Checklists for buzzing entrepreneurs and SMEs

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The perfect entrepreneur and business governance

Entrepreneurship is more than simply “opening up a small business.” It is rather a progression through which individuals recognise opportunities, distribute resources, and generate value. This creation of value is often through the identification of unmet needs, wants and/or opportunities for change identified in our society. Entrepreneurs view “problems” as “opportunities”. Entrepreneurial success however is not only the ability to foresee these opportunities in the marketplace, initiate change (or take advantage of same) and create value through solutions, however one has to have the right tools and business governance structures to create a successful business moving forward into the future.

You have the finest idea, you know your business plan shall be effective and you have an intense desire to make some ts’helete aka South African Rand, however does your heart skip a beat and your palms start to sweat at the thought of legal compliance and administrative foundations for your new business venture?

Company Name

Your first step is to identify and register a company name that people will remember and that will highlight and hint what you do and reflect your company’s corporate personality. In order to attend to this affectively one has to check with CIPC (the Companies Intellectual Property Commission) whether your chosen name is available for registration and/or whether there are any possible conflicts. This can be attended to on the “name search” function provided on

Business Entity Classification

This decision has to be made with the end in sight, bearing in mind that different business entities have different legal requirements and tax implications. In the past close corporations were the entity of choice by budding entrepreneurs, however the introduction of the new Companies Act 71 of 2008 has phased out close corporations as a business entity and entrepreneurs now have the option to either choose between being a sole proprietor company, a private company or a personal liability company.

Company and Tax Registrations

All company registrations are attended to by CIPC.

In order to register a company one would require the following information:

  • name of the company (a few names are required in order of preference)
  • registered and/or street address
  • postal address
  • financial year end (if any)
  • directors information (if any) which includes:
  • full names
  • identity numbers(if not South African then date of birth and where director is from) passport number (if any)
  • residential addresses
  • companies business address
  • postal address
  • cell phone numbers
  • email addresses

Shareholder/s details (if any) which include:

  • full names
  • addresses
  • auditor details (if any as in terms of the new Companies Act one is not required to have auditors)
  • name of auditors
  • designated person at auditor firm
  • postal address
  • street address and
  • their professional status i.e. chartered accountants as well as their practice code

Further CIPC requires original certified copies of all identity documents of all nominated directors.

Tax registrations are attended to by SARS and compulsory VAT registrations commences once your turnover exceeds R1 Million per annum.

Other Registrations (UIF, PAYE, SDL AND COIDA)

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 is of paramount importance and a thorough understanding of same is vital when an entrepreneur commences business and engages the services of any employee.

Business owners are obliged to register their companies with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Pay as You Earn (PAYE), Skills Development Levy (SDL), and the Department of Labour in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

Getting the Right Advice and Know How

As an entrepreneur doing all the paper work and start up administration yourself might seem valuable and you would be in a position “where you assume that you will be saving costs”, however having the experts assist in the beginning of your business journey will ultimately prove invaluable in the future of your new business.

BKM Attorneys, assisting small businesses for more than 10 years!


Written and prepared by:
Claire Vogelpath

Please do not hesitate to contact us on +27 11 788-0083 should you have any further enquiries or email

 “BKM Attorneys - Passionate about Law”


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