Contracts & Regulations

Learn how to write and read legal agreements and business contracts to guard yourself on all fronts.

Business governance: Getting started as an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial success is not only determined by the ability to foresee opportunities in the marketplace, initiate (or take advantage of) change, and create value through solutions. One also has to have the right tools and business governance structures to create a successful business moving forward. Use this checklist to make sure you start your entrepreneurial journey and approach business governance the best way possible.

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Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

The CIPC was established by the Companies Act, 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008) as a juristic person to function as an organ of state within the public administration, but as an institution outside the public service. Its main functions include the registration of Companies, Co-operatives and Intellectual Property Rights (trade marks, patents, designs and copyright) and maintenance thereof as well as the disclosure of Information on its business registers, among others. Find out more in this article.

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Department of Labour

Govt department dealing with labour/employment issues
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Formalising informal business agreements

Entrepreneurs are by their nature, optimists. It takes commitment and a positive outlook to take on the hardships in building a new business. Too much time spent pondering the risks saps a venture of its vitality. Many businesses start trading without any proper legal agreements in place. But the hard lesson that many businesses have learnt is that these agreements become vital once the business is established. Here's how to formalise an informal agreement.

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Leasing equipment

Financing new equipment – from computers to phone systems to capital equipment and other gear you need to run your company – is a major issue for many small business owners. Leasing, instead of purchasing, can be a cost-effective option, particularly if you don't have the cash on hand, but need the equipment. In fact, you might want to consider leasing even if you do have the cash to invest. This article looks at the advantages and disadvantages of leasing equipment.

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Let the signer beware

In the past year or so I have been coaching many buyers of businesses, and giving legal advice on the wording of legal documents. Accordingly, this article is given mainly from the buyer's perspective. In particular, this article looks at how before buying a business, it is important to make sure you understand all the legal documents that you will be signing.

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National Credit Regulator

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) was established as the regulator under the National Credit Act No. 34 of 2005 (The Act) and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. It is tasked with carrying out education, research, policy development, registration of industry participants, investigation of complaints, and ensuring the enforcement of the Act. The Act requires the Regulator to promote the development of an accessible credit market, particularly to address the needs of historically disadvantaged persons, low income persons, and remote, isolated or low density communities.

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Secure your company's future with buy-and-sell agreements

When you have put so much into your own business, it's important to think about the company's future and your dependents' security, at the event of your or your business partners' death or disability. This is where a Buy and Sell Agreement would come into play. Buy-and-sell agreements eliminate uncertainty, since the surviving partner(s) pay(s) fair value for the acquired share of the business. Hence the needs of the deceased partner's heirs are also met. The surviving owners have immediate and unhindered ownership of the business.

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The terms of a shareholders' agreement

In the hype of big brands and big business, many people lose sight of the fact that a company is in essence nothing more than a group of people working together towards the common goal of year-end profit. But it is often this key characteristic of a company that determines its success or failure. Without a properly defined structure regulating the working relationship between shareholders and directors, a business can become weighed down by internal disputes, animosity and deadlock. To ensure your business partnership goes off without a hitch, look at these terms for a shareholders' agreement.

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Unlocking the legal issues related to your business

Contracts, tax legislation and other Acts relating to your business can be complicated and getting an attorney to help may be very costly. Of course, there is also the question of whether you even know what your legal obligations are. LawUnlocked provides an online tool that may be able to help you assess what your legal obligations are with regards to various aspects of running your business.

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Why enter into a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

Setting, tracking, and managing Service Level Agreements is an important aspect of customer relations if you are a vendor, and outsourcing management if you are a consumer of technology services. As such, Service Level Agreements should be negotiated up front as part of the outsourcing contract and consistently utilised as one of the primary tools of outsourcing governance. Here are some tips for drafting a Service Level Agreement, as well as the consequences of not having one in place (specific to ICT services).

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Writing a partnership agreement

When you're in a partnership, it's highly advisable to have a formal, written partnership agreement. While it is not required by law, a partnership agreement can give you a framework for defining each partner's obligations, and settling the conflicts, disagreements and other difficult-to-resolve issues that naturally occur in nearly every business relationship. Ultimately, it will help ensure the long-term well-being of your business.  This article lists key points this agreement should cover.

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