South Africa has become the first country to allow companies to be registered within one day of opening a bank account, in a collaboration between the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and First National Bank.
The initiative is being launched this month. It has taken 18 months to finalise and been piloted by FNB to ensure the system worked properly.
CIPC’s senior manager Rehelda Williams said it took the CPIC one day to process an electronically filed application for a company registration provided that the necessary funds were in the bank and all the documents were correctly submitted.
Other South African banks have been invited to take part in the initiative, but don’t have the required systems in place yet.
IP applications also enabled
This collaboration with banks is a world first, and the initiative includes another first as South Africans will be able to electronically file intellectual property applications on trademarks, designs and patents.
Government departments to come on board
Collaborations with the Home Affairs Department and South African Revenue Service are also being forged in the hope of establishing high-speed links and an integrated service that provides exchange and verification data.
This would mean that SARS could register a company and register it for Value Added Tax (VAT) simultaneously.
CIPC Commissioner Astrid Ludin said the initiative is designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to interact and do business with the South African government.