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Useful Information

Companies Act

With the new Companies Act having come in to play, the rules have changed.

If you're setting up a private company (Pty) Ltd, you need to register your company as a legal entity with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

The Companies Act stipulates several rules for the appointment, resignation, removal, obligations and duties of directors. Duties include both a fiduciary duty, and a duty of reasonable care, which operate in addition to existing common law duties


What are the types of companies that can be registered in terms of the New Companies Act 71, 2008?



What is a private company?

Private companies are comparable to companies of the same status under the Companies Act, 1973 and are characterised by the following:


What is a public company?

Public companies are comparable to companies of the same status under the Companies Act, 1973. They are characterised by the following: 
• Their MOI permits them to offer shares to the public but restricts limits or negates their right of pre-emption.
 
• The name of a public company must end with the word “Limited” or its abbreviation, “Ltd”.
 
• A public company must have at least three directors.

What is an external company?

An external company is a foreign company that is carrying on business or non-profit activities within the Republic. It must register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) within 20 business days after it first begins to conduct activities within the Republic as an external non-profit company (NPC) or as an external company. 

What is a non-profit company?

A non-Profit Company is a company that is incorporated for a public benefit or other object as required by Item 1(1) of Schedule 1 of the Companies Act.  Its income and property are not distributable to its incorporators, members, directors, officers or persons related to any of them, except as reasonable compensation for service rendered. Three (3) persons and 3 directors may form an NPC.

A special set out fundamental rules for non-profit companies is set out in Schedule 1 of the Companies Act, 2008. According to these rules, the objects of non-profit companies remain subject to the current principles. Furthermore, on their dissolution, non-profit companies are restricted in terms of the distribution of any residual assets. These special rules also include various other matters unique to non-profit companies.

What is a personal liability company?

A personal liability company is comparable to companies contemplated in section 53(b) of the Companies Act, 1973. Its name must end with the word “Incorporated” it meets the criteria for a private company, and its MOI provides that the directors and past directors are jointly and severally liable, together with the company, for any debts and liabilities of the company that were contracted during their respective terms of office. 

Auditing Requirements

The new Companies Act, which came into effect on 1 May 2011, introduced different levels of assurance for different categories of companies. All public and state-owned companies require an audit. Private, personal liability or non-profit companies, however, only require an audit when it’s in the public interest,as indicated by prescribed criteria such as the value of the company’s turnover or assets


Employee Tax

An employer, as an agent of government, is required to deduct employees’ tax from the earnings of employees and pay the amounts deducted over to SARS on a monthly basis.

This employees’ tax is not a separate tax but forms part of the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system


Value Added Tax (VAT)

Submission of VAT returns: VAT may be submitted manually or electronically and payment can be made manually, electronically or at any one of the four major banks.


Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA)

South Africa has adopted money laundering laws to help it comply with its international obligations to fight organised crime and terrorism.

Fica creates money laundering control obligations for banks and other institutions and professionals, such as estate agents, brokers, attorneys and insurance companies.


Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

If you have employees who are employed by you for more than 24 hours per month, you are required by law to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and contribute towards the Fund. You must deduct and contribute one percent of your worker's gross salary per month, as must your employee. The total contribution is two percent of the worker's gross remuneration.


Workmen’s Compensation

All registered employers pay an annual assessment fee based on their workers’ earnings and work related risks. Employers who register for and pay their annual Workers Compensation fees are protected from being sued by employees who are injured at work. Employees are protected from financial loss if they are injured at work.


Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA)

COIDA applies to all employers, and casual and full-time workers who, as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease, are injured, disabled, or killed or become ill.


Skills Development Levy

Employers must pay 1% of their workers’ pay to the skills development levy every month. The money goes to Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the Skills Development Fund to pay for training


Industry Registration

Depending on the sector you are in, you may be required by law to register with an industry association. The benefits of doing so are several: you gain increased customer confidence; you contribute to uplifting standards; and you adhere to a specific set of standards set by the body in your own work.


Zoning

Property zoning is set out in town planning schemes which determine possible land use, floor area, coverage, building lines, and parking provisions.


Workplace Health and Safety

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the employer to provide a work environment that is safe and without risk to the health of employees. It’s not compulsory for all organisations to have a health and safety policy but as an employer, you are duty-bound to inform employees of work related risks and dangers.


Registering a Trust

The administration of trusts is governed by the provisions of the Trust Property Control Act no 57/1988.  There are two types of trust, e.g. an inter-vivos trust and a testamentary trust. 


B-BBEE

the dti provides strategic direction in the development of policies and strategies that promote enterprise growth, empowerment and equity in the economy.

Various initiatives have been undertaken to implement Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE), including the establishment of B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice; the development of Sector Charters in Forestry, Tourism, Construction and Transport; accreditation of B-BBEE Verification Agencies; and establishment of the

B-BBEE Advisory Council.


Register with the Department of Labour

All companies - and sole proprietorships that have one or more full-time employees - need to register with the Department of Labour. This is mandatory in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

The Act replaced the previous Workmen's Compensation Act in 1993, and provides for employees who are injured or killed at work, or who contract a disease directly as a result of their work. It also protects employers from personal liability in these instances.


Register your Co-operative

A very simple definition of a co-operative would be to say it is a business where a group of people get together voluntary to address their common needs. 

A co-operative is a distinct form of enterprise that provides services and/or products to its members. Profits, known as surpluses in a co-operative, are divided among members in relation to the amount of the business each member did with the co-operative.

By registering a co-operative, you are creating a legal entity with certain powers to act on its own and certain responsibilities. Before registering a co-operative, take note of the important record-keeping that need to be done by a co-operative.

Before you decide to register a co-operative you need to have a formation meeting to decide on common purpose and agree to register a co-operative.  At the formation meeting the members have to decide on the form and type of co-operative. There must be at least five founding members (people) in order to form a primary co-operative.  Co-operatives have certain principles, and are expected to include certain values in all the work that it undertakes.


Why Having a Website is important

It gives you a presence and a platform

In order to gain new customers you need to understand where your prospects go when they are looking to find suppliers, research suppliers and make a purchase. In today's world the place where most people in most markets go is to the internet. If in today's age you don't have a website there is a good portion of the market that will not even consider you as an option when they are looking to buy.

Having a website makes it very easy for people to find you, read up about your company, what you do and answer a bunch of questions they have on your company.


Your website works 24/7 for you

A website is the best employee and advocate you’ll ever have. It works through the night, early mornings and will do everything you say.


It’s the cheapest office space you’ll every have.

If your business model can function without a physical location, other than perhaps your living room, a website is the cheapest storefront you’ll ever have.


Braod-Based Black Economic Empowerement (BBBEE)

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE or B-BBEE as written by the South African government) is a form of economic empowerment initiated by the South African government in response to criticism against narrow-based empowerment instituted in the country during 2003/2004.

Since then, government has embarked on a comprehensive programme to provide a legislative framework for the transformation of South Africa's economy. In 2003, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Strategy was published as a precursor to the B-BBEE Act, No. 53 of 2003.


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