Photograph — AFRICA ON THE RISE.

The South African government in collaboration with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has launched Biz Portal -an online registration portal for businesses in the country.

Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry said the portal “will improve time and ease for young people to start new enterprises.” He also added that this pioneering project comes ahead of the South Africa Investment Conference.

Biz Portal was developed to improve the rigorous process of business registration for various public entities in South Africa. It offers company registration in a seamless digital way making it possible for an entrepreneur to register a business within a day.

The CIPC partnering with South African Revenue Services (SARS), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)and Compensation Fund (CF) amongst others, has made available for a registration fee of R175 for private companies willing to register their businesses.

However, small companies in South African rural communities face a number of challenges in registering their businesses. According to a  study conducted by students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa,  the local government in rural communities impose unrealistic regulations that barricade companies from registering new enterprises. 

With exorbitant tax and registration fees levied by local governments, companies are discouraged from entering the formal economy as registered entities. 

Also, the declining socio-economic conditions of rural communities characterized by a high level of illiteracy, absence of basic infrastructure, lack of electricity amongst others limits companies from registering. The government is therefore taxed with making the economy favourable for South African companies to emerge. 

The Biz Portal registration process starts with inputting details of the potential business such as the company’s name, director’s details, B-BBEE certificate etc. and ends with the payment of the registration fee.  

The digital platform offers other services such as Tax Registration, Domain Name Registration, B-BBEE Certificate, Compensation Fund registration, Unemployment Insurance Fund Registration and Business Bank account opening. 

Nevertheless, the Biz Portal online platform will significantly reduce the time to register a business and subsequently create an enabling investment environment characterized by efficient service delivery.  

By Treasure Nnabugwu.

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