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How to register at the CIPC

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is responsible for the registration and maintenance of companies, co-operatives and intellectual property rights (trademarks, patents, designs and copyright). It is important to register your company with the CIPC if you are not a sole proprietor or informal trader. By registering with the CIPC, you will have better access to tenders and government assistance. Furthermore, you could qualify for a better tax rate than if you paid individual tax.

When you register with the CIPC, you need to decide what type of company you want to register as each one has different requirements.

Before you register your company, you will need to register as a customer on the CIPC website. 

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Click on customer registration which is on the left-hand-side under customer log-in.
  • Next, you will be asked if you have a green South African barcoded identity document or a smart ID card. If you have one of these documents click on “yes” and fill in your ID number and surname and click on “continue”. If you don’t have one of these documents click on “no” and enter in your passport number and then click on “continue”.
  • Complete the form with your details and click on “register”. If you have entered in the incorrect information it will highlight it in red. It is important to complete all the information which has an asterisk (*) next to it.
  • Once the above step has been completed you will see this message:

    CUSTOMER CODE REGISTERED!

    Your new CIPC customer code has been sent to your cellphone and email address. Click continue below to change your password. Customer Code: X1234.

    Make a note of your customer code as this will be used with all your interactions and transactions on the CIPC site. Next click on “continue” to change your password.
  • On this screen, a lot of the information will be entered in already. Check that the entered information is correct. Next, complete the security question and then enter in a password. Re-type in your password for verification purposes. When this is done, click on “update” and your password should be updated. You should keep your customer code and password in a secure place as anyone who has this information will have access to your CIPC account.

Now that you have a customer code and password you can register your company.

For a private company, you will need the following documents and information available before you register your company:

  • A certified copy of the applicant’s identity document.
  • Certified copies of the identity documents of the directors and incorporators. If you are non-resident of South Africa you may submit a certified copy of your passport. If you are a resident of South Africa you need to submit a certified copy of a green bar-coded ID or a certified copy of your smart ID card.
  • The name confirmation certificate (COR9.4) if you applied for your company before you did your company registration.

    There are three ways you can register the name for your company.
    • Reserve the name before you register your company
    • Include the name reservation with your company registration application. If you do this and none of your names are approved your company will be registered under the company’s enterprise number and you will need to change the name after your company has been registered.
    • Register your company under the company’s enterprise number. You will need to do a name change and make a special resolution on your MOI for the name change.
  • Power of attorney (if applicable);
  • For trust or company/juristic person as an incorporator, the resolution and certified ID copy of the duly authorised representative must be attached.
  • A Memorandum of Incorporation. This may be the standard SARS one or you may have a customised one drawn up for you by a lawyer. If you have a customised one you will need to submit your registration manually. 
  • You will need the company’s financial year end, authorised shares, email address, website, and physical and postal address.

When you have all this information you can register on the CIPC website. Please note that you may be asked to submit additional information. If you require any further details check out the CIPC’s how-to guides.

We hope you every success with your new business venture.

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