Register a Company

Companies that wish to transact with the formal sector, or that wish to access government support, are required to be registered with the CIPC.  To register a company is simple and inexpensive procedure if you follow the steps outlined on the CIPC website.  However, you will need to file an annual return and pay an annual fees irrespective of whether the business is trading. It is not necessary for all businesses to formalise by registering with the CIPC. (such as informal businesses and sole proprietors)

There are 5 types of companies that you can register with the CIPC in South Africa. You may apply for 4 different company names during each application process. Here are some examples of the types of companies you may register:

Private Company – If you wish to run a franchise business.
Non-profit Company – If you wish to register a church.
Personal Liability Company – An association of professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers etc.

Register a business name as a trademark

By registering a trademark for your business name, competitors are prohibited from exploiting that name. In addition, you may also register multiple trademarks for different product lines, each with their own brand. This will allow you to protect those names or brands, independently of your business name.

Trademarks are registered in terms of the South African Trade Marks Act and are subject to certain requirements. Trademarks may be renewed indefinitely, thereby ensuring the continuity of your brand. Examples of trademarks include business names, product names, logos, slogans.

Once a trademark for a business name is registered, it needs to be renewed every 10 years to stay in force, and provided that you continue renewing your trademark, your rights to the trademark may last forever. If your registered trademark has not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, another person may apply to have it removed from the Register.

It is highly recommended that you contact trademark attorneys to assist you with filing and registering your trademark. Trademark attorneys will not only advise you on the best way to ensure that your marks are properly protected, but will also deal with all the formalities on your behalf, making the process as effective as possible.