Starting your on funeral parlour business follows the exact same procedure as starting any business, but you will need a Certificate of Competence. To begin, choose a business entity, i.e. Sole Proprietorship, Closed Corporation or Private Company.
Before you start a business you need to register with the South African Revenue Services, Employees tax (PAYE), Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Unemployment insurance fund (UIF).
Certificate of Competence
Government regulations state that a Certificate of Competence must be applied for in order to open funeral parlour. Before you submit an application for a Certificate of Competence, you must publish two notices in two different official languages in newspapers that circulate in the area in which such premises are situated.
This must be done 21 days before submitting the application. The applicant makes an application for a Certificate of Competence in writing to the Local Authority in whose area of jurisdiction the funeral undertaker’s premises will be situated.
The application must be accompanied by-
- A description of the premises and the location
- A complete ground plan of the proposed construction or of the existing buildings on a scale of 1:100
- A block plan of the premises on which north is shown indicating which adjacent premises are already occupied by the applicant or other persons and for what purpose such premises are being utilised or are to be utilised
- Particulars of any person other than the holder or any of his employees who prepares or will prepare corpses on the premises.
- Subject to the provisions of regulations R 237 of 8 February 1985, no person is allowed to prepare any corpse except on a funeral undertaker’s premises in respect of which a Certificate of Competence has been issued and is in effect.
Dealing with other issues
As a funeral home owner, you will have to deal with various insurance providers. It is important that you understand how funeral insurance cover works. Your staff must know how to assist the family in claiming the policy. Other matters you must have knowledge of are:
- Registration of Death
- Purchasing of Graves
- Cancelling of Identity Documents
- Arrangements with Church and Minister
- Crematorium protocol
- Health Department documents
How much capital is required?
To find out how much capital you will need and to determine what infrastructure is required can only be established through research. There is no fixed formula that will tell you how much money you need to set up a business.
The amount needed to establish a funeral home depends on what you intend to offer: viewings, professional charges, transportation expenses. Other charges may be required for cremation, graveside funerals, obituary announcements, online memorial programs, assistance in the procurement of mandatory paperwork such as death certificates permits and so on. Every funeral home should have an itemised price list.
How to write a business plan
For more information on how to write a comprehensive business plan, read Entrepreneur’s guide: How to Write a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide. Sample Business Plans: For more information on what should be included in your business plan. Refer to one of our sample plans for guidelines.
Research the market
This is why you have to do research into the market, speak to funeral home owners, and ask questions such as how many mortuaries are in the area? What is the cremation rate versus burials? The most important step to take is to write your own business plan.
In doing research, you need to study the market in the area in which you are panning to operate your business. Services offered must be geared towards the needs of the community. Figure out what your competitive advantage is over the other funeral homes. This will help you prepare your marketing strategy, which is necessary in every business plan.
A solid marketing strategy is the foundation of a great marketing plan. You need to create and execute an effective marketing strategy that will take your service to the next level. This includes writing a marketing plan, conducting a SWOT analysis, and implementing your marketing plan.
Facts and stats
For the most recent research, facts and stats pertaining to the funeral industry contact The Funeral Academy for Africa (FAfA) and Independent Crematoriums of SA.
A Guide to Crematoriums
How to start a crematorium
Cremation units have to be built to exacting quality and safety standards and are not manufactured in South Africa. These units are all imported and one unit, without emission systems or installation, costs in the region of R1.2million.
Set up costs
“The cost to set up a fully functional crematorium in South Africa is around R7million”, says Theo Rix, Managing director of Independent Crematoriums of SA. “Most people think that this is an easy way to make money, but it isn’t,” he says.
“It can take up to two years to get the necessary permits and permission from local municipalities and Government authorities. “ Because the paperwork is so extensive, we don’t attempt to do it ourselves. We employ attorneys to get the process going on our behalf,” says Rix. Rix explains that to make one unit viable you will have to cremate more than 60 bodies a month. “Location is crucial as you don’t want to be too near another crematorium. The recommended cost per cremation is R1000 (excluding the urn and the service),” says Rix.
