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Top Company Registration Service Providers | SME South Africa

The Top Company Registration Service Providers in South Africa

May 16, 2022

Company Partners - Best for additional extras

    Company registration services

    Shelf Companies

    SARS / Tax Services

    Industry Specific Compliance

SwiftReg Company Registration - Industry-specific registrations

    Company registration services

    Trademark registration

    Digital marketing services

    Industry-specific packages

1-Grid - Best for company & domain registration

    Company name reservation

    Income tax number

    Website builder (3 months)

    Business email tool (3 months)

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To keep up with the long list of requirements, small business owners are turning to company registration service providers whose range of services include everything from company registration to opening of bank accounts, tax consulting and bookkeeping.

Most new business owners are often surprised at the sheer amount of red tape they need to navigate to run a compliant business in South Africa. This includes everything from labour laws and tax, as well as annual and sector-specific regulations. All these requirements place a heavy administrative burden on new businesses.

As most will find, registering your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is just the first step of formalising your business. Following this, small businesses must register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for income tax and VAT. To remain compliant SME owners may also need to obtain additional licences or permits, including import/export permit, share, tax clearance or B-BBEE certificates.

Related: SARS Business Registration FAQs – What You Need To Know To Stay Compliant 

Main Features

Whether you just need to register your business or need more comprehensive administrative support, here are some of the services offered by Company Registration Service Providers.

Basic registrations

Businesses that wish to transact with the government and the formal sector, or that wish to access certain types of government support, are generally required to be registered with the CIPC.

Required services:

  • New company registration with the CIPC
  • Open business bank account
  • Name reservation with the CIPC
  • Bank details verification
  • Letter for confirmation for sales
  • CIDB registration


To avoid getting on the wrong side of the tax man, entrepreneurs need to educate themselves on tax rates, rules, filing deadlines and penalties in their industries

It’s not all bad news though, if you are a registered company you may gain some benefits from SARS, such as tax deductions.

Some examples of what you can claim for include:

  • Business travel and accommodation costs
  • Telecommunication services
  • Subcontractors
  • Stationery
  • Office rental
  • Inventory

Required services:

  • Income tax registration
  • VAT registration
  • Import/Export permit
  • Share certificate
  • e-filing registration
  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Public officer appointment (represents the company for all tax matters)

Labour registrations

As a small business owner, employing your first employee can be both an exciting and daunting experience. Part of running a small business is ensuring you comply with employment laws and requirements.

Some of the first responsibilities that you have as a small business owner and new employee is to register for employee tax with SARS.

Required services:

  • UIF registration
  • PAYE registration
  • Skills Development Levy (SDL) registration
  • Workers Compensation (WCOMP) registration

Business branding

​Your corporate identity or logo design forms a part of your business branding and represents the company’s identity. It also gives your customer the first impression which is especially important for new businesses.

Required services:

  • Logo design
  • Business branding
  • SEO services
  • Digital marketing


Complying with BBBEE from the get-go not only creates a positive image for your business but is also a requirement if you will be pursuing government tenders.

Required services:

  • B-BBEE affidavit
  • BBB-EE certificate

Licences & Permits

One of the more important requirements of starting a business is making sure you have all the necessary associated permits and licences within your chosen industry. Different industries require that you have certain licences in place to operate. It is important to find out which licences you may need to operate.

Required services:

  • Import/export permits
  • Liquor licences
  • Certificate of acceptability

Bookkeeping services

Making use of bookkeeping services can help new businesses get to grips with their finances, giving them helpful advice on exactly what they need to do to secure the future of their businesses.

Required services:

  • Invoice template
  • Accounting
  • Tender applications

Company registration service providers typically offer tiered packages. Business owners can choose from packages that only offer basic services such as company registration and VAT registration to a more premium package with comprehensive services such as CSD registration, Letter of Good Standing, or Import/Export permits.

Buyer's Guide


SME owners must fulfil all compliance requirements for their businesses.

“Compliance refers to the process of ensuring that businesses operate in accordance with the set laws, regulations and legislations of the country they operate in to ensure the legality of business operations.”

Compliance becomes especially important for businesses if they plan to access funding or are seeking business opportunities such as government tenders.

Additionally, funders, corporates and supplier enterprise development programmes, as well as suppliers and other stakeholders will want to know that your business is compliant with all the relevant regulatory requirements.

Below are some of the documents you may be asked to produce are:

  • Tax clearance certificate
  • National identification card
  • Relevant permits and licences
  • Company registration documents
  • Your business/personal six months latest bank statements
  • Proof of residence
  • One year financial statements

Business needs

Your compliance requirements may differ depending on the structure of your business or industry.

For example, legislation requires that certain types of businesses be in possession of a valid business or trade licence. This can include businesses like a restaurant, coffee shop, a tavern or a health and wellness spa. Businesses operating in the food service industry require health and safety permits, licences for the selling of liquor and tobacco, as well as zoning permits to operate in certain locations. Transport businesses in the tourism sector require a Road Transportation permit and Professional Drivers permit.

Some examples of industry-specific compliance requirements for the construction industry are registration with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).


Becoming compliant can be a lot of work and the process can be very difficult to navigate . It can present challenges for entrepreneurs who not only have to focus on running and growing their businesses, while also taking care of the administration aspect.

To save time and money, business owners should outsource administrative tasks and processes to the professionals, this includes company registration services.


Having a registered business can help to improve your business’ reputation and credibility among potential stakeholders, from customers, clients and suppliers to investors.

For shareholders, potential investors and funders, compliance is a non-negotiable business requirement and non-compliant businesses will not be considered for potential funding/investment opportunities which will have an impact on the success of your business.

Top Benefits of Company Registration

Getting your business registered in South Africa has multiple benefits including:

  • Business name protection
  • Business compliance
  • Access to government assistance (e.g tax incentives)
  • Attract business opportunities
  • Helps separate your finances
  • Protect your personal liability
Compare our best picks

Company Partners


Free optional services – BEE Affidavit, bank account and website.

Convenience and Time-Saving

Reduced Risk of Errors


Loss of Control

Not Always Necessary

Company Partners is an online company registration services company offering services to assist new business owners with compliance requirements.

SwiftReg Company Registration


Branding and Legitimacy



Limited Control

Not Necessary for Simple Businesses

SwiftReg Company Registration is a company registration provider that has been in business for over 22 years



Three-month subscription to 1-grid’s website builder

1-grid’s business email tool

Simplicity and Speed



Limited registration services – only offer basic company registration.

1-Grid takes the hassle out of registering your South African business. Their online platform streamlines the process, letting you register your company and secure a domain name in minutes.