Most of the compliance obligations imposed on companies registered in terms of the Companies Act, 2008, do not apply to external companies. External companies are only required to maintain at least one office in South Africa and must register the address of its principal office with the CIPC. Any changes to the address of the registered office must be notified to the CIPC. Furthermore, external companies are required to file annual returns with the CIPC within 30 days of the anniversary of their registration date.

Change to the Registered Address

The registered address or office of a company is very important, as it is the address at which any legal documents will be served on the company.  Companies are required by law to ensure that this information is up to date, and maybe liable for a fine or prosecution if it is found that the information is not up to date. 


To apply for a change to the registered address, follow these steps:

Step 1:  Register as a Customer


 If you are already registered as a customer, and know your customer code and password, proceed to step 2.

Step 2:  Lodge a notice of the registered address

  • Print and complete the following form:
    • Form CoR21.1 for a change of registered office; or
  •  Click here to upload  and submit the signed forms and supporting documents to CIPC OR Scan and e-mail the completed and signed documents together with supporting information to companychanges@cipc.co.za
  • The following supporting documents must be included in your e-mail:
    • Resolution or minutes of the meeting in terms of which the change has been mandated
    • Certified identity copy of applicant
    • Power of attorney (if applicable)


The service delivery standard is 15 working days from the date of tracking. If you do not receive your certificate of amendment within the service delivery standard, please send a query to us by going to “Enquiries” and select the correct option.


You can track the progress of your document by checking on our website. Go to "On-line transacting" / “Additional Services”, select “Customers” and then select “Document Status”. To check the tracking number, go to “Customer Transactions” under “Customers”.

Annual Returns

 cipc_infographic.gifAll companies (including external companies) and close corporations are required by law to lodge their annual returns with CIPC within a certain period of time every year. An annual return is a statutory return in terms of the Companies and Close Corporations Acts and therefore MUST be complied with.
Failure to do so will result in the Commission assuming that the company and/or close corporation is not doing business or is not intending on doing business in the near future. Non-compliance with annual returns may lead to deregistration, which has the effect that the juristic personality is withdrawn and the company or close corporation ceases to exist.

  • Companies have 30 business days from the date that the entity become due to lodge annual returns before it is in non-compliance with the Companies Act.
  • Annual returns can only be filed electronically.  
  • Always use your customer code to transact with CIPC.

To calculate outstanding AR fees, click here.   First log in using your customer code and password, and then click on AR calculator.

 

Steps to file Annual Returns

Annual returns must either be lodged electronically on CIPC's website or on a CIPC Self-Service Terminal (SST).  The process of lodging an annual return at a SST is simpler than the online process, as it allows for payments after completion of the transaction.  However, the SST process is only suitable for companies and close corporations where the director or member lodges the annual return him/herself. 

To lodge your annual return online on CIPC’s website, follow these steps:

Step 1:  Register as a Customer

  • If you are already registered as a customer, and know your customer code and password, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Calculate your annual return fee

  •  Calculate the outstanding Annual Return fee by using the Annual Return Calculator.  First log in using your customer code and password, and then click on AR calculator.
    • Visit the annual return website: http://annualreturns.cipc.co.za;
    • Select "Customer Login" and follow the indicated prompts;
    • Select "AR Fee Calculator";
    • Type in the registration number (year/sequence/type) at the Enterprise Number field and click Validate.  Confirm whether the provided registration number corresponds with the enterprise detail being displayed.  If not, reconfirm registration number by typing it in at the Enterprise Number field and click Validate.  If correct, click Continue.
    • A screen will be displayed indicating lodged annual returns as well as outstanding annual returns.  Type in the relevant turnovers for each outstanding year and click on "Calculate Outstanding Amount";
    • The screen will display the total amount due. 

Step 3:  Deposit funds

  • Deposit the correct amount into the CIPC bank account.  For the bank account details, click here.  Use your customer code as reference when depositing funds into the CIPC account.

Step 4:  File annual return and generate certificate

  • Visit the annual return website: http://annualreturns.cipc.co.za;
  • Select "Customer Login" and follow the indicated prompts;
  • Select "File/Lodge AR";
  • Type in the registration number (year/sequence/type) at the Enterprise Number field and click Validate.  Confirm whether the provided registration number corresponds with the enterprise detail being displayed.  If not, reconfirm registration number by typing it in at the Enterprise Number field and click Validate.  If correct, click Continue.
  • A screen will be displayed indicating lodged annual returns as well as outstanding annual returns.  Type in the relevant turnovers for each outstanding year and click on "Calculate Outstanding Amount";
  • The screen will display the total amount due.  Click on "Pay";
  • The screen will summarise the transaction detail.  Click on "Update Details to Pay";
  • The annual return is pre-populated except for the empty fields under the Enterprise Details heading.
  • Select [+] Expand to open details of each section of the annual return and confirm if information is correct.
  • If the information displayed has changed, tick the appropriate tick box at the relevant heading.
  • Then click on File Annual Return(s).
  • Click on Generate Certificate for the annual return lodgement confirmation to be generated and keep this copy.
  • For further assistance, kindly contact annualreturns@cipc.co.za.


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