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How to Start Your Own Company

How to Start Your Own Company

So you have an idea to start your own business. You saw a need, conducted your research, drafted your business plan and even settled on a name for your company – you feel that it is a step in the right direction. The tricky part is getting started.

A good first step is getting your business registered. Registering your business is no hassle as you could do it all online with various organizations such as Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Rapid Business Registrations, Asset One Accountants and Asset Registration to name a few. All it takes is a certified ID copy, proof of address together with a nominal fee and your company is registered. Many of these companies also offer package deals which include tax registration and certificate for your business, import/export license and various other components to make your start-up smooth sailing.

While in the establishment phase, you should consider certain aspects of business with regard to copyright, patents, trademarks, permits and property. Some or all of it might affect your company. Here is a breakdown of each component:

  • Copyright – basically legal protection and claiming for creators of original pieces of work be it literature, art, music, video, film, radio and television broadcasting, technology and software. The creator would sign copyright over to a company to use the work. And vice versa, if the company is the original creator of the work, the company is then protected by copyright law to lay claim over the original work.

  • Patent – unique idea or invention that is often the most valuable asset of a business. A company can protect that asset with a patent registration which lasts for 20 years at a cost. In the event of copying or exploiting that patent, legal action can be taken against the exploiter.

  • Trademark – refers to a brand or slogan used by a company.  A trademark can be registered and protected for 10 years and then renewed by paying a fee. This is useful for any business because your company is recognized by the trademark.

  • Permits/Business License – in specialized cases a business may need a permit or license to trade with certain goods. You can apply for a trading license at the Licensing Department and it should be renewed every few years.

  • Property – location/s for your business. Would you be starting out at home? Would you need a business premise? If so, does the nature of your business require you to find suitable property within an area zoned for business?

These are all factors to consider and prepare for in the midst of starting your company. Think about which of these would affect your business and start planning to have the necessary components implemented.

Now that you have an idea of your company’s establish you can focus all your energy and resources into your company’s financial management system. Here are a few aspects that need to be taken into consideration:

  • Funding – you need to establish your start-up cost and how you will go about funding your business. Do you have funds and resources to fit the cost on your own or in partnership? Do you have or will you approach investors? Will you be applying for a business loan?

  • Budget – this is your business financial management system. Create an expense budget and estimate the sales or business that your company would bring in.

  • Company Bank Account – part of your financial management system is opening a banking account for your business. Also determine how your company will be paid for whatever sales or services that your business offers and set up an appropriate payment structure. You would also be required to make various business purchases; now would be the time to establish how your company would go about doing that.

  • VAT – companies who profit from sales exceeding R1 million within a 12 month period are liable to register for VAT. To register for VAT, you need to submit a VAT 101 form to the nearest SARS branch where your business is situated. Thereafter you will receive your VAT registration number and a VAT registration certificate (VAT 103).

  • TAX – as soon as your business is up and running your company should be a registered taxpayer within 60 days. You can register at your nearest SARS branch by completing and submitting an IT77 form to receive your income tax number.

Next on the start-up agenda is the legalities of starting and running your company.  It is important to brush up on the rights of everyone involved and who comes into contact with your business: consumers/clients, employees and even yourself as the owner of the company. Knowing your rights and that of everyone else’s can help prevent complaints, grievances from employees and various conflict with the law where your company is concerned.

With all the basic technicalities of starting up your company out of the way, you can then plan ahead for opening up for business as well as implementing your advertisement and marketing strategies: branding. This would be the public’s perception of your company’s identity and what you represent. Branding should be a huge focus as it affects the success rate and as a start-up you should be extremely careful in your branding strategy.

Starting a company is no easy task and is seen as a risk. As long as you have the passion and vision for what you can offer the public, together with insight and determination, nothing can stop you from transforming your company from a start-up to a success.

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