Forming a Company in South Africa
We often get enquiries from non-residents who wish to form a company in South Africa. Much of it is pretty straightforward, but there are a few special considerations.
- Anybody, or any company, anywhere, may be a shareholder, or even the only shareholder, of a South African company.
- Anybody, anywhere, may be a Director, or even the only Director, of a South African company.
- The Registered Office of the company must be at a South African street address. We offer our offices for this purpose.
However, if the company wishes to open a bank account, then it must be opened by a Director who is –
- a South African resident. We do not offer this service. or
- a foreigner with a business permit relating specifically to that company
- Once the bank account has been opened it can be operated by the foreigner via Internet banking. However, the local Director will still need to be trustworthy. He or she has ultimate control over the account.
The South African company will only be able to send dividends overseas if the relevant share certificate has been stamped “Non-Resident”. This is done by the Forex department of a South African bank, and we offer this service.
As an alternative, a foreign company may register a South African branch at CIPC, although this is unusual. A branch pays company tax in South Africa, just like a company. However, after tax profits can be sent to the offshore company without being deemed to be dividends.