Learn from Entrepreneurs who built successful businesses: 10 Entrepreneurs On Advice That’s Helped Them Build Their Business
1. Types of entities
- A company incorporated for public benefit or another object relating to one or more cultural or social activities, or communal or group interests.
- The income and property are not distributable to its incorporators, members, directors, officers or persons related to any of them.
- Profit companies are categorised as companies without restrictions on the transferability of their shares and that do not prohibit offers to the public (larger public companies), and companies that do contain restrictions on the transferability of their shares and that prohibit offers to the public (smaller private companies).
- They may take one of four different forms: a personal liability company, a state-owned company, a public company and a private company.
Personal liability companies:
- The directors and past directors are jointly liable with the company for any debts and liabilities arising during their periods in office.
- The company name ends with the word ‘incorporated’.
- This is a company defined as a ‘state-owned enterprise’ or a company owned by a municipality.
- The names of a state-owned company must end with the expression ‘SOE Ltd’
- The definition of a public company is largely unchanged.
- The only difference is that a public company now only requires one member for incorporation compared to seven members in the past.
- While comparable to private companies under the old Act, these are similar to previous close corporations.
- Some of the changes made to private companies include fewer disclosure and transparency requirements, no longer being limited to 50 shareholders, and a board that must comprise at least one director.
- The name of a private company must end with the expression ‘Proprietary Limited’ or ‘(Pty) Ltd’.
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A company is incorporated by the lodging of a Notice of Incorporation (CoR 14.1) and Memorandum of Incorporation (CoR 15.1 A-E). These forms are available for download from the CIPC’s website.
Memorandum of Incorporation:
The Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI) contains the following information:
- Details of incorporators
- Number of directors or alternate directors
- Share capital (maximum issued)
Notice of Incorporation:
The Notice of Incorporation, which is lodged with the MoI, contains the following information:
- Type of company
- Incorporation date
- Financial year-end
- Registered address (main office)
- Number of directors
- Company name
- Whether the company name will be the registration number
- The reserved name and reservation number
- List of four names to be checked by the Commission
To register a private company you will complete either a CoR 15.1A (for a standard private company) or a CoR 15.1B (for a customised private company) and a CoR 14.1. The supporting documents required include:
- Certified ID copies of all indicated initial directors and incorporators
- Certified ID copy of applicant if not the same as one of the indicated initial directors or incorporators
- If an incorporator is a juristic person, a power of attorney is required for the representative authorised to incorporate the company and sign all related documents
- If another person incorporates the company and signs all related documents on behalf of any of the incorporators and initial directors, a power of attorney and certified ID copy of the person is required
- If a name was reserved before filing of incorporation documents, a valid name reservation document is necessary
Do you know what business taxes you will have to pay? This handy guide will walk you through your business tax basics.
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How to create a formal written partnership agreement.
When taking on a business partner, it is critical to have a formal, written partnership agreement. While this is not a legal requirement, it does provide a framework for the partnership in terms of everyone’s obligations, settling conflicts, disagreements and other issues that could occur. The agreement is needed for the wellbeing of the business.
Create your written partnership agreement with the assumption that anything that can go wrong with your partnership will. Friction between partners over things such as money, power or ego frequently undoes business relationships.
Related: Developing Partnerships With Fintech Innovators
Your partnership agreement should prepare you for all possible “what-if” situations, and set methods for resolving them.
You can save money by drafting your own version of the key parts of your agreement, then taking it to your firm’s attorney to be reviewed, clarified, modified and finalised. It is important to have an attorney review the contract.
These are some of the key areas you should include in your written partnership agreement:
1Partnership Agreement Basics
- What is the name of the partnership?
- What is the purpose of the partnership?
- What is the duration of the partnership?
2Responsibilities, performance and remuneration
- What is each partner’s role?
- What are each partner’s responsibilities within the company, and what level of performance is expected?
- Are partners expected to make a full-time commitment to the venture, or are business activities permitted?
- What will be the income of each partner, and how will profits or losses be distributed?
- What will each partner be contributing to the partnership in terms of cash, assets, loans, investments, and/or labor?
- If a partner loans the company money, what will be the terms or repayment?
- Will the business partners be expected to make additional contributions to the partnership, and if so, how will that be handled?
- Withdrawal of partners/admission of new partners
- What guidelines should be followed if one partner wants to leave the partnership?
- Will partners be allowed to sell their interests in the business to outsiders?
- On what grounds can a partner be expelled from the partnership (misconduct, non-performance of duties)?
- How will new partners be admitted to the partnership?
Related: 10 Questions To Ask Before Committing To a Business Partner
- What guidelines should be followed if one partner wants to retire or leave the business partnership?
- What happens if a partner is incapacitated or dies?
