Can a foreigner register a company in South Africa?

Yes, so long as the person registering the new company has a valid passport.

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Can I get further protection over my company name?

Yes. You can register a South African trade mark or an international trade mark for your company.

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Do I have to register a name for my company?

No, you will be allocated a derivative of your company registration number to trade under.

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How are companies incorporated under the Companies Act?

A new company is incorporated by lodging the notice of incorporation, and adopting either the CIPC’s standard short form or the long form of the memorandum of incorporation (“MoI”) (which replaces the memorandum and articles of association). The MoI is the only constitutional document of the company that sets out the rights, duties and responsibilities … Continued

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Please explain the different types of companies that can be formed?

The Companies Act provides for 2 types of companies, namely – non-profit companies (the previous Section 21 companies); and profit companies, namely, private companies, personal liability companies, public companies and state-owned companies. A non-profit company has a comparable status to a non-profit company under the old Companies Act, and is incorporated for a public benefit … Continued

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What is a non-profit company?

It is a company that is incorporated for a public benefit purpose. It may not distribute profits to its members or directors but directors are entitled to reasonable compensation for services rendered. A minimum of three directors must be directors of a non-profit company. The name of a non-profit company will end with “NPC”.

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What is a personal liability company?

It is similar to a private company with the distinguishing factor that the directors and past directors are jointly and severally liable, together with the company. It name must end with the word “Incorporated” or the abbreviation “Inc”.

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What is a private company (Pty) Ltd?

A Pty Ltd is a private company that is trading for profit, a separate legal entity distinct from its shareholders. A private company (Pty) Ltd cannot offer its shares to the public, has fewer disclosure and transparency requirements and must compromise of at least one director. A private company (Pty) Ltd can have as many … Continued

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What is a public company Ltd?

It is a company that can offer its shares to the public. It has more disclosure and transparency requirements than a private company. The name of a public company must end with the expression Limited or is abbreviation “Ltd”.

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What is an external company?

It is a foreign company that is carrying on business in South Africa. All foreign companies must register in South Africa within 20 days of conducting business within South Africa.

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Which type of MOI should I choose?

The Companies Act 2008 became effective on 1 April 2011 at which date no further Close Corporation could be registered. Interestingly if you own an existing close corporation you can continue trading through this entity in perpetuity. There are various different companies that you can register under the new Act which is detailed under comparison … Continued

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Who can be a director of a company?

Any natural person with a valid identity document or passport can be a director of a company.

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Who can be a shareholder of a company?

Any legal entity or natural person can be the shareholder of a company.

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Who can register a company?

Any natural person can register a company in South Africa in their capacity as the first director of the new company.

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Why should I register a name for my company?

If you register a name for your new company, this will then provide you with common law protection over your trading name.

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