How to Register a Business.

A private company is the most common and simplest form of company to be registered. It is comparable to a close corporation. Close corporations are no longer registered.

Private Companies may not offer shares to the public and restrictions are also placed on the transferability of their shares. Private companies must have at least one director and one incorporator. The director and incorporator may be the same person. The word “person” includes a juristic entity. This means that a legal entity or a trust may be an incorporator of a new company.  Most private companies are owner managed and tend to have a smaller number of directors.

All companies must have a Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) which sets out the rules agreed by the shareholders for the management and maintenance of the business. Private companies may be registered with a standard or a customised MOI. The standard MOI is provided by law and is integrated into the company registration process (click here to preview a standard MOI). A customised or non-standard MOI allows shareholders to impose certain conditions or waive certain requirements, such as an audit requirement. Such MOIs must be attached to the applications and may require the assistance of a legally qualified person or someone with company secretarial knowledge. At present, private companies with customised MOIs can only be registered manually.

A Private Company with a standard MOI may be registered on-line on our website, at a self-service terminal or through a collaborating bank, such as FNB.  Click here to view a guide on how to register a private company at the Self-help Service Terminals.

To register a private company with a standard MOI on-line on CIPC’s website, follow these steps:

Register as a Customer

To view information on how to register as a customer, click here.  If you are already registered as a customer, and know your customer code and password, proceed to step 2.

Deposit funds

Deposit R125 for company registration without a name reservation or R175 for a company registration with a name reservation into the CIPC bank account.  For the bank account details, click here.  Use your customer code as reference when depositing funds into the CIPC account.

Reserve a Corporate Name

Three options relating to name reservation exist when you register your private company with a standard MOI, namely:

  • Applying for a name as part of the process.  Click on this option if you want to apply for a name as part of the process.  Company will only be added to the company registration queue after the proposed name has been approved. If all proposed names fail, then the company will still be registered using the company’s enterprise number as the company name. You will have to apply for another name and when it’s approved you will have to follow a company name change process.
  • Reserve the name first, and then register the company.  If you have already applied for a name then your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account.
  • Register using the enterprise number as company name: Your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account.  A name may be added at a later stage through a name amendment. A name amendment requires an approved name reservation and a special resolution to effect a change to the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).

For more information about name reservation, click here.

To reserve a company name before you apply for company registration , follow these steps:

  • Click on”On-line transacting”/Name Reservation;
  • Login using your Customer Code and Password;
  • Click on Name Reservations/Proposed Name;
  • Click on “Proposed Names”;
  • Capture one to four names in order of preference. Please ensure that you capture the names accurately. If you make an error, you will need to apply for a name change at a later stage;
  • Click on “Submit Proposed Name”.
  • A screen will display, indicating if the exact name test was successful or not.  If the test for one of the proposed names was not successful, it will be indicated with a cross.  Click on Back and propose another name if you want to add another name.  Click on Lodge Name Reservation.
  • The next screen will indicate that the proposed name(s) has been reserved, and provide you with a reservation number.  Click on either Back to Name Reservations or on Home.
  • You will receive an SMS and email confirmation of the name reservation with the reference number of the reservation.

icons-time.pngThe service delivery standard for a name reservation is 5 working days from the date of submission.

Register your Private Company with a standard MOI Online

  • Click on “On-line Transacting” and then on Private Company Registrations;
  • Login using your Customer Code and Password;
  • Click on “Register a New Company”.
  • Enter the ID/number of the Director of the company and click on the + sign.
  • Click on “Edit”.  A screen will display with fields relating to director details.  Complete the director details and click on “Save”.
  • Click on “Continue” to complete the Company’s details (i.e. financial year end, authorised shares, email address, website and physical and postal address) and click on “Save”.
  • The next screen provide options regarding name reservation, namely:
    • Apply for a name as part of this process;  Click on this option if you want to apply for a name as part of the process.  The company will only be added to the company registration queue after the proposed name has been approved. If all proposed names fail, then the company will still be registered using the company’s enterprise number as the company name. You will have to apply for another name and when it’s approved you will have to follow a company name change process.
    • Use a name that has already been approved;  If you have already applied for a name then your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account.
    • Register a company using an enterprise number as the name.  Your company will be added to the company registration queue immediately, on condition that there is enough credit in your customer account.
  • Select the relevant option, complete the name reservation and click on “Continue”.
  • From the drop down menu, select “Lodge a Private Company”;
  • All director and company details will be displayed.  Verify the correctness, and click on Modify if you need to edit either the company details or the director details.  Click on Lodge Company.
  • A message will display, indicating that the company registration has been filed.  Please note that the transaction is not yet completed.  An email will be sent to the email address provided, indicating the required supporting documentation.
  • Send all required documents to eServicesCoReg@cipc.co.za or preferably use Upload functionality on the website.

icons-doc.pngThe following supporting documents are required:

    • Certified identity copy of applicant;
    • Certified copies of the Identity Documents of the Directors and Incorporators;
      • lodgement of a passport copy is only accepted as proof of identity for non-residents of South Africa. For South African residents a green bar-coded/ smart  ID copy must be lodged (certified).”
    • The name confirmation certificate (COR9.4), if applicable;
    • Power of attorney (if applicable);
    • For trust or company/juristic person as an incorporator, the resolution and certified ID copy of the duly authorised representative must be attached.

 icons-upload.pngScan and email the signed forms and supporting documents to CIPC to eServicesCoReg@cipc.co.za or Upload functionality

Service turnaround time:  3 working days from date of date of the submission of the supporting documentation.