the name. Once you have confirmation from CIPC that the name has been approved, you can apply for the company.

  4. Go to Eservices – transact – company registration and complete all the details. The form will be emailed to you with all the details that you have entered. If you decide to use this option, this must be signed by the directors and incorporator and uploaded onto the CIPC website together with the certified copy of the director’s identity document and name approval.”

Anne gave us practical tips. But did you get all the information you needed about CIPC registration? Do you still have questions? Please read on for more details.

Learn more about CIPC registration

The Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) registers co-operatives and companies. However, not all businesses need to register with the CIPC on the  CIPC’s official website. In fact, with informal businesses and sole proprietors, the benefits may not be enough.


Register with the South African Revenue Services (SARS)

Regardless of whether you register your small business with CIPC, you must register it with SARS. You must still pay tax if your business turnover exceeds a certain threshold.

Why complete an annual return?

The reason for completing an annual return is for the CIPC to see if the company is still alive or if it's about to start. So, in a way, the annual return is like an annual ‘renewal’ of the company.

What about the name of your company?

According to the Companies Act of 2008, someone can register a ‘for profit’ company, with or without a company name. However, a ‘not for profit’ company must have a name.


What if you register a company without a name?

In such a case, its registration number with (South Africa) at the end automatically becomes the company name. So if you’re in a hurry, this is the fastest route to follow for registering a company.

Applying for a company name

If the CIPC has not approved the first name you submitted, you need to apply for a few names. You can apply for between 1 and 4 names during each application at R50 for each application.

You can tell CIPC has registered the company name you applied for once you receive their written confirmation. The reservation is valid for six months, during which time you have to use it for company registration. 

Can you extend the reserved name?

Yes, you certainly can extend the reserved name by 60 business days at a time by applying with an additional fee of R30. However, remember to extend the name to the month before the expiry date. You won't be able to extend an expired reserved name.

Would you like to transfer the reserved name?

Only if you have registered the reserved name can you transfer this name to someone else. You have to sign a notice of transfer from one Customer code to another Customer Code. You can't make such a transfer once the reserved name has expired.

How many types of companies can you register?

There are five categories you can register for regarding your business. For example, if your eye’s on a franchise business or running a school, you need to register them as private companies. You can also register a school as a non-profit company, depending on what you want to achieve with it.

A company registration won't cost you much

A company registration can vary from R125* for a private company to R475* for a non-profit company, which CIPC has registered without members. *Pricing may change.

Do you want to start your own business now?

Find out everything you need to know about starting a business now.

It may all look a bit daunting, but the best way to start is to start. So don’t put it off - once you get started and follow all the steps, you’ll have soon registered your company. Take your business to new heights now.

Source: Companies and Intellectual Property Commission



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Source: Companies and Intellectual Property Commission



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