Legal Alert 1/2015 - LIBRA registrations

28 September 2015

Dear Client

LIMPOPO BUSINESS REGISTRATION ACT NO. 5 OF 2003

Did you know that businesses in the Limpopo Province have until 31 March 2016 to register their businesses to obtain a Business Registration Certificate and that failure to comply with this requirement might result in imprisonment or a fine or both?

The recently promulgated Act and the regulations thereto requires businesses in the Limpopo Province (“the Province”) to register with the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (“LEDET”) before 31 March 2016.  Registered businesses will be issued with a Business Registration Certificate which should be renewed on an annual basis.  It will be illegal in terms of the Act to conduct a business in the Province without a valid Business Registration Certificate.  The Act provides for the appointment of inspectors that will verify whether business have obtained the required Business Registration Certificate.

The stated objectives of the Act are to register all businesses within the Limpopo Province, to keep a register of these businesses and to create a conducive business environment within the Province.

It would seem that the main focus of the registration process will be to ensure compliance with the relevant Town Planning Scheme rules as well as the relevant Municipal By-laws pertaining to the location where the business is conducted.  Each location where the business is conducted should be registered separately and registrations should be submitted in the municipal area where the business is operated (ie business with sites in more than one area might have to register the respective sites at the relevant service point for the particular municipal area in which they operate).

The applications will be processed through three levels of operations which are:

  • Service Points – located within the various Municipalities in the Province and are lodgment points of new applications;
  • Business Registration Centre’s – located within Departmental District offices and are there to consider lodged applications;
  • Directorate for Business Registration – located within Head Office and monitors District and Service Points.

Registration of business

A person who wishes to carry on or conduct a business shall on the prescribed form apply to a Business Registration Centre (“BRC”) within the area in which the business is to be conducted, for the registration of such business.

If the application is successful, the applicant must be issued with a business registration certificate, which will serve as proof of registration to carry on business.

Where a business is carried on at more than one premises, a separate certificate is required for each premises.

No business shall be registered unless the person applying for registration of the business has -

  • complied with the requirements of any law relating to the Town Planning Scheme of the area in which the business is to be conducted;
  • in the case where a business is to be conducted in a rural area or a less formal settlement area, complied with the procedural requirements for the acquisition of business sites in that area;
  • paid a minimum fee required for registration as prescribed by the MEC in the Gazette from time to time; and
  • complied with any other condition which the BRC deems necessary for such registration.

A business registration certificate issued shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of issue, provided that the certificate holder -

  • must renew the certificate by payment of an annual renewal fee, as determined by the MEC from time to time, by notice in the Gazette; and
  • be issued with a receipt, which shall be proof of renewal of such certificate.

A business registration certificate which has not been renewed, may on application by the certificate holder be extended by the BRC for a period not exceeding 90 days, provided that such application is made prior to the expiry of the business registration certificate.

If the application for the registration of business is refused or the registration of a business is made subject to any condition, the BRC must as soon as is practicable in writing -

  • notify the applicant of the decision; and
  • provide the applicant with the reasons for such decision.

A certificate holder shall not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid in respect of a certificate that has been withdrawn, suspended or cancelled.

Appeals against decision of Business Registration Centre

A person aggrieved by a decision of the BRC must within 30 days from the date of being notified of such decision, appeal to the Limpopo Directorate of Business Registration.

Appointment, function and powers of Inspectors

The BRC shall in consultation with the Business Regulator appoint suitable persons as inspectors.

  • An inspector must be furnished with a certificate signed by the Business Regulator of the Limpopo Directorate of Business Registration.
  • An inspector may enter upon any business premises which the inspector reasonably suspects is carrying on or conducting business which must be a registered business in terms of this Act;
  • Request the person in charge of such business to produce a business registration certificate; and
  • Question any person on the premises and conduct an inspection in connection with any business activity on the premises.
  • An inspector shall be entitled to issue an admission of guilt fine or a written notice to appear in court, to a person who fails to produce a business registration certificate.

Penal provisions

Non-compliance of this Act is an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment  for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.  

Disqualification from registering business 

The following persons are disqualified from registering a business described in this Act:

  • a person declared by a court of law to be of unsound mind; and
  • a non-South African citizen who does not have permission to conduct business in the Republic.

How we can Help?

Veritas has significant experience in assisting clients with the changing terrain of regulatory and legislative compliance. We take a structured approach to enable clients to achieve and sustain compliance in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Our solutions help businesses to assess the impact of the Act and other legislation on their businesses as well as designing and implementing the changes required to ensure ongoing compliance. 

This should be dealt with promptly to minimize the risk of potential non-compliance with this Act.

We can assist you to apply for registration of your business. Our fee for assistance in this regard is R1 850-00 (including VAT).  The fee excludes the application and registration fee to be paid as per the regulations.  The fee also excludes travel and disbursements.  Travel cost will be recouped at R4.30 per kilometer and disbursements at actual cost incurred.

For assistance in this regard please contact Helga Moreira, Tel:  015 590 1000, email:  helga@veritasinc.co.za.

We will gladly submit any additional information you may require.

This Alert is provided by Veritas Inc for information only, and does not constitute the provision of professional advice of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all the pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of using the information in the Alert can be accepted by Veritas Inc or any of the directors, partners, employees, sub-contractors or agents of Veritas Inc.
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