The questions listed below are the most asked questions in all categories. You can choose a category on the links assigned on the left for information related to your question.
All companies (including external companies) and close corporations are required by law to file their annual returns with the CIPC on an annual basis, within a prescribed time period. The purpose for the filing of such annual returns is to confirm whether a company or close corporation is still in business/trading, or if it will be in business in the near future. The annual return may be regarded as a type of annual “renewal” of the company or close corporation registration.
Therefore, if annual returns are not filed within the prescribed time period, the assumption is that the company or close corporation is inactive, and as such CIPC will start the deregistration process to remove the company or close corporation from its active records. The legal effect of the deregistration process is that the juristic personality is withdrawn and the company or close corporation ceases to exist.
Due to security concerns relating to the disclosure of personal information CIPC has affected the following changes relating to annual returns:
- Only the first 6 digits of a director’s or member’s identity number will be displayed; and
- The annual return filing certificate will not display the identity number, personal address, or contact details of a director or member.
No. Annual returns can only be filed electronically via the CIPC Annual Return Website annualreturns.cipc.co.za or CIPC Self Service Terminal. It should be noted that the CIPC Annual Return Website is mobile and tablet enables and therefore the annual return can be filed using a smart phone or tablet.
Annual returns can only be filed electronically via the provided application on the CIPC website.
For the step by step guide on how to file annual returns kindly go to annualreturns.cipc.co.za and click on “how to”.
The CIPC will assume that the company or close corporation is inactive, and as such CIPC will start the deregistration process to remove the company or close corporation from its active records. The legal effect of the deregistration process is that the juristic personality is withdrawn and the company or close corporation ceases to exist.
Due to the nature and the content required on an annual return, such must be filed by the company or close corporation or its duly authorised representative that is in a position to provide the required information.
It is an annual filing and it differs for companies and close corporations. Companies must file (regardless as to whether it was active or not) within 30 business days starting from the day after its date of registration. Close corporations must file (again regardless as to whether it was active or not) starting from the first day of the month it was registered up until the month thereafter. It may still file after such period, but an additional penalty fee will be applicable.
A clear distinction must be made between an annual return and a tax return. An annual return is a summary of the most relevant information regarding the company or close corporation and is filed with CIPC while a tax return focuses on taxable income of a company or close corporation in order to determine its tax liability to the State and is filed with SARS.
Compliance with the one does not mean that there is compliance with the other. It is two different processes, administered in terms of different legislation by two different government departments.
The Companies Act, 2008 provided that a company can be registered with the company number as its name. This is the quickest way to secure a company registration in order to start doing business.
The process of doing the consequent name change was found by the public to be cumbersome and requires additional costs, and the CIPC strive to assist in always streamlining processes.
Therefore, the CIPC has approved a separate name change process to be followed in instances where the company registration was done without a name reservation and was awarded a registration number as the name of the company. In such instances the company in question still need to apply for a relevant name reservation and lodge the necessary name change application documentation with the CIPC, but the name change process will be free of charge.
The requirements for the waived fee to be applicable is as follows:
- Company must have been incorporated with its registration number as its name;
- Only companies amending its name for the first time after being incorporated with its registration number as a name;
- Applicable from 3 March 2014
Companies meeting the above criteria will be allowed the waiver of the R250 amendment fee and must ensure that the correct documents are lodged via the dedicated e-mail address for this purpose, namely email@example.com.
Important to note is that only the amendment fee is waived, and it is still the responsibility of the relevant company to see to the name reservation following the normal process protocols, prior to lodgment of the name change application.
- COR15.2 (completed and signed by active director / company secretary)
- Copy of the resolution confirming the approval of the name change
- Copy of the approved name reservation – COR9.4
- Copy of the certified ID of the COR form signatory
- Approved names which include the word “sure” (e.g telesure, insurance, etc) must lodge an approval by the Financial Services Board (FSB) to use the name
- Ensure the customer code is clearly visible on the COR form for tracking purposes
Follow these steps to view your account statement online:
- Visit the CIPC website - www.cipc.co.za
- Log in using your customer code and password
- Click on “Additional services”
- Click on the second link on the left menu, i.e. “Customers Transactions"
- Select the relevant icon to download your statement
Submit your request together with the following to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Certified ID document of the owner of the customer code
- Proof of payment
- Bank details on bank letterhead or bank stamp
- Letter signed by account holder indicating the reason for the refund, the amount and customer code
Refunds will be processed within 30 working days upon receipt of a request for refund providing all the required documentation is submitted.
CIPC is committed to customer service, and to communicate important information and developments to our customers.
1. Updating customer contact details
To enable CIPC to reach customers, all customers are requested to update their customer profile (customer code details) with CIPC. Updated e-mail address and cell phone numbers are of special importance for communication purposes.
Steps to view and edit your customer profile:
- Log in as CIPC customer on the Home page by clicking on Customer login.
- In the top left corner of the screen, click on your customer name displayed. This will display the customer profile information.
- Review all information and update.
2. Updating company details
Updating of company contact details is very important from a compliance perspective. Enterprises should ensure that CIPC are always kept up to date with the latest company information. To view information on how to update private company details, click here.
Customers are able to confirm the status of applications and reprint confirmation letters and certificates for processed companies and close corporation application from the CIPC website. These functions are accessible on the CIPC website as follows:
- Visit the CIPC website www.cipc.co.za
- Sign in with your customer code and password
- Click on "On-line transacting"
- Click on "Additional services"
- On the left menu, click on "Customers", and then on "Document Status"
Visit the CIPC website www.cipc.co.za
- Sign in with your customer code and password
- Click on "On-line transacting"
- Click on "Additional services"
- On the left menu, click on "Customers", and then on "Customer Confirmation Letter"
Note 1: You will only be able to use this function if the application was submitted under your customer code.
Note 2: If the confirmation letter did not go through Dispatch, it will not reflect on the confirmation letter function.
To obtain a copy of documents or certified copies, click here to request it.
Duties of accounting officers
62.(1) The accounting officer of a corporation shall, not later than three months after completion of the annual financial statements-
(a) subject to the provisions of section 58 (2) (d), determine whether the annual financial statements are in agreement with the accounting records of the corporation;
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 13 (1) (a) of Act 38 of 1986.]30
(b) revi ew the appropriateness of the accounting policies represented to the accounting officer as having been applied in the preparation of the annual financial statements; and
[Para. (b) substituted by s. 13 (1) (a) of Act 38 of 1986 and by s. 4 (a) of Act 17 of
(c) report in respect of paragraphs (a) and (b) to the corporation.
(2) (a) If during the performance of his duties an accounting officer becomes aware of any contravention of a provision of this Act, he shall describe the nature of such contravention in his report.
(b) Where an accounting officer is a member or employee of a corporation, or is a firm of which a partner or employee is a member or employee of the corporation, his report shall state that fact.
(3) If an accounting officer of a corporation-
(a) at any time knows, or has reason to believe, that the corporation is not carrying on business or is not in operation and has no intention of resuming operations in the foreseeable future; or
(b) during the performance of his duties finds-
(i) that any change, during a relevant financial year, in respect of any particulars mentioned in the relevant founding statement has not been registered;
(ii) that the annual financial statements indicate that as at the end of the financial year concerned the corporation's liabilities exceed its assets; or
(iii) that the annual financial statements incorrectly indicate that as at the end of the financial year concerned the assets of the corporation exceed its liabilities, or has reason to believe that such an incorrect indication is given,
[Sub-para. (iii) added by s. 13 (1) (d) of Act 38 of 1986.]
he shall forthwith by registered post report accordingly to the Registrar.
[Sub-s. (3) amended by s. 14 of Act 22 of 2001.]
(4) If an accounting officer of a corporation has in accordance with subparagraph (ii) or (iii) of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) reported to the Registrar that the annual financial statements of the corporation concerned indicate that as at the end of the financial year concerned the corporation's liabilities exceed its assets or that the annual financial statements incorrectly indicate that as at the end of the financial year concerned the assets of the corporation exceed its liabilities, or that he has reason to believe that such an incorrect indication is given, and he finds that any subsequent financial statements of the corporation concerned indicate that the situation has changed or has been rectified and that the assets concerned then exceed the liabilities or that they no longer incorrectly indicate that the assets exceed the liabilities or that he no longer has reason to believe that such an incorrect indication is given, as the case may be, he may report to the Registrar accordingly.