Registration of new companies at CIPC

The merger of the Companies Intellectual Property registration Office (CIPRO) with the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) has produced the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) was launched in South Africa when The New Companies Act of 2008 (Act 71 of 2008) was enforced on the 1 st May 2011.

With the merger of CIPRO and the OCIPE into CIPC, no new Close Corporations may be registered in South Africa, and no company may now convert to a Close Corporation (CC). Close Corporations which were registered before this date will still exist indefinitely and will be maintained by the CIPC. Owners of CC’s will still be allowed to make changes to their founding statements, their business name, changes of addresses and so forth in terms of the Close Corporation Act.

As new business owners can no register their business as a Close Corporation (CC), The New Companies Act allows for two categories for companies to be governed by The Act, namely profit companies and non-profit companies. Profit companies include: Private Companies, State Owned Companies, Public Companies and Personal Liability Companies.

Non Profit Companies or NPC are created for the upliftment of various cultural or community projects and no member of the non profit company will be allowed to claim any profit or property of the NPC for him or herself.

Private Companies will have to have “Proprietary Limited” (Pty) Ltd after their registered name and there may now be more that fifty shareholders or members in a Private Company.

State -Owned Companies are companies that are owned by municipalities or a state-owned enterprise. All State Owned Companies must have (SOC Ltd) after the registered company name.

Public Companies remain much the same as they did before The New Companies Act of 2008, however Private Companies do not need seven members for incorporation and now only require one member. Public Companies are required to have (Ltd) after the registered company name.

The directors or previous directors of Personal Liability Companies will all be held accountable for any debts or legal responsibilities whilst incumbent in the company. Personal Liability Companies will be required to have incorporated (Inc) after the company name.

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