Registering a business is now seamless, says Minister

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Johannesburg - The process of registering a company in South Africa is now a simpler, seamless process says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of the partnership between the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) – which is an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry - and Nedbank which sees the bank joining other major banks in offering CIPC Online.

The CIPC Online initiative makes it possible for potential business owners to apply for a company registration and a business bank account through Nedbank’s online system.

“It now means that a small business or a large business can go to any of the major banks in South Africa and open a business bank account and simultaneously, through the online process, you can register with the CIPC and also you can get a South African Revenue Service tax number,” said Minister Davies on Tuesday.

The partnership will assist in broadening the footprint and reach of the CIPC and will also offer a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs.

“All of those processes are now combined, it’s a seamless process for customers who are registering companies. That is an enormous step forward for businesses. Assuming that you’ve done everything right, this process can be done in four hours,” said Minister Davies at the launch in Sandton.

The application fee for qualifying applicants is R175 to register a company. Those interested in registering their businesses can do so at the 800 Nedbank branches across the country or access

The Minister said the process of launching companies in South Africa has come a long way.

The CIPC was formed four years ago with the combination of the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) and Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO).

“The process of registering companies in this country has come a great long way since I become Trade and Industry Minister … CIPRO was a very troubled institution, it took 15 to 20 days to register a company. There were very large queues outside the offices of CIPRO of people coming in from neighbouring provinces to register their companies,” said Minister Davies.

With the formation of the CIPC, the process of digital company registrations began.

“What we’ve done over the years is that we’ve introduced digitisation. Digitisation has created the possibilities of a much easier and simpler process for anybody to register a company.

“There has been a number of developments, the commission is running kiosks and is planning to work with municipalities and they’ve started with partnerships with the banks. I’m told now all the major banks are on board,” said Minister Davies.

The Minister said the first bank had been opening business accounts and simultaneously registering companies at a pace of 900 companies a month.

To date, it does not take more than three days to register a business in South Africa.

“It will not take small business not more than three days to register a company in this country. It can take a few hours at most. It is an incredibly important step forward,” said the Minister.

CIPC acting Commissioner, Advocate Rory Voller, said the commission is constantly striving to improve the services it delivers.

“It is our goal to reach as many people as possible in terms of what our mandate is and also to simplify the processes of the CIPC by using automation,” said Advocate Voller.

The importance of the partnership between the two parties, he said,  is to cut red tape for companies. “It is our goal as public and private partners to make the lives of our people easier,” explained Voller.

Meanwhile, Nedbank’s Group Managing Executive: Retail and Business Banking said this initiative will assist businesses to increase efficiencies, unlock growth opportunities while freeing up their time to focus on running their businesses.

“It is against this that we have partnered with the dti and CIPC to bring a much needed service for new and existing businesses,” he said. –