By: Amy Musgrave
Every June, South Africa marks Youth Month. The theme for this month is “Accelerating youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future”. While there are many factors that hold youngsters back from making their mark in the business world, one of the key challenges is the country’s education system. And according to Productivity SA, it is not just basic education, but also an inability to gain industry insights and knowledge to start a business.
To mark Youth Month, it has released a list of key legal requirements to start a small business and feel competent. “Embarking on the journey of starting your own business is an exhilarating endeavour. As you delve into the world of entrepreneurship, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the legal requirements involved,” the organisation says in a blog. “By navigating the legal landscape with confidence and ensuring compliance, you can have a strong foundation for the success of your business.”
It says that when starting out, it is critical to decide what kind of business structure best suits your venture. These include:
- Sole Proprietorship – offers simplicity and direct control over your business. However, with this structure, there is no legal separation between you and your business
- Partnership – which can involve multiple individuals. It is an option for those who know and who share the same entrepreneurial dream. It requires a partnership agreement that outlines terms and financial details to build a strong and cooperative business relationship
- Company – which allows you to create a legal entity that separates business liabilities from your assets as the owner or operator. This structure can offer enhanced protection if the business faces financial challenges
Just as important is ensuring that your business is registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and registered with the SA Revenue Service. Being tax compliant must not be overlooked when running a small business and new owners must not shy away from contacting an expert, who can guide them through the tax landscape, which many people find daunting.
Productivity SA says that complying with labour regulations is vital for fostering a fair and productive work environment. It is, therefore, important that business owners familiarise themselves with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act. Also, new businesses must not forget to protect their innovations and unique ideas. By securing intellectual property rights through patents, trademarks, or copyrights, it says owners can protect their enterprise’s unique offerings and prevent others from profiting from their work.