- Will the partnership take out “key man” life insurance to ensure the surviving partner is able to buy the deceased partner’s shares from his/her heirs?
- Will partners who leave have to sign a non-compete agreement?
- What methods will be used to settle disputes that can’t be otherwise resolved?
- What procedures should be used in the event of a tie vote between partners on crucial partnership decisions?
- Will you use mediation or binding arbitration?
- If disputes can’t be resolved, is there a mechanism in place for dissolving the business partnership?
- What banking arrangements will be made for the partnership?
- Which partners will have check signing privileges?
- Who will be authorised to draw on the partnership’s accounts?
- How will the books be kept?
Related: Essential Elements of Working with a Business Partner
7Method for dissolving the partnership
- When can the partnership be dissolved?
- What happens to the partnership if the partners decide they can’t work together?
- What methods will be used to determine the value of the business in the event of a sale, dissolution, death, disability or withdrawal of a partner?
Do You Speak Start-up?
The start-up dictionary for every budding entrepreneur.
Venture capital in South Africa is starting to take hold. With a host of venture funds, section 12J companies, incubators and start-up clubs being launched, start-ups are becoming more popular and investors are encouraged to consider these new opportunities.
Chris Ball, an investment analyst at AlphaWealth and a co-founder of Fincheck.co.za, a financial comparison fintech start-up, explains the colloquial jargon of venture investors and start-up entrepreneurs.
Chris wrote this ‘dictionary’ initially to educate AlphaWealth’s high net worth clients about the start up world so that they could consider becoming investors.
An angel investor is generally someone who provides seed capital to a start-up in its infancy. In South Africa, there are a few well known angel investors. However, most entrepreneur’s first funds are generally received from family and friends who believe in the idea.
Resource: How to find an angel investor to back my business idea?
B2B, B2C, P2P
Business to business – This describes a business that is targeting another business with its product or services. This type of service is also known as enterprise technology. Salesforce would be a great example of this technology.
Business to consumer – describes a start-up that sells directly to consumer.
Peer to peer – is a platform concept, where the technology matches buyers and sellers. One of the earlier peer to peer technologies was Ebay. Today, the peer to peer platform has evolved to incorporate finance institutions such as Lendico.
This is a concept where founders pool their own capital resources to get the start up as far as possible before looking for external funding.
The term comes from “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps”. This mindset links directly into the lean start up methodology.
Related: 6 Tips For Bootstrapping
Both technology and business models can be disruptive and is defined when a start-up disrupts the current market place by displacing old businesses and winning market share. Outsurance and Uber have disrupted the insurance and personal transport businesses.
This is someone who starts a business or venture, assuming all potential risk and reward for his or herself.
This is the start of a venture where a founding team have enough to illustrate the concept but are yet to execute the initial steps of their plan.
Lean start-up methodology
The lean start-up methodology, is a business thesis that was founded by Eric Reis. The business methodology is based on the practice of testing multiple small iterations in an effort to find the product, design or user experience or even business model that is best adopted by the end consumer.
Read more on the Lean start-up methodology .
An organisation that helps develop early stage companies. Generally this help is offered in exchange for equity. The Israeli start-up ecosystem has some of the best incubators where they offer workspace, networks and guidance.
‘Go big or go home’ – this is the impossible idea that a team wants to accomplish. The term was originally coined when John F Kennedy challenged American scientists to get a human to the moon.
A company that changes its business direction as a result of a dead end or the ability to use their technology in a more significant way. Instagram was originally a location check in service before pivoting to become a photo sharing application.
Pre-money and post-money
Post-money = Pre-money valuation + new funding.
Valuing a start-up has become a bit of an art, but more and more funds are starting to adopt a common methodology as the industry matures. In essence, the pre-money value is the monetary value of the company before a new investment is made.
Proof of concept
After the idea comes the execution. One of the first hurdles entrepreneurs need to clear is the proof of concept. This is a point where the start-up proves that the business model is feasible.
Software as a service. These businesses are hosted in the cloud and the software can be rented out as a service.
Seed, A Round, B Round…
Start-ups raise capital in several tranches because raising it all at once would dilute the founder’s share before they have even had a chance to build the business. The seed round is done to prove proof of concept. The A round is raised once proof of concept has taken place. There can be several rounds before an exit or IPO is achieved. Some of these companies have grown so large through several rounds of investment that they are termed a unicorn business.
Understanding Your Responsibility As An Employer
Now that you have your own employees, here is what you should know about your new responsibilities.
Hiring employees requires more work from you as the employer than simply placing a job ad, hiring the right person and training them on their role.
You need to be aware of the Labour Law requirements in terms of the various funds and other stipulated registrations. The law does not differentiate between different size organisations, and therefore it is imperative that SME’s fully understand the implications of all aspects of Labour legislation.