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All you need to know about company and trademark registrations

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For many years, company registrations was a lucrative business for those in the know. Fees of R2 000 and more were charged, but that all changed when the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) took its services online. Whereas before it required joining a long queue at the CIPC offices, this can now be done in minutes online – and at very low cost.

According to the CIPC website, a company registration may vary between R125 for a private company, and R475 for a non-profit company registered without members.

You can register your company with or without a name. If you register it without a name, the registration number automatically becomes your company name. The CIPC also allows you to reserve a company name for a period of six months. If you wish to reserve more than one company name, you can do so at an additional R50 for each reserved name.

There are five types of companies you can register: a franchise, private school (these fall under private companies), churches and other types of schools (depending on the objective) which can be registered as a non-profit organisation, and a personal liability company for associations such as engineers and lawyers.

How and where to register?

To register your company, you need the following documents:

  1. Proof of address not older than three months.
  2. Last three-month banking statement.
  3. Proof of identity.
  4. Sars documents including tax number.

Trademark and intellectual property

In addition to company registrations, it is essential for companies to register trademarks (if they have them). A trademark is a symbol or word that distinguishes your business from other businesses. A trademark allows you, your clients or your customers to easily identify your product or service and prevent them from getting misled by people who may pretend to be you.

Trademark registration costs R590 and is to be renewed every 10 years.

There is however a guideline on what can be registered as a trademark. The CIPC has a guide and a Q&A section based on frequently asked questions about trademarks.

Here are links that can help you with knowing more about company and trademark registrations.

http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/register-your-business/companies/

http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/faqs/trade/