TSDN – 012 How to Start and Register a Business in South Africa



Last week I promised that I will share some knowledge on how to register a company in South Africa. There are many people who want to start business but don’t know how or where to start building one. Some end up giving up on that dream because there is no proper support for startups and many succumb to the pressures exerted upon them by their family members. We know that in the mind of many black parents reigns a notion that when their child finishes school they must get a job and work until they are sixty. Sometimes, this idea works out fine but for a special few, the idea is a nightmare. There are people who are unable to sit under a boss and work as an employee. They will always cause trouble or get into trouble in one way or another because they are forced to something they are not able to put up with for longer. There are people who get into trouble with their employers because they are criminals at heart and there are those who get into trouble because they feel limited by the policies and the terms of their employment.

A person who has a passion for cooking and who has raw talent in the culinary arts will feel frustrated if employed at McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and other unhealthy fast-food outlets. At McDonald’s there is a set menu which cannot be changed by the cooks. All what the cooks get to do, is to take a frozen beef patty and put it on the grill, close the lid and wait for about three minutes, season the patty and put it on the bun and send it out. It is the same thing day in and day out. Surely in that environment, there is no innovation, no taking risk, nor growth of any kind for a chef. If a chef had opened his own restaurant and took charge of the menu and of the kitchen. He will be able to create new dishes and explore new boundaries of fine dining. He can grow his brand and build his reputation. In his restaurant he can set daily specials and get his customers to taste and comment on his new creations. The possibilities are endless when one runs their own business. The question is where to start? For some people the question is, what business should I start?

The questions I will answer today are:

  • how to start a business without money
  • how to register a company in South Africa


A lot of young people in many parts of Africa who want to start businesses are unable to do so because they have no money. What hinders them the most is the belief that you need money to start a business. That idea is not entirely true. Dr Chris Kirubi, the fourth richest person in Kenya (2018), says, “You don’t need to have money to succeed but you need to mobilize money” He said that he had no money when he started and that, he comes from very humble beginnings and such is the case with many young South Africans today. Many South Africans who want to start businesses have no money.

Vusi Thembekwayo a young multi millionaire in South Africa said, “you need to be patient enough to start small while thinking big.” He also said, “You need to do what you need to do, in order to do what you want to do”

So, if you have no money find other ways that require no money in order to raise it. When you find a piece job, spend half of the money you earn and save half for the business you want to do.

These are some things you can do to raise funds

  • Sell Free things
    • Sell stuff that people are throwing away. Some people will need to get read of old mats, pots, chairs etc. Many people don’t want to go through the hassle of reselling their old stuff and so they just put them out for rubbish collectors. Do your rounds in the neighborhood and during rubbish collection days and look for stuff that can be repaired, refurbished and go sell them, making 100% profit.
  • Event planning
    • You can market your self as an event planner. All you do when hired, is to find out what the client wants and also find out their budget and then go and negotiate a better price with the service providers of venues, decorations, Music, videography, food catering, etc. When you found your best quote, factor in your profit and give the quote to your clients, explaining why it is a best quote. This works out best when the total cost is less than their budget.
  • Do services
    • You can do the following services
      • Pull out weeds
      • Rake the leaves
      • Walk the dogs
      • Tutor Kids
      • Paint houses (they buy paint and brushes and all you do is bring your person to paint and get paid)


What is needed?

Before you register a company with Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC), you must have the following in place:

  • Certified Copy of your Identity Document (electronic form)
  • R 175.00
  • Four possible names of your business in the order of importance
  • Email address
  • Physical address,
  • Postal address (If not the same as Physical address)
  • Phone number

When you register a company in South Africa, you need to complete the following steps:


You need to decide on the Type of entity you are registering.

You can register a:

  • Non – Profit Organization (NPO)
  • Non – Government Organization (NGO)
  • Faith Based Organization (FBO)
  • Private Company (Pty) Ltd

We are dealing with registration of the Private Company.


You need to open a customer account with CIPC, where you will get a customer code and a password. You will need these to log on to you CIPC account and begin the process of registering your company. To achieve this, go to https://eservices.cipc.co.za.


You will be required to fund your CIPC account with at least a R 175.00. You can do a cash deposit at the Bank or at an ATM, or you can do an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The CIPC banking details can be found at CIPC website. Make sure that you use your customer code as REFERENCE when you make the deposit or when you do the transfer. Once your account is credited, you can now begin the process of registering your business. Funds will normally be cleared and reflect on your CIPC account after two hours if you do a bank deposit.


Login to your CIPC account using you customer code and your password. Go to the top right corner of the screen and click on “TRANSACT.”

You will now access the transacting menu.

On the transaction menu choose “COMPANY REGISTRATION.” You should see three options. To reserves a Company name, to register a company with a name, and to register a company without a name. To reserve a name it will cost you R 50.00 and to register a company will cost you R 125.00. This means to register a company with a name will cost you a R 175.00 and to register a company without a name will cost R 125.00. When you opt to register a company without a name, the enterprise number will become the name of the company until the day you choose to give your company a name.

Your company must have at least:

  • One Director
  • One Incorporator (the person who is registering the business with CIPC)

When you have finished entering all the required information, CIPC will send you the company documents, which you have to print, sign, scan and email back to CIPC. You won’t have to print them out if you have means to sign them electronically. After submitting the documents you will receive an SMS and an email informing you that your company has been registered and you will be given the enterprise number. You will also receive Company Documents which you will sign but have no need to send to CIPC. You will have to keep them in a safe place. Among those documents there will be the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI)

For more information on Company Registration, Comment below or send me an email

I am pleased to let know that I am available to speak on your youth events with regards to registering businesses and other issues the youth may be facing. Do contact me for bookings on 27 81 459 4840

You may Support us on PATREON

Patreon Banner

Contact Us

Join our WhatsApp Group, Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter or email us

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Post

%d bloggers like this: