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South Africa

Why South Africa?

The most sophisticated and developed economy in Africa is that of South Africa, which is home to some elite businesses in the fields of banking, real estate, business services, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail commerce. Due to its comparative sophistication, ease of doing business, continental expertise, and capacity to serve as a basis for essential services (such as auditing) for conducting business on the rest of the continent. South Africa has one of the greatest business environments in the developing world, with a sophisticated transit infrastructure, stable macroeconomic conditions, and strong financial and legal frameworks.


Market Diversity:

South Africa boasts a diverse consumer market with a population exceeding 60 million people, providing ample opportunities for businesses targeting various demographics.

Gateway to Africa:

It is situated at the southern tip of the continent; South Africa serves as a strategic entry point for businesses looking to expand into other African markets.

Abundant Natural Resources:

South Africa is rich in minerals, metals, and agricultural products, making it an attractive destination for businesses involved in mining, energy, and agriculture.

Infrastructure Advantage:

Well-developed infrastructure, including ports, roads, and airports, facilitates the efficient movement of goods and services, aiding business operations.

Skilled Workforce:

South Africa benefits from a relatively well-educated and skilled workforce, particularly in sectors such as technology, finance, and manufacturing, providing a valuable human resource pool for businesses.

Simple Tax Regime

Personal income tax:

Residents of South Africa are subject to local taxes on income earned elsewhere in the world, whereas non-residents are only subject to local taxes on income earned within the country.

According to data from 2023, 23.9 million of its 59 million residents were registered to pay personal income tax, and personal and corporate taxes account for the majority of the state’s revenue. However, indirect taxes like the value-added tax do make up close to a third of the government’s revenue.

Income tax:

Earnings received from employment income, self-employed trade, rental income, investment income, and pension income are subject to income tax. Self-employed people pay income tax at the same levels as employees in South Africa. These are South Africa’s income tax bands for the 2023 tax year (1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024).

Corporation tax:

Corporate tax in South Africa is charged at a flat rate of 28% for all companies (which will decrease to 27% for tax years ending on or after 31 March 2023). Small business corporations are taxed at lower progressive rates, starting at 7% on taxable income above R95,750, 21% for income between R365,000 and R550,000, and 28% for income exceeding R550,000.

Value Added Tax (“VAT”):

VAT in South Africa is levied on the consumption of goods and services. The VAT rate in South Africa is currently 15% on most goods and services and on imported goods, though there are some exceptions, for example, some financial services.


South Africa Companies

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is one of the most common and simple types of companies in South Africa. It is usually a small company that is owned and operated by a single proprietor. As a result, in such forms of businesses in South Africa, the proprietor and corporation do not have independent legal identities.

Private Company

Private companies are among the most popular types of businesses in South Africa due to their effectiveness and simplicity. A proprietary limited company, also known as Pty Ltd, is a business that operates for profit and can continue to operate indefinitely regardless of any changes to the shareholdings. Private companies are those businesses that finish in “(Pty) Ltd”. When a private limited is formed, a completely new legal entity that is distinct from other businesses is created.

Public Company

A Public Company (Ltd) is among the types of companies in South Africa that offer shares via an initial public offering (IPO) and engages in stock trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Such types of businesses in South Africa must be formed with a minimum of three directors and seven shareholders.


A partnership is an organization of two to twenty people who are legally obligated to work together to maintain a profitable enterprise. Each partner provides money, goods, or services, and in exchange, the earnings are split amongst partners in accordance with their unique agreements with one another. The requirements and limitations of a partnership, such as sharing profits, making choices, and settling disputes, are outlined in a partnership agreement.

Personal Liability