19 April 2013
South Africa has broken ground by becoming the first country to allow companies to be registered within one day of opening a bank account, in a collaboration between the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and First National Bank.
The initiative will be launched in May. It has taken 18 months to finalise and been piloted by FNB to ensure the system operated properly, CIPC’s senior manager Rehelda Williams told Parliament’s portfolio committee on Thursday.
Williams said it currently took the CPIC one day to process an electronically filed application for a company registration provided that the necessary funds were in the bank and all the documents were correctly submitted, the Business Day reported.
Other South African banks – Nedbank, Standard and Absa – have been invited to take part in the initiative, but do not have the required systems in place yet.
This collaboration with banks is a world first, and the initiative includes another first as South Africans will be able to electronically file intellectual property applications on trademarks, designs and patents.
“All these initiatives are aimed at expediting the process of company registration, a vital element in the ease of starting a business which historically has been a long one in South Africa compared with other countries,” Business Day said.
Collaborations with the Home Affairs Department and South African Revenue Service are also being forged in the hope of establishing high-speed links and an integrated service that provides exchange and verification data.
This would mean that SARS could register a company and register it for Value Added Tax (VAT) simultaneously.
CIPC Commissioner Astrid Ludin said the initiative is designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to interact and do business with the South African government.