In South Africa, founding a company can be comparatively swift, unproblematic and affordable. IMCOSA has a network of partners who provide assistance with choosing the appropriate legal vehicle and performs the registration, including name reservation and registration of shareholders and directors. The following entities are available:

Close Corporation (cc)

  • Can no longer be registered, but shelf companies still exist and are available

Private company (Pty Ltd)

  • Limited liability of shareholders
  • Shareholders can be natural or juristic persons
  • Recognized vehicle for medium to large enterprises

Personal Liability Company (Inc)

  • The directors are personally liable for the contractual debts and liabilities of the company

Partnership

  • A relationship between two or more people, based on a partnership agreement

Business trust

  • A contractual arrangement that allows trustees to hold assets (without owning them) for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries; trustees trade for profit, again for the benefit of the beneficiaries

Sole proprietorship

  • A single-owner enterprise with a natural person as the owner

Public company (name ends in “Ltd”)

  • Suitable for listing on the stock exchange

External company

  • Local branch/subsidiary of foreign company

Domesticated companies

  • A foreign company whose registration has been transferred to South Africa

Non-profit company (NPC)

  • Set up for public benefit, or for a purpose relating to cultural or social activities, or communal or group interests, such as religion, sciences, education, arts, charity or recreation

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