BusinessSouth AfricaRegistering Business In South Africa: What You Need To Know

October 22, 2021by Tetra Consultants0

As the key gateway to the Sub-Saharan markets, registering business in South Africa is an attractive option for investors looking to expand their businesses into Africa. Not only is South Africa the second-largest economy in the region, the country is rich in natural resources and features several Special Economic Zones to promote international trade and business. Tetra Consultants is able to assist our international clients to register company in South Africa through a simple and hassle-free process. With Tetra Consultants at the helm, you will be able to devote your time and resources to operating your business without having to worry about non-compliance. This guide will cover the main information that you need to know so that you can be fully prepared to start a business in South Africa. 

Registering business in South Africa as a foreigner

  • If you are a foreign investor looking to expand your business in South Africa, you may be wondering about the options of corporate entities available to foreigners. There are several company structures that allow foreign ownership and are suitable for foreigners, each with their own requirements, advantages and disadvantages.
  • For example, South African private companies are allowed to have a foreign director and shareholder, and limited companies can usually be wholly foreign-owned.
  • In addition, there are no minimum paid-up capital requirements for South African companies in general.
  • After understanding the regulations and requirements for registering business in South Africa as a foreigner, the next step is to understand the full procedure to register company in South Africa.

Steps to registering business in South Africa

Step 1: Choose a suitable business structure 

Step 2: Reserve company name

Step 3: Prepare and submit relevant documents

Step 4: Corporate bank account opening 

Step 5: Staying compliant with accounting and tax obligations


[ps2id id=’step1′ target=”/]Step 1: Choose a suitable business structure 

  • Before registering your business, you need to first choose a suitable corporate entity. Generally, the most common type of business set up in South Africa is the private company (“Pty Ltd”), which is also known as a company limited by shares.
  • Tetra Consultants will first understand your business structure and long-term goals, then proceed to advise you on the most optimum business entity, paid-up share capital, corporate structure, and any business licenses that may be applicable for your business activities.

[ps2id id=’step2′ target=”/]Step 2: Reserve company name

  • Next, you will have to pick a suitable name for your business that follows the guidelines set out by the CIPC. Tetra Consultants will then check the availability of your company name via the CIPC website and reserve it there. The reservation is valid for up to 6 months and you are allowed to submit up to 4 names in 1 application.

[ps2id id=’step3′ target=”/]Step 3: Prepare and submit relevant documents

  • After reserving the company name, you can proceed to preparing the articles needed for incorporation. Tetra Consultants will assist you to draft the documents required to register company in South Africa, which includes the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), a certified identity copy of the applicant, certified copies of the Identity Documents of the Directors and Incorporators, notarized passport copies of individual directors and shareholders, name confirmation certificate (COR9.4) and Power of attorney if applicable.
  • Once the relevant documents and company registration forms have been prepared, Tetra Consultants will register your company through the CIPC online platform.
  • Upon successful incorporation with the registration office, your business will receive a company registration certificate with the company registration number and be registered as a taxpayer automatically.

[ps2id id=’step4′ target=”/]Step 4: Corporate bank account opening 

  • After incorporation is complete, Tetra Consultants will proceed to assist your business in setting up a corporate account with a trusted local or international bank. 
  • Tetra Consultants will help to consolidate the documents required, which can differ depending on your business structure. If you are opening an account with a South African bank, you may be required to translate the documents into one of the South African languages. In the event that it is necessary, Tetra Consultants will assist you to engage the services of an experienced translator.

[ps2id id=’step5′ target=”/]Step 5: Staying compliant with accounting and tax obligations

  • Our team will then assist you in registering for tax considerations and handle your bookkeeping and auditing so that you can focus your time and resources on running your business instead.
  • All resident South African businesses are taxed on corporate income at a flat rate of 28%, while non-resident branch companies or non-resident businesses with a permanent establishment within South Africa will also be subjected to tax on all income derived within the country.
  • Furthermore, your business may have to register for Value-Added Tax (VAT), which is at 15%, if the total value of taxable goods or services is more than ZAR 1 million (approx. USD 57,500) in a 12-month period or is expected to exceed this amount. Businesses may register voluntarily if the income earned in the past 12-month period exceeded ZAR 50,000 (approx. USD 2,900).

Considering registering business in South Africa?

Setting up in an unfamiliar region can seem daunting, but with Tetra Consultants’ extensive experience in assisting international clients to set up in more than 40 jurisdictions, your business will be in safe hands. Our team will ensure that your business is operationally ready as soon as possible, so that you can begin carrying out business transactions and activities with no hassle, while remaining compliant with all local regulations.

Contact us to learn more information about how to register company in South Africa. Our dedicated and experienced team will revert within the next 24 hours and answer all your queries.

Tetra Consultants

Tetra Consultants is the consulting firm that works as your advisor and trusted partner in your business expansion. We tell our clients what they need to know, instead of what they want to hear. Most importantly, we are known for being a one-stop solution for our valued clients. Contact us now at for a non-obligatory free consultation. Our team of experts will be in touch with you within the next 24 hours.

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