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Mpumalanga Business 2017 edition

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Mpumalanga Business 2017 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2008 established itself as the premier business and investment guide to Mpumalanga Province. Supported and utilised by the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA), Mpumalanga Business is unique as a business journal that focuses exclusively on Mpumalanga.

Establishing a business

Establishing a business in SA South Africa has eased the barriers to doing business in South Africa for locals as well as international companies and individuals. South Africa has a sophisticated legal, regulatory and banking system. Setting up a business in South Africa is a relatively straight-forward process with assistance being offered by organisations such as the Department of Trade and Industry and provincial investment agencies like the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA). South African law regulates the establishment and conduct of businesses throughout the country. Tax, investment incentives, regulations governing imports, exports and visas are uniform throughout the country. The particular environment varies from province to province with regard to the availability of human and natural resources, the infrastructure and support services, business opportunities and the quality of life. In this respect, MEGA can offer specific advice about the business environment in the province. Business is regulated by the Companies Act and the Close Corporation Act, which cover accounting and reporting requirements. Under new legislation, no new Close Corporations can be created but CCs can convert to companies. Registration of company The company must be registered with the Comp anies and Intellectual Properties Commission, (CPIC) in Pretoria within 21 days of the company being started. There are a range of administrative procedures that need to be fulfilled. Bank account A business bank account must be opened in the company’s name with a bank in South Africa. Registration with the receiver of revenue • As a Provisional Taxpayer • As a VAT vendor • For Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax payable on money earned by employees • For Standard Income Tax on Employees Registration with the Department of Labour Businesses employing staff will have to contact the Department of Labour regarding mandatory contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Register with Compensation Commissioner for Compensation Fund: Files with the Compensation Fund (in the Department of Labour) for accident insurance (Workmen’s Compensation). Registration with the local authority Relevant only to businesses dealing in fresh foodstuffs or health matters. Other procedures Checking exchange control procedures (note that non-residents are generally not subject to exchange controls except for certain categories of investment) • Obtaining approval for building plans MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017 28

SPECIAL FEATURE • Applying for industry and export incentives • Applying for import permits and verifying import duties payable • Registering as an exporter if relevant and applying for an export permit Business entities There are a variety of forms which businesses can take, including private and public companies, personal liability companies , non-profit companies, state-owned companies and even branches of foreign companies (or external companies). Branches of foreign companies fall under section 23 of the Companies Act of 2008 and are required to register as “external companies” with the CIPC. An external company is not required to appoint a local board of directors but must appoint a person resident in South Africa who is authorised to accept services of process and any notices served on the company. It must also appoint a registered local auditor and establish a registered office in South Africa. Patents, trademarks and copyrights Trademarks (including service marks) are valid for an initial period of 10 years and are renewable indefinitely for further 10-year periods. Patents are granted for 20 years, normally without an option to renew. The holder of a patent or trademark must pay an annual fee in order to preserve its validity. Patents and trademarks may be licensed but where this involves the payment of royalties to non-resident licensors, prior approval of the licensing agreement must be obtained from the dti. South Africa is a signatory to the Berne Copyright Convention. Permits for foreign nationals Work permits In considering whether or not to grant a work permit, the Department of Home Affairs will first evaluate the validity of the offer of employment by conducting a number of checks to confirm the following: • Has the Department of Labour been contacted? • Has the position been widely advertised? • Is the prospective employer able to prove that he or she has tried to find a suitably qualified local employee prior to hiring a foreigner? • Is the prospective employee appropriately qualified and do they have the relevant experience? Business permits Foreign nationals who wish to establish their own business or a partnership in South Africa must, apart from having sufficient funds to support themselves and their family, be able to invest at least R2.5-million in the business. The funds must originate overseas, be transferable to South Africa and belong to the applicant (ie emanate from the applicant’s own bank account). The business must also create jobs for South African citizens. After six months to a year, proof will have to be submitted that the business is employing South African citizens or permanent residents, excluding family members of the πemployer. Applications for work permits for self-employment can only be lodged at the South African Consulate or Embassy in the applicant’s country of origin. The processing fee is US6. The applicant would also have to lodge a repatriation guarantee with the consulate/embassy equivalent to the price of a one-way flight from South Africa back to his or her country of origin. This guarantee is refundable once the applicant has either left South Africa permanently or obtained permanent residence. Any application for an extension of a business permit may be lodged locally. The processing fee per passport holder is R425. Some countries also need to pay R108 per return visa. A list of countries to which this applies is available from the Department of Home Affairs. MEGA assists investors in applying for the relevant work permits to conduct their business. What would MEGA do for you? MEGA will help new businesses by assisting in project appraisal and packaging, putting investors in touch with relevant agencies and government departments, alerting investors to investment incentives and setting up joint ventures where required. A full description of the services offered by MEGA is reflected elsewhere in this publication. 29 MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2017

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