The companies and intellectual properties commission, also referred to as CIPC, is the South African agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.
It governs all registered entities in South Africa, that is, public companies, Incorporated companies, private companies, close corporations, and extended companies in terms of the companies Act which states that a yearly return is due to be filed on the anniversary dates of the entities registration dates.
The companies and intellectual properties Commission was created in May 2011 from the merger of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) and the Office of Company and Intellectual Property Enforcement. (OCIPE)
What is CIPC responsible for?
- Registration and maintenance of companies cooperatives and intellectual property rights that trademarks designs patents and copyrights.
- Promote education and awareness of the company and intellectual property law.
- Promote compliance with relevant legislation.
- Disclose information on its business registers.
- Efficiently and effectively enforce relevant legislation.
- Research report and advise the minister on matters of national policy relating to the company and intellectual property Laws.
How can a company get registered on CIPC?
Profit or non-profit companies can be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.
There are three categories of businesses: Sole proprietorship, partnership, and Private company.
A sole proprietorship or partnership does not need to be registered before operating. But, to administer as a private company and obtained the benefits that come with it, you will need to get through a registration process.
While different elements offer business registration, the basics are all the same, and at the end of the day, your company will eventually be registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)
The process could be rather twisted and daunting. Below is a step-by-step process and explanation on how to register a company on the Companies and Intellectual for Property Commission(CIPC).
It has been split into three steps.
- Provide your company name.
To register your company with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, your company name must be provided. You must provide three names of options this is to ensure that one of the names has not been registered by another company.
For example, Phoenix Logistics
Bright Lights Trading,
- Submit the required documents.
After providing a company’s name, the next step is to submit the required documents. These documents include;
- Proof of address that is three months old or less than three months
- Recent bank statements
- Proof of identification
- proof of identification from the director,
- AARS registration documents, income tax number inclusive.
Some additional documents may differ and may be required depending on your industry. For example, in the security industry, PSIRA registration may be required, and an NHBRC registration might be required for a building and construction company.
- Wait for your certificates.
After going through the process of getting a name and submitting the necessary documents for registration, you then have to wait for your company registration certificate to be sent.
Your documentation can take over four to five days to be fully processed.
Once your company is registered, some important numbers and documents like the company name reservation certificate, income tax number, company name reservation, BEE certificate ( that is a document that contains a list of critical information like address name, registration, and details of the company, category as well as sector code.
The more the company evolves, the more beneficial its registration becomes.
The process might start as a complicated one, but it is rather simple given that you have got that all the required documents.
What is a CIPC Certificate?
The companies and intellectual property commission (CIPC) certificate is a reference to the legal registration of a company in terms of the company’s Act number 71 of 2008.
The certificate does not give an organization or an individual right to treat if the firm does not fall into an essential service.
During the coronavirus lockdown in April 2020, companies that were registered through the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission Bizportal were required to have new certificates from the bizportal website, to perform essential services.
To request this certificate, you must register as a customer to get a customer code and password.
You would then deposit the sum of R30 into the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s bank account using your customer code as a reference.
When you are done, click on the “online transaction” and sign in with your customer’s code and password.
Click on this closure and certificate and then click on the type of certificate required.
It takes about 10 working days to get a CIPC certificate from the date of application.
What types of companies can be registered?
Companies that can be registered with the companies and intellectual property commissions include private companies, state-owned companies, external companies, public companies, and personal liability companies.
What Are Annual Returns?
Annual returns are a type of yearly renewal of the organization or close corporation registration.
All organizations or closed corporations are required by law to the yearly returns with the companies and intellectual properties commissions every year, within a prescribed period of time.
The purpose of this is to confirm if a company is still in business or whether it will remain in business in the nearest future.
If annual returns are not filed within this period, the company is assumed to be inactive, and as such, the companies and intellectual properties commission will begin the registration process, and the organization or the closed corporation will be removed from its active records.
The effect of this process is that the juristic personality is withdrawn, and the organization ceases to exist.
Annual returns can only be filed electronically through the CIPC application website, and it can only be filed by the organization or an authorized representative that can provide the required information.
When must the company file its annual returns, and what will happen if the company doesn’t comply?
Filing is done annually, and it differs for organizations and close corporations.
However, companies must file within 30 days, starting from the day after registration. It doesn’t matter if the company was active or not.
Fore closed corporations there must file from the first day of the month it was registered till the next month, regardless of whether it is active or not.
Suppose the company or close corporation does not comply. In that case, the companies and intellectual properties commission will assume that it is not active and start the deregistration process to remove the company from active records. The company or close corporation ceases to exist.
If A Firm Or Close Corporation Has Filed Its Tax Returns With Sars, Is It Still Expected To File Annual Returns With CIPC?
A clear difference must be given between an annual return and a tax return.
An annual return is an overview of the most pertinent information with respect to the company or close corporation and is filed with the Companie and Intellectual Properties Commission, while a tax return concentrates on the taxable income of an organization or close corporation in order to deduce its tax liability to the State and is filed with SARS.
Subordination with the tax returns with SARS does not mean that there is compliance with the annual returns with CIPC.
The processes are different and are administered in terms of distinct legislation by two distinct government departments.