To open a new crematorium business you would need to apply for a licence through your local municipality. There is no fee, but the application requires a great deal of work and preparation on your part. Further, you will also need to contact the Cemetery Board of the local municipality as well as the Department of Environmental Health to gain permission.
If you don’t have a background in crematory services, you will need to familiarise yourself with it. If you need more information, contact Independent Crematoriums of SA on 021 447 1150.
How To Start A Farming Business
Keep these nine points in mind when launching your new farming business.
How Do I Start A Security Company In South Africa?
There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both.
To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (SIRA). There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. It is estimated that the private security industry in South Africa employs over 400 000 individuals.
If you’re looking at starting a security guard company in South Africa, the following guide will be able to assist you in the deciding if it’s the right decision for you.
You need a lot of capital
Starting a security business requires a good deal of capital outlay and it’s highly recommended that one should have a background in this field.
Decide what kind of company you want to start
There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. Each sector falls under its own regulatory body.
What about area competition?
Greg Margolis is the CEO of NYPD Security, a niche security company that has operated for the last five years in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
“To run your own security service company I think that you have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good business person, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing person and know a good deal about the business.
“There’s tough competition, but I love what I do and wouldn’t sell my business even if I was offered triple what its worth. I am passionate about what I do”, says Margolis.
Starting a Security Services Business
To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). This includes paying a registration fee of R2 280 and writing an exam. Once you have passed the exam, proved that you do not have a criminal record, SIRA will conduct an inspection to establish whether or not your business meets the infrastructure requirements. A further fee of R1 710 is charged for the assessment. Each year the business is re-accessed which costs a further R500 plus the annual renewal fee or R520.
The following documentation is required for registration:
- An authenticated copy of the CM1, CM2, CM27, CM29, CM31 and CM 46 (apply at Registrar of Companies or Attorneys), if the applicant is a company;
- An authenticated copy of the Partnership Agreement if the applicant is a partnership;
- An authenticated copy of the trust deed and the letter of authorisation to the trustees from the Master of the High Court if the applicant is a business trust
- The Suretyship form (SIRA 4) to be signed by the natural person who has taken full responsibility of the security business
- Every director, member, partner (as the case may be) applying for registration as a security business must have successfully completed, at a training establishment accredited in terms of law, at least, the training courses Grade E to B
- An authenticated copy of the Tax Clearance Certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS)
- An authenticated copy of the VAT Registration Number from SARS.
- An authenticated copy of the PAYE number from SARS
- An authenticated copy of the COID number (Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases) from the Department of Labour
- Sufficient information in writing to enable the Authority to ascertain that the applicant security business meets the requirements with regard to the infrastructure and capacity necessary to render a security service;
This include, inter alia, the following:
- Submit a business plan to the Authority including the location and activities
- A resolution by the applicant security business stating that it will be able to operate for the next year
- The applicant proves that it has an administrative office that is accessible to the inspectors of the SIRA
- The applicant must have equipment which is necessary for the management and administration of the security business, e.g. fixed telephone, fax machine, a hard copy or electronic filing system for the orderly keeping of all records and documentation
- Show that the affairs of the applicant security business are managed and controlled by appropriately experienced, trained and skilled persons
- The applicant security business has at its disposal a sufficient number of registered and appropriately trained and skilled security officers for the rendering of a security service for which it has contracted or is likely to contract
- The security officers must be properly controlled and supervised
- The applicant security officer has at its disposal sufficient and adequately skilled administrative staff members for the administration of the affairs of the applicant
- The business must have has all the necessary equipment, including vehicles, uniforms, clothing and equipment that must be issued to its security officers
- The applicant security business is in lawful possession of the firearms and other weapons that are necessary offer security services in respect of which it has contracted.
