Before Starting a Business in South Africa, Read This

starting a businessStarting  a business in any land is an exciting venture, and perhaps more so for people starting a new company in South Africa, whether they live in foreign lands and are trying to run the business from afar, or whether they were born and raised in the land itself.

Some people discover that altruistic companies that develop solutions to help the wellbeing and health and welfare of underprivileged and destitute people in the land are a rewarding type of business to begin in the land. Other have had success in businesses that sell electricity generators or in the property purchasing business at large, so there exists a wide range of opportunities for varied interest in business development.

According to the World Bank, in 2013, South Africa ranked 39th out of 185 countries in terms of the overall ease of doing business in the country, a study that ranked various factors for the nation, which included tax information, contracts, registration forms, opening bank accounts, and various other indicators that are attributable to beginning businesses.

Construction Permit Factors

One huge concern on beginning a business in South Africa involves the need for obtaining a construction permit, something that can be of vital concern on your project timeline, if you need one. The average time of being granted a construction permit in South Africa was noted by the Word Bank to land around 127 days, and that doesn’t include the time spent researching or gathering all the facts that have to be collected in preparation for applying for said permits.

For example, if one wants to build a warehouse in South Africa, it is a 90-day process to get the site plans and building plans approved, hopefully just in time for construction to begin on the work site. The cost is based on a sliding scale, and next there is a 20-day process for TELKOM to review your building plans and your application submission for telephone lines.

Additional Factors to Consider

Beyond those initial large wait times, there are other factors such as your business’ health and safety plan as well as road repair deposits to be paid in the instance of any damages done to roads during the construction process.

As expected, the government will perform its due diligence regarding factors like excavation notification and foundational work that includes any sewage or plumbing inspections to ensure you are in compliance with the official laws that govern such actions.

Getting Electricity for Your Business

Having power in essential for many businesses, be they old or new. This is why it’s important to examine any weaker sources of power supply your business may encounter in South Africa, and be prepared to provide your own source of power in the form of a back-up generator if necessary to keep your business flowing without interruption of power needs.

As such, the process of getting a new electrical connection in South Africa can take nearly one year – about 226 days to be exact. Therefore, this is a major consideration if you are launching a new business that will need to go through the process of applying for a connection. There is a laundry list of requirements you will want to research – like road access requirements, etc. – in order to gain this all-important power source.

Wrapping it All Up

All in all, starting a business in that part of the globe may be a rewarding venture, if the time is right and the company is meant to be. Instead of jumping into the adventure without thinking it through first, it helps to take some time to examine all the necessary paperwork before beginning your journey. Make sure to visit if you decide to start your new venture in Cape Town, South Africa.


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