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Annual Returns- (Compulsory)


All south African companies whether it be a CC, Private or Public company are required to submit annual returns with the CIPC. Annual returns will vary dependent on the turnover of the business as well as whether it is submitted within the 30 days of incorporation each year.

Here is some answers to questions you may have about annual returns submission

When do you submit these returns?

Within 30 Days of the companies incorporation.

What if I have never submitted annual returns?

If the annual returns are not submitted within 30 days of the companies incorporation date penalties will be charged dependent on number of years the fees are outstanding as well as the annual return fee x the number of outstanding years.

Why should I pay these returns?

The annual returns system is in place to ensure CIPC has current information of the business as well as to know whether it is still operational.

If the company is no longer active?

If a company is no longer active one should approach the CIPC in order for the company to be deregistered in stead of just forgetting about it or ignoring the company.

Visits Phase One Business Registration in order to find out whether your returns are due and let us help you submit them before penalties arise.


Finding Funding Part A. Public Sector Initiatives Break Down

iStock_000003231649XSmall[1]Many believe that there is a lack of funding South Africa- false.

There are multiple avenue to explore when looking for funding to start a business. The public sector has an overwhelming amount of initiatives for funding to start a business. By public sector funding we are of course referring to utilising tax money, foreign investments and foreign donations. Public sector funding has a lengthy process to obtain funds but if you plan correctly you will be able to start a business. Here are some public sector funding initiatives available to you to start a business the first installment will guide you through initiatives by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
The DTI is involved in industrial development, and trade, exports and investments by coordinating and advising legislation to broaden participation in the South African economy. Entrepreneurship is seen as a crucial element to stimulating economic growth and development.

Here are 4 initiatives offered by the DTI which will help you start a business

1. Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP)
The BBSDP is a grant offered to black-owned small enterprises improving competitiveness and sustainability allowing black-owned small enterprises to become a part of the mainstream economy and create employment.
2. Incubation Support Programme (ISP)
This initiative encourages partnership between large enterprises in South Africa and Small businesses through skills transfer, development, supplier development and market opportunities.
3. Seda Technology Programme (STP)
STP is a part of SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) focusing on technology business incubation, quality & standards and technology transferring services & support to small businesses.
4. The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP)
The GEP provides non-financial support, financial support and co-ordinates stakeholders to benefit of Small businesses in Gauteng. Supporting, establishing, growing and sustaining small businesses in Gauteng.

To get more information on specific requirements for these funding opportunities visit The DTI

Our second installment will cover another 7 initiatives for public sector finance available to small businesses in South Africa. 

Follow our three part series for funding available for your business is South Africa. Part A- public sector finance, part B- Private Sector funding and Part C- Corporate Funding.

Starting business visit Phase One. We will guide you.

Free Business Tools for Start-Ups- The Business Plan


A comprehensive business plan is essential to the sustainable success of your business. It will guide you and ensure that there will be nothing that surprises you when your business kicks off.

01. Bplans Free Templates
Bplans allows for hundreds of industry specific templates that range from in-depth analysis of your business to simple and manageable business plans. It is easy to use and you can adapt your start-up to these templates.

Visit Bplans for a free business plan template that will suit you no matter the industry of your small business.

02. Business Plan Whiz
Business plan whiz has various packages allowing you to create a comprehensive business plan and also guide you on how to compile a business plan. There are free business plan samples available or you can purchase the basic software for just under R700.00

Visit Business Plan Whiz for how-to and free sample business plans.

03. Sanlam Start-ups

Visit the Sanlam website and they allow you to download a free PDF guide on how-to write a business plan. Although you have to provide them with your contact details it seems worth it for the great value you will gain from reading through their comprehensive business plan guide.

Visit Sanlam for a free PDF guide on writing a business plan.

04. Absa Business essentials
This is an optional extra for small business account owners where Absa will give you marketing and business plan software for only R185.00 per month. With this you will get free IT and business skills courses and videos.

Visit Absa today to view this offer on their small business accounts.

Sourced: Entrepreneur Magazine, December 2011, Start-ups 101

Starting a business visit Phase One to register a company and all your small business and start-up needs.

Systems that Guarantee Success

Starting a business can be relatively easy, whether or not the business will succeed is another story. The reality of your businesses success in the long term is only 10% of stat ups are operational in the first three years and only 10% of those small business start ups make it to ten years.

“Always under promise and over deliver”

Is an important business principle that should always be kept in mind. With all modern technologies  in South Africa that is available to small businesses, SME’s find that 26% of their sales still come from word of mouth. People’s impression of a business is crucial to attaining potential clients. Having the correct systems in place to ensure your business is not only running effectively but efficiently as well is crucial to keeping your promises and commitments to clients.

Your business is made up of many core components that need to work together correctly to create the business as a whole. These core components are your business functions. Every company will have multiple business functions such as sales, finance, human resources, operations, marketing and depending on the size of your small business you might be doing them all.

The simplest way to ensure your businesses units are functioning as a whole is to break each core function up into its simplest form, understand the objectives and responsibilities of each function. Writing these objectives into manageable tasks will ensure they can be monitored and controlled.

