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Small business compliance guide

Being compliant is essential for every business no matter how big or small. Complying with the country’s laws is important and should you fail to follow the laws for a company then you could land up in some hot water or if you want to apply for a tender or loan you may not have the right documentation to do so. Let’s have a look at what you need to be compliant.

1. Register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

For sole proprietors and informal traders, it is not necessary to register with the CIPC. For companies who wish to apply for tenders or would like to benefit from government assistance then, it is imperative that your business is registered with the CIPC. It is also important to note that when you register with the CIPC you will be obligated to fill out an annual return and CIPC compliance checklist, and you will be required to pay an annual fee to the CIPC. By registering your small business, you may also pay less tax than if you had to pay tax on your earnings as an individual.

2. Register for tax

Everyone has to register as a taxpayer at SARS. It does not matter if you are a sole proprietor or not, you need to pay tax on your earnings. If you are a registered company you may gain some benefits from SARS. One thing to remember is that even though you are the owner of the business if you draw a salary you are also an employee of the business. This means that you will need to pay PAYE, SDL and UIF for each of your employees including you.

3. Check for industry compliances

Different industries require that you have certain licenses in place to operate. It is important to find out which licenses you may need to operate. Here is a short list of associations who you can contact to find out what you need to comply in some industries.

  • Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA)
  • National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC)
  • Construction industry development board (cidb)
  • National Contract Cleaning Association of South Africa (NCCA)
  • Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)
  • South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE)
  • South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE
  • Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (ECASA
  • Institution of Municipal Engineering in South Africa (IMESA)
  • Printing Industries Federation of South Africa (PrintingSA)
  • Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PublishSA)
  • The Association of South African Women in Science & Engineering (SAWISE)
  • Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA)
  • South African Translators’ Institute (SATI)
  • Professional Editor’s Guild (PEG)
  • Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA)
  • The African Institute of the Interior Design Professions (IID Professions)
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
  • South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW)
  • South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMECHE)
  • South African Association of Veterinary Technologists (SAAVT)
  • Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists of South Africa (SMLT)
  • The South African Institute of Valuers (SAIV)
  • Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA
  • Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa (DENOSA)
  • South African Association of Archivists (SA Archivists)
  • Law Society of South Africa (LSSA)
  • International Web Association (IWA)
  • Oil & Colour Chemists’ Association South African Division (OCCASA)
  • Actuarial Society of South Africa (Actuarial Society SA)
  • The Marketing Association of South Africa (Marketing SA)
  • Banking Association South Africa (Banking SA)
  • South African Freelancer Association (SAFREA)
  • Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA)
  • Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBSCA)

4. License your business

Some business will need a trade license to operate. Standard Bank Bizconnect gives some good advice about business licenses.

5. Check your health and safety policy

You will need to have a healthy and safety policy in place when you run your business. Depending on the industry you will need to include certain precautions for hazards in your work area. In general, it is essential to have a first aid kit on your premises. If you employ more than 20 people than you will need to have a health and safety representative to ensure that your premise complies with Occupational Health and Safety requirements. Click here for a basic checklist for your health and safety on your premise. Remember that you may need extra precautions depending on the industry which you operate in.

By following these five steps you will be on your way to running a compliant business.

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