Statutory Requirements For Registering A Business

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Thu 21 May, 2020

Starting a business might seem challenging, and knowing where to start is often what holds new entrepreneurs back. However, with the right guidance and knowledge you can solve any challenge and get your new business off the ground. 

With South Africa's new Companies Act in play, the rules have changed, and in this piece, we'll take a look at that and the necessary steps for registering your new business. 

Registering your business.

If you're establishing a private company((Pty) Ltd), you are required to register your company as a legal entity. All the necessary information can be found at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) website

However, to save time and energy, the easiest thing to do would be to use a third-party company to register your business on your behalf.

A few companies that can assist you:

Registering with SARS.

Regardless of whether you're running a sole proprietorship or a private company, you need to register with the South African Revenue Services (SARS). If you've already registered your company with the CIPC, you'll automatically be registered as a taxpayer with SARS. Sole proprietors or partners are required to register as provisional taxpayers directly, and this can be done online or at any SARS office. 

For additional information and to download the required forms, visit the SARS website. You'll find an entire section for small business owners. 

Also, remember: 

  1. As soon as you start a business, you have to register with SARS and obtain an income tax reference number. 

  2. Kindly note that the 'IT77 registration form for Individuals' was discontinued and that the only way to register is to visit a SARS branch where the friendly staff will register you on our system.

Registering as a VAT vendor. 

Should your annual turnover be R1 million or more, you will be required to register as a VAT (Value Added Tax) vendor. To do this, you need to complete a VAT101 form which is available at any SARS office. 

To register as VAT vendor via e-filing on the SARS website click here.

Registering for Employee Tax. 

If your business employs one or more staff members who earn more than R40,000 per annum, you are required to register your business for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tax contributions. In addition to this, should your payroll amount to more than R500,000 per month, you are required to register for payment of the Skills Development Levy (SDL).

To do this, you simply need to complete an EMP101 Form at any SARS office. This Form also includes sections for contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the payment of the SDL. 

Registering with the Department of Labour.

All businesses and sole proprietorships which have more than one or more full-time employees are required to register with the Department of Labour as it's mandatory in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). 

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) replaced the previous Workmen's Compensation Act in 1993 and provides for employees who are injured or pass away at work or those who might contract a disease as a result of their work. Moreover, it also protects employers from personal liability in the instances, as mentioned earlier. 

How to register in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act: 

  • Complete and submit the WAs2 Form at the office of the Compensation Commissioner.

  • Once you completed your registration, you will be sent the following additional forms to complete from time to time: 

The WAs8 Form, which must be filed within 30 days of your financial year-end, and which must balance with your COIDA account.

The WAs6a Form, which outlines the assessment of the Commissioner for premiums payable, less any amounts that may have been paid in advance.

The WG30, WAs2 and WAc1(E) forms, which are claims forms that have to be kept in a safe place for use when necessary. 

For further information about COIDA, the process of registration and the obligations of businesses concerning the Act, visit the Department of Labour's website

Registering with The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF):

All business owners are required to register their employees for unemployment insurance. This can be done by filling out Form UF8 at any SARS office or online. Furthermore, business owners need to obtain copies of Form UI-19, which is necessary to register new employees when they join a company.

You will receive a copy of Form U133 to confirm your registration. After that, UIF payments are made monthly, either directly to the UIF or together with PAYE and the Skills Development Levy (if applicable). 


Once all of the above-mentioned steps are completed, you’ve successfully and legally registered your business. If any of these steps are confusing, it’s wise to reach out to a professional, a friend or a family member who has been down this road before. 

Legalese, our Industry Expert for all things legal, is versed in setting up new businesses. Visit their business page, and get in touch to fast-track getting your new business off the ground.  

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