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 In Start-Up Guide

Are you starting up a business and need to register your start-up company? CIPRO (The Companies Intellectual Property Registration Office) was replaced by the CIPC, otherwise known as the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in May 2011. The New Companies Act was formed at the same time which has drastically changed the way in which new businesses go about registering their companies.

The Companies Act offers two different categories of companies; these fall under either non-profit or profit companies, with each requiring different specific terms of documentation.

Here is a list of the various entities that need to be registered under the CIPC:

  • Non-profit organisations – these are enterprises that are created specifically for public benefits or other entities relating to one or more social or cultural activity or communal or group interest. Neither the income nor the property can be distributed amongst the founding members or directors of a non-profit organisation. 
  • Profit companies are categorised as companies without any restrictions whatsoever regarding shares distribution. These companies might take one of four forms which include a public liability company, a state-owned company, a public company or a private company. 
  • Personal liability companies – these are companies where the directors are all liable for any debts as well as liabilities of the business being incurred.  The company name will always end with the word “incorporated”. 
  • State-owned companies – these are businesses owned by a municipality and will end with the words “SOE Ltd”. 
  • Public companies – a public company now only requires one member for incorporation as opposed to seven members as was previously required. 
  • Private companies – some of the recent changes made to private companies include fewer disclosures as well as fewer transparency requirements; private businesses no longer necessitate being limited to 50 shareholders. The board of a private company requires at least one director. Private companies end with the words (Pty) Ltd.

Information required as well as all registration documentation necessary for the registration of start-ups can be downloaded from the CIPC’s website.

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