South African Government Launches Pilot of Online Business Registration Platform
The South African government has launched the pilot phase of a new business portal, led by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Companies can be registered for as little as R175.
“[The portal] is a pioneering and innovative project for government e-services. It will improve the time and ease for young people to start new enterprises and sends a great signal two days before the SA Investment Conference,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel.
The Biz Portal is a single integrated company registration platform in South Africa.
Through this platform an entrepreneur will be able to register a business within a day in South Africa, a dramatic improvement on turnaround times of 40 days recorded by the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report.
The public has been encouraged to test the new portal while it is been piloted over the next three months at https://bizportal.gov.za.
The digital platform is aimed at bringing together business-related services from various public entities within South Africa.
Through collaboration with the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF), CIPC made it possible for applicants of private companies to obtain the following:
- Company registration
- Tax registration number
- Domain name registration
- B-BBEE Certificate
- Compensation Fund registration
- Unemployment Insurance Fund registration
- Business Bank account
The Minister said the Biz Portal entails company registration functions that have already been tried and tested for several years within the CIPC’s E-services environment. This will also cater for options in terms of registering for UIF and Compensation Fund Reference Numbers.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, four major banks are participating on the platform.
“Depending on the nature of the agreement, the customer will be able to make a direct payment in relation to the registration services at the end of the transaction, be routed into a safe banking platform to apply for a business account or opt for their personal details to be passed on to a bank of their choice,” said the department.
In the pilot phase, the system is being tested and strengthened. The next phase of the Biz Portal will make provision for other services related to running and maintaining a business.
Identity authentication will be via the real-time Home Affairs Population Register and other sophisticated measures would serve as a necessary buffer to ensure integrity of the system.
“The applicants will also have an option to apply for a Domain Name and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Certificate, thanks to the partnerships CIPC has with the Domain Name Authority, ZADNA and the dti, respectively.
“From a customers’ perspective, there is no need to visit multiple government institutions, saving them time and money. Such seamless registration services will enable entrepreneurs to focus on transforming innovative ideas into beneficial products and services, which will contribute to the creation of jobs in our country,” Patel said.
The Biz Portal also demonstrates government’s commitment to the fourth industrial revolution and is one of the means through which government can demonstrate its commitment to creating an enabling investment environment characterised by efficient service delivery.
CIPC Commissioner, Advocate Rory Voller, said: “CIPC continuously strives to improve service delivery to businesses and is proud to launch Biz Portal, a pioneering platform for e-government services. The Biz Portal is a first for South Africa in terms of government e-services and will significantly reduce the time to register a business.
“This latest addition to the suite of channels is a digital platform which is the result of a collaboration between CIPC, UIF and the Compensation Fund involving the integration of registration services of all three public entities.”
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