Related: Get going with a One Page Business Plan
The most important thing you can do to start and operate your own business is to develop a good business plan.
It’s invaluable because the business plan forces you to come to terms with your business. Selling the business concept seems to the problem, said Margolis. These are his five tips that will help to get the business going.
“The security industry in South Africa is very competitive. You have to get out there and you have to keep knocking on doors, there isn’t an easy solution”, explains Margolis.
1. Look at your business plan and decide if you have a competitive advantage. If not, work out how you can make the market understand the unique value your small business has to offer.
2. It is important to make yourself known. It isn’t difficult or expensive to increase awareness about the business. Attend ratepayer meetings, spend time at the local police stations, and attend meetings the police have with residents and businesses in the area. This way people get to know you and respect you and half the battle is won. Networking is the way to go.
3. It’s my experience that bigger companies are reluctant to give security contracts to a company that is a one-man show. Make sure that you have a structure in place. Clients need to know if something happens to you, the business will not fall apart, and the services they have paid for and you have agreed to supply, will not cease. Clients need to understand that besides experience, that you are credible and that all the checks and balances are in place. This must be one of the key selling points.
4. Consider taking on a partner. Choose a partner who has the attributes that you lack. The ideal partner would be one with strong links and contacts in the community that you want to work with. Let your partner control the selling side while you handle areas you’re strong in, such as expertise and service delivery. The other option is to employ sales staff.
5. Stay abreast of new trends in the field, and update your skills. This is something that I strongly believe in. You have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good businessperson, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing and sales manager and know a good deal about the neighbourhoods you work.
Are you new to starting a business? Read 15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business
What are the requirements to start a security product supplier business?
If you are starting a security company that sells electronic alarm systems and other security products it’s wise to become a member of SAIDSA in order to provide your business with the credibility it needs to be taken seriously by the public and security service providers.
The objective of SAIDSA is to upgrade the quality and standards of electronic security and to protect the public from unscrupulous, “fly-by-night” operators. When a security system is purchased, an ongoing relationship is entered into between the purchaser and the security service company concerned.
The security service product supplier must have the infrastructure and the required expertise to support the relationship continuously.
Security Sector Regulatory Bodies
The security industry has established a number of bodies to regulate itself. Membership in these bodies is voluntary. They include:
- Security Association of South Africa (SASA), whose membership is open to companies offering any type of security service
- South African National Security Employers Association (SANSEA), an employers association for companies in the security industry.
- Electronic Security Distributors Association (ESDA), an association of importers and distributors of electronic security equipment
- South African Intruder Detection Services Association (SAIDSA), an association of companies providing alarm monitoring and armed response services
- Safety & Security Sector Education & Training Authority (SASSETA)
- Vehicle Security Association of South Africa (VESA)
Ready to get going? Here’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business For Free (Almost)
How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?
An all in one guide to starting a transport and logistics business.
Thinking about starting a transport business?
Forecasts indicate that the demand for freight transport will grow in South Africa by between 200% and 250% over the 15 to 20 years.
Some corridors, (high volume transport routes that connect major centres), such as the corridors between Gauteng and Cape Town (which amount to 50% of all corridor transport) will increase even faster.
The scope in the transport and logistics industry is varied – from a one-man show using a small truck to transport goods and offer services, to a fleet of transport vehicles which travel the length and breadth of South Africa’s roads.
Road transportation includes commuter transport from taxis to bus transportation.
It can be a tough industry and there are many threats facing transport businesses but if you get it right, you can build a successful business.
What is covered in this guide:
- How to start your transport and logistics business
- How to get funding for your transport business
- What are the costs involved
- Finding customers and getting transport contracts
- Getting onto suppliers lists
- Buying trucks and employing drivers
- What are the regulations and risks
- Where to find guidance to start your business.
Ready to get going? Click the arrow button to learn how to start your own transport business.
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