Company Registration

In terms of the Companies Act, 2008, a company may be registered with or without a company name. When a company is registered without a reserved name, its registration number automatically becomes the company name. This is the quickest way to register a company.

Such a company may transact with a trading (business) name, or may apply to add a reserved name at a later stage. In this case, the company will need to first reserve a name and then apply for a name change, which constitutes a change to its Memorandum Of Incorporation(MOI)

If your initial name reservation application is not approved, you will need to apply for new names. You may apply for between 1 and 4 names during each application process. 

There are five types of companies that you can register.  If you wish to run a franchise business, you would register a private company.  If you wish to register a church, you would register a non-profit company.  A private school could be registered as a private company or non-profit company, depending on its objectives.  An association of professionals such as lawyers, doctors, civil engineers etc, may be registered as a personal liability company. 

About Registering a Business

CIPC registers Companies and Co-operatives. It is not necessary for all businesses to formalise by registering with the CIPC. For some businesses, such as informal businesses and sole proprietors, there may not be sufficient benefits.

Businesses that wish to transact with government and the formal sector, or that wish to access certain types of government support, are generally required to be registered with the CIPC. For these businesses, there may also be tax benefits to registration, as registered businesses have a lower tax rate than individuals. Even though you may not be registered with the CIPC, you will still have to be registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and will still be liable for tax if your turnover exceeds the prescribed threshold.

Registering a business is simple and inexpensive if you follow the steps outlined on our website. However, it brings with it certain responsibilities, irrespective of whether the business is trading. For example, you will need to file an annual return and pay an annual fee. Directors also have comply to the Companies Act and must comply to the code of good conduct and responsibilities as regulated

Name Reservation

By registering your company name you are ensuring that you comply to the Companies Act and in doing so are protecting your company name against any other person from trading with the same name. If your name is not registered you may be required to cease trading in that name should any person object to the use of the name. This could prove to be costly.

*CIPC have indicated that all trading as names will be required by legislation to be registered in the future.

Company (Own Name)

This is the most popular form of new company registration. Once you have decided on the name you require for your new company an application to reserve the name is made to CIPC. Should this name be available (not already registered or very similar in nature to an approved name) CIPC will approve the name and the company registration application will be processed for registration. Should your names required be rejected a new application for name reservation will be required.

Number as a name

Did you know that you need not reserve a company name and that you may by law use the company registration number as the company name?By registering a new company in this manner you will still enjoy all the rights and protection associated with companies. You may amend and change the name at any time should the need arise. *Generally, this type of company can be registered with 24 hours from time of lodgment (depending on the workflow at CIPC).

Non Profit Company

A non-profit company is a company incorporated for public benefit or other object relating to one or more cultural or social activities, or communal or group interest.

The income and property of a non-profit company is not distributable to its incorporators, members, directors, officers or persons relating to any of them and must be used to advance the purpose for which it was created, as set out in its MOI. A non-profit company must have at least three incorporators and three directors and may be registered with or without members. A non-profit company is not required to have members. The members of a non-profit company are persons who participate in the activities of the non-profit company, such as members of a church or a pension fund. Non-profit companies registered without members, may be registered with a standard MOI or a customized Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).


A co-operative is an independent association of persons who join forces to meet their economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise, organised and operated on co-operative principles.

The co-operative provides services and products to its members. Profits, known as surpluses in a co-operative, are divided among members in relation to the amount of the business each member did with the co-operative.

CC to Company

When converting your Close corporation you may convert a close corporation to a short standard private company. or you may convert a close corporation to a company with a customised Memorandum of Incorporation. This would be dependent on your specific requirement. Please read more on Customised MOI.

When converting you close corporation you may change the name of the company upon conversion. It is important that you use the name that the company will be using after conversion on all the forms.