All the functions in a business are linked and influence the way in which another function can operate. It is unlikely that one person will have expert knowledge in all functions. As an entrepreneur you should ensure the people you hire in certain functions have sufficient knowledge in their area of expertise and manage the daily, weekly and monthly tasks that will need to be completed. Thus giving you time to focus on your overall business and not individual tasks.

Tip: Students are great employees for all small businesses, they are eager for experience in their industry.

You may not need someone full time which fits in with their flexible hours and you will be able to afford their salary. Just ensure the student has sufficient skills for their function. This is not your chance to step back but rather play and active managerial role that an entrepreneur was born to play, plus you will free up some time.

How To start a business: To register a Private company, simple visit Phase One and all the information of costs, the process involved, what is needed to register a company and additional information will be available to you.

Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.

Get clued up on business tax

If you register a PTY you and your business are separate legal entities. This means you will have to submit separate annual income tax for yourself and your business. Each submission will have its own unique reference number. Below are the SARS requirements for your business

Provisional Tax
This includes income obtained from outside your employer. In the case of a sole proprietor you are requested to pay tax semi-annually. The periods for provisional tax are February till August and September till February. Thereafter tax liability is calculated and credited to your tax account. Depending on the calculation it may result in overpayment therefore SARS will refund you or a shortfall which you will need to pay into SARS by specified date.

Income Tax for businesses

Compulsory SARS tax registration and should be done within 30 days after company is registered.

Tax Turnover
The first R150 000  of taxable turnover of all businesses registered for turnover tax will be free of tax. A business is currently not allowed to register for both VAT and the turnover tax.

PAYE(Pay as you earn)
If you have staff employed PAYE tax is deducted on a monthly basis. As a business will have to register for PAYE, UIF and SDL. Independent contractors that earn more than 80% of their salary from your company will need to be taxed as employees.

If your company has a turn of over 1 million annually you will qualify for Vat. When you qualify you will need to notify SARS and register for VAT. As companies you will be able to claim VAT this however, means the company will have to also pay VAT. The VAT process has deadlines that you will need to comply with and if you fail to do so there will be penalties. Ensuring all invoices have correct company details on will result in them being accepted by SARS. If you are not registered for vat it should be stated on your invoices.

The process of SARS registration can be complex and if you do not comply with these requirements your business will pay heavy penalties. Visit Us to find out more information and costs involved.

Start-Ups: 5 Steps to Appear Established

In today’s competitive market consumers have multiple companies which they can choose to deal with. The power lies with the consumers. If the consumer has the impression that your business is a start-up they may seek a more experienced company to fulfil their needs. Competing against established businesses can be problematic. There is however simple measures that can be taken to ensure your business gives consumers the impression your business is established.


Step 1: Domain

What is a domain? A domain is how clients will find you on the internet. A domain is for example. Registering your domain can be quiet vital to your business as you would register your company name or service you specialise in, if it is available. Clients could easily find you when they search for your business website. Once your domain is registered you will be able to have email addresses that are specific to your company, such as or Setting up multiple email addresses will give clients the impression that your business is a more than a start-up but rather has multiple departments and employees dealing with specific areas within your business.


Step 2: Company Website

Your company website may be the first point of reference for potential clients. They will seek information on the services your business offers, previous projects your business has completed, testimonials from previous clients and contact information. It is important your website is user-friendly. By user friendly we mean the website is easy to navigate, it does not take too long to load, all writing is easily legible and all relevant information is available that a client may require.

Tip: Include Operating hours, your business address, an email address, phone number, cost and time frame of services offered. Ensure your website is presentable, all links work, the overall appearance of your company website is professional and keep it simple yet provide sufficient information.


Step 3: Point of contact

Having a landline number will make your business appear established and give off  the impression of permanence. You phone etiquette is vital to the success of your business. Ensure you are able to return all calls within 24 hours as clients may need a service urgently and will take their business elsewhere if they are not tended to. Having a designated number for business ensures you always know when receiving a call to that number that it is for business allowing you to come across professional.


Step 4: Location

Renting an office is first prize however as a start-up there are other expenses that first have to be covered until your business is doing well enough to rent an office. Many start-ups operate from their home and there is nothing wrong with this there are however a few things that can make your business appear more established. Firstly, if your small business is run from your home placing a well printed sign outside will make the business appear professional. Secondly, designate a specific area of your house to your business where only things you require for your business are, this area is not a storage room but rather should have a professional atmosphere to ensure your clients are comfortable doing business in this environment. Thirdly, ensure that if a client comes to your home that they do not see your personal life. Keep the kids and pets out of the office. Lastly, ensure your home office is safe for clients and that there security is a priority, allocate parking that is in your property, perhaps install cameras to prevent hi-jacking, this is South Africa after all. But with the right measures you will ensure the safety of your clients.


Step 5: Be Prepared

Always keep a few business cards on you. Business cards are an important sign that this business was not just started and that some thought and preparation have gone into what this business is. Have some pamphlets or brochures placed in your office. Even though it may seem like something small clients like a company that is well prepared, gives a good impression and goes a long way to promote the branding for your business.


Following these simple steps will go a long way to making your start up appear established and give off a great first impression making it easier to compete in the market.


To take your business a step further register your company with Phase One today.


Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.