So you’ve invested all your time on your new bae; you put in love and attention and tons of good ol’ TLC. But now you want to make things Facebook official, and why not? When you work hard on something, formalising it feels like the big red bow that ties it all together.
The same can be said for your business. Getting a new business off the ground is an exciting time and with it comes a sense of urgency to make things official.
Naturally, registering your business seems like the next logical step. But slow down there, Flash. Not all business entities actually require registration.
Step one: Determine what type of small business you are.
In most cases you would be a sole proprietor. A sole proprietorship is the simplest type of business structure where you get to make all the decisions. As a sole proprietor you don’t have to split your profits with anyone else (well, except for SARS, of course), as there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. You simply start using your chosen trading name, for example, when opening a bank account or getting business cards printed. It really is as simple as that.
If this structure does not fit your business, you could be a private company, personal liability company, non-profit organisation, cooperative or public company. Check out the Nedbank Small-business Guide to help you figure that out.
Step two: Figure out if you need to register your company.
If you're a sole proprietor, then you may choose not to register the business.
If you’re not a sole proprietor and need to register your business, your next step is to determine whether you need to register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) or the High Court.
If you want to register your business as a trust, then you will need to register it with the Master of the High Court in the jurisdiction where your business has the most assets. In all other cases you will register with the CIPC.
Step three: Determine your options for registering with the CIPC.
There are several ways you can go about registering with the CIPC. You can do it on the CIPC website and submit the required documents at any CIPC office. You can also do it online on the Nedbank website and take the necessary documents to a Nedbank branch near you. You’ll also be able to open your Nedbank business account at the same time – bonus!
Just BTW, in all cases you will need a valid identity card/document and proof of address for each registered owner.