Do I need any licenses and permits to start a construction company?

Do I need any licenses and permits to start a construction company?


There are a few compliance requirements that you would need to get in place when starting a construction company.

Let’s start off with the basics. You need to apply for your company registration with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Once you have all the original company documents in place you can open a bank account and register with SARS for income tax, VAT (Business with an annual taxable income of more than R1,000,000 must to register for VAT) and employee tax.

You are also required to register with the Department of Labour for Unemployment Insurance and for the Compensation for the Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

There are a few associations that a construction company can register with, such as the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). Construction companies registered with the NHBRC are recognised as reputable by the public sector and financial institutions.

If the public sector is part of your target market then you need to register you business with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). The CIDB grades and categorises contractors according to their works and financial capability.

Other operational requirements that should be in place are a comprehensive Health and Safety Policy and a Safe Work Procedure Manual, which is in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. When embarking on an opportunity you need to ensure that you have sufficient Public Liability Insurance cover, the level of the insurance cover needed will normally be stipulated by the client.

References and further reading

Shawn Theunissen
Shawn Theunissen is head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Growthpoint Properties and the founder and manager of Property Point, Growthpoint Properties’ enterprise development programme. Shawn’s diverse enterprise development expertise includes designing and implementing business support services; creating market linkages between SMEs and large corporate entities; and providing capacity building support, and process and learning journey facilitation. For more information visit