How to start a business in South Africa?

How to start a business in South Africa?

Starting a Business in South Africa

This blog answers the question: How to start a business in South Africa?

1. Have a business Idea

Do you have a business idea and you’re ready to start trading? There is a process to undergo before you can be called a legal entity in South Africa. With the unemployment rate at 29%, starting a business is becoming a common way of surviving in South Africa.

2. Register your business

Having the right business documents shouldn’t cost you thousands as it is portrayed by many agencies and most frequently scammers. In fact, you can have all the right documents for your business within just three days and having not paid more than a thousand rand for them all. We have compiled a list of some important must-have documents to run a formally registered business.

How To Register a business in South Africa?

You first need to register your business name with the South African government, through the Department of Trade and Industry (DIT). The DTI agency that is responsible for business registrations is the Companies And Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). To speed up your business registration process, use their website to create an account and register online.

Things needed by a South African government to register a business

Business Name – (At least 4 different names to be submitted). Do your research before submitting a name. A unique name is always good to perfectly brand your business.
ID Copy/Passport – A recently certified copy of your ID book, Smart ID card or your Passport.
R170 for a Pty Ltd business. (R50 for name reservation and R120 for name registration after it is approved)
Director(s) details of all the persons who will be listed as director(s)

3. Business bank account

Your business will need a business account under its registered name. Business accounts applications usually need your CIPC business registration papers, your Identity Documents, and proof of address. FNB, ABSA, Nedbank, and Standard Bank offer business banking in South Africa.

4. Comply with Tax regulations

Every country has tax regulations, and South Africa is no exception. It is important that after registering your business you also apply for your business tax clearance certificate with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

You could also apply for your tax clearance certificate online at or alternatively, visit their branches nearest to you. The process is free of charge on your first application. You will need your ID/Passport, Business registration papers that you will have received from CIPC (documents obtained on step 2), and your proof of address (Water/Electricity bill from the municipality/confirmation letter from the local council).

5. BBE Certificate

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE or B-BBEE) is a form of economic empowerment initiated by the South African government in response to criticism against Black Economic Empowerment instituted in the country during 2003/2004. You can get your BBBEE certificate in the CIPC website for free.

Whilst this is not compulsory, in a country with a history like South Africa, it’s important to follow the basic regulations such as these and also to help in the development of the country. It will also help your company to get a better preference when your business is exploring doing work for the government, state-owned enterprises, and large corporates.

Still skeptical of the BBE? Nedbank explains well in this blog as to why you will need a BEE certificate as a small business.

Our Services That Help New Businesses

While we have answered the question: How to Start a Business in South Africa, there is more to add in order to make sure that your business is successful.

1. Domain Names

After registering your business name, make sure you also reserve your business domain name. This is a web address name like

2. Website Design

A website is like a digital office that represents your business online. With the growing rate of internet users, it now almost a compulsory tool to ensure the success of your business. Your business will definitely need a professional website design.

3. Professional business email addresses

Making a first great impression will set you apart from your competitors. Setting up professional emails which are branded and customized with your domain name will boost your reputation online. Free email platforms such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail are good for personal use, for your business, get that, it’s really a top tier.

4. Logo Design

Have a logo that clearly represents your business. A logo commands your branding foundation. Get a perfect logo designed for you that can also be used in the future when you brand your company mechs, stationaries, etc.

5. Social Media Accounts

Create social media pages and start sharing what you (are going to) sell. Be consistent and you will attract customers online who are looking for your services. Use #hashtags to reach even clients who are not yet in your following/followers cycle. Make sure you create handles and usernames that are related to your business names and your website domain name. This way, search engines will easily know and associate your business with the social media page and then boost your SEO.

6. Advertise your business

After setting up your business documentation, websites, and other necessary tools, start marketing your services. Part of this is reaching out to people you know, commonly classified as Word of Mouth. Improve your website ranking to potentially reach people who are searching for your business.

Much more, to increase sales, you can advertise online with reputable and effective services like Google Ads, email your local publication to feature you on their Ad Spaces.

Web Design Company in Johannesburg

We are Saglotech, a Web Design Company in Johannesburg. We help businesses to have domain names, websites, business emails, logo design, social media accounts and to advertise their business. We could also help you with the process of registering your business and getting the legal papers (at no extra cost to our web services clients). Get started today with

Email us today for assistance on How To Start a Business in South Africa.

This blog was last updated on 30 April 2021.

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