Govt intros new digital portal for company registration

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Minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel.
Minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel.

The government has launched an ingenious project which allows entrepreneurs to register a company within a day in South Africa.

The launch of the Biz Portal, a single integrated company registration online platform, comes as the country is hosting its second investment conference.

Minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel, says: “The portal is a pioneering and innovative project for government e-services. It will improve the time and ease for young people to start new enterprises, and sends a great signal…before the SA Investment Conference.”

The pilot phase of the new business portal, led by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), was launched on Monday.

Through this platform, entrepreneurs will be able to register a business within a day, which the government says is a dramatic improvement on turnaround times of 40 days recorded by the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report.

The digital platform houses all business-related services from various public entities in the country.

The portal is a collaboration of the South African Revenue Services, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF), and CIPC who have made it possible for applicants of private companies to obtain key business services such as company registration, tax registration number, domain name registration, B-BBEE certificate, compensation fund registration, unemployment insurance fund registration, as well as a business bank account.

The minister says: “From a customers’ perspective, there is no need to visit multiple government institutions, saving them time and money. Such seamless registration services will enable entrepreneurs to focus on transforming innovative ideas into beneficial products and services, which will contribute to the creation of jobs in our country.”

The project has also received support from four major banks who are offering services on the platform.

In a statement the DTI says: “Depending on the nature of the agreement, the customer will be able to make a direct payment in relation to the registration services at the end of the transaction, be routed into a safe banking platform to apply for a business account, or opt for their personal details to be passed on to a bank of their choice.”

The next phase of the Biz Portal will make provision for other services related to running and maintaining a business.

Identity authentication will be via the real-time Home Affairs population register and a safety net have been put in place to serve as a necessary buffer to ensure integrity of the system.

The DTI says with the Biz Portal, the government is demonstrating its commitment to the fourth industrial revolution.

Commenting on the project, CIPC commissioner, Advocate Rory Voller, says: “CIPC continuously strives to improve service delivery to businesses and is proud to launch Biz Portal, a pioneering platform for e-government services. The Biz Portal is a first for South Africa in terms of government e-services and will significantly reduce the time to register a business.

“This latest addition to the suite of channels is a digital platform which is the result of a collaboration between CIPC, UIF and the Compensation Fund involving the integration of registration services of all three public entities.”

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