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How to set up a business in 8 steps

By Sandy Scholtz - Jun 28, 2017
How to set up a business in 8 steps

Starting a business can be an overwhelming and daunting exercise. There are various aspects to consider which will be determined by the nature of the business you intend operating. As a starting point, we have summarised 8 guidelines to help you get started in the right direction:

  1. Choose a legal structure:

Some of the structures available for business include a sole proprietorship, partnership, close corporation, company or trust.  The requirements and legal liability associated to the various structures differs and it is important to consider this in order to choose a structure that best suits your intended business.

  1. Register your business:

Once you have decided on the appropriate legal structure, choose a name for your business and then register it with relevant offices, including the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and SARS.

  1. Obtain applicable licences:

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to obtain certain licences in order to conduct your business legally.  These could include, amongst others, a liquor licence, music rights licence or a business trading licence.

  1. Select your business premises:

For many businesses, choosing the right location for your business plays an important role in its success. Ensure that your right to operate from the premises is secure, whether it is by virtue of ownership or rental of the property concerned.

  1. Compliance with law:

It is important to ascertain and comply with legal requirements applicable to your business, such as the Tobacco Products Control Act, the Consumer Protection Act and the Companies Act. This further includes compliance with relevant labour legislation if you have employees. 

  1. Obtain adequate insurance:

Starting a business is a costly exercise and it is advisable to seek guidance from a trusted advisor in respect of specific risks pertaining to your business and to insure your business against such risks. 

  1. Formalising business relationships:

Your business will likely involve various relationships with, for example, suppliers and customers. Make sure that the agreed terms of the relationships are properly and clearly set out in a validly executed contract to protect the interests of your business.

  1. Protect your intellectual property:

As your business develops, you will grow a brand and reputation. Your business may further be based on a product or creation that it unique and new. Before sharing this with the world, make sure that you have taken the appropriate steps to protect and secure your right to such intellectual property.

In addition to the above list, there are various aspects that are important to consider and cater for when starting your own business and it is advisable to seek professional advice and guidance from the outset.

Contact Sandy Scholtz at Goldberg & de Villiers Inc. for professional legal assistance on 041 501 9806 / [email protected]