(021) 200 5644
Mon - Fri 08:00-16:00
Send Whatsapp

Launching Success: A Guide to Starting Your Business Right

Starting your business right is not just a choice, it’s a strategic imperative. The acclaimed business philosopher Peter Drucker once asserted, ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it.’ This sentiment underscores the significance of launching your venture with meticulous planning, adherence to legal frameworks, and a commitment to compliance. Getting it right from the outset lays the foundation for long-term success. Here’s a breakdown of key steps to follow, with a focus on employment contracts and employer responsibilities:

1. Registering a Company

  • Company Registration: Businesses in South Africa must register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Opting for a private company (Pty Ltd) provides legal protection by separating personal and business liabilities.
  • Annual Compliance: Regular filing of annual returns and payment of fees is essential to maintain the company’s legal status.

2. Registering for SARS

  • Tax Registration: Businesses need to register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for various taxes, including VAT, PAYE for employees, and Company Income Tax.
  • VAT Registration: When revenue surpasses a certain threshold, VAT registration becomes mandatory.

3. Unemployment Insurance

  • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF): Employers must register employees with UIF to provide financial support in the case of unemployment, with contributions from both the employer and employee.

4. Occupational Health and Safety

  • The Compensation Fund: Employers must register with the Compensation Fund through the Department of Labour to cover workplace injuries and diseases. Without registering you can’t obtain a Letter of Good Standing which is a requirement for many tenders and contracts.  Registering with the Compensation Fund also protects the employer against personal injury claims when an employee contracts a disease or have an accident at work.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act: There must be compliance with general regulations, including first-aid training, fire safety measures, and reporting incidents to labour inspectors.

5. Employment Contracts, Policies, Procedures, and Disciplinary Codes

  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act: The Act regulates the process and procedures with hiring, firing, remuneration, working hours, and overtime.  Creating a HR Department in line with legislation is important to create an environment where employees adhere to a positive working environment.  
  • Employment Contracts: Drafting an employment contract is vital for outlining terms and conditions of employment this includes duties, remuneration and leave.  Employment contracts tailored made for your business with specific requirement and conditions make regulating your business an easy task. It specifies what the employee is entitled to receive in terms of company policy, company benefits, and labour legislation.  It also regulates the behaviour of the employee in the workplace and includes disciplinary codes company policies and procedures.  If there is no contract regulating these matters, it is extremely difficult to take action against the employee because if the employee has never been informed, then he has the right to conclude that it does not exist.
  • Policies and Procedures:  Going hand in hand with your contract is comprehensive policies covering recruitment, timekeeping, work conditions, leave, disciplinary actions and grievances. It is of the utmost importance to have specific policies like Alcohol and Cannabis Policy with zero tolerance to create a safe working environment for all employees and Restraint of Trade Policy which protects your business against employees sharing valuable information with third parties.
  • Labour Law Disputes: Having a partner like A de Bruyn help you prepare for potential disputes, including unfair dismissal, retrenchments, breach of contracts, discrimination, and collective labour issues. Legal support may be necessary for CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration) proceedings.

6. The Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act, designed to promote and protect the economic interests of consumers, encompasses a broad spectrum of rights and regulations. From fair business practices to the right to information, the act serves as a legal framework to ensure consumers are treated fairly and ethically.

Services we provide under the Consumer Protection Act:

  1. Legal Consultation and Advisory Services: We provide expert legal consultation to consumers and businesses seeking guidance on their rights and responsibilities under the Consumer Protection Act. 
  2. Contract Review and Drafting: The intricacies of consumer contracts can be overwhelming. We can assist by drafting contracts that are fair and just and in plain legal language with reasonable terms and conditions. 
  3. Complaint Resolution and Mediation: When disputes arise, we can act as a mediator to facilitate fair and amicable resolutions between consumers and businesses. Our team will lead you through negotiation processes, promoting efficient conflict resolution.

We can assist you to conduct business in an ethical manner and to promote and protect the reputation of your business.

7. Other Industry Regulations

Every industry has its own set of rules and regulations and understanding them and complying with them is of paramount importance for success. These regulations cover a wide range of areas including licensing requirements, health and safety standards and various other areas. Compliance with industry specific regulations is essential to avoid legal liabilities, fines, and penalties. Therefore, ask yourself whether you are mandated to comply with regulations specific to your sector of business, if not we can help. 

8. Intellectual Property Protection

In the digital age, safeguarding your intellectual property is non-negotiable. From copyright protection for website content to trademarks distinguishing your brand, these measures not only secure your creations but also boost your brand identity. 

A De Bruyn Attorneys can help you protect yourself by:

  • Registering your logos and branding as Trademarks.
  • Drafting of contracts that protect you and your employees to avoid costly situations like the Vodacom v Makatecase, where Vodacom has been ordered to pay 5% – 7,5% of the billions received from the Please Call Me program.
  • Manage the effective licensing and transfer of your Intellectual Property.
  • Protect you in the event of your valuable Intellectual Property rights being breached. Anything from a photo on a website, to a logo on a poster.

You wouldn’t leave your car unlocked, so why leave your Intellectual Property unguarded?

9. Other Important Legislation

Compliance with legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is crucial. Additionally, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) certification, adherence to Employment Equity and Skills Development Acts, and compliance with the ever-evolving legal requirements are essential components of a thriving business. 

By addressing these foundational elements, you can bring your business idea to life while ensuring legal compliance and creating a conducive work environment for your employees. At A de Bruyn, we understand the intricacies of starting a business, and we are here to assist you on this new journey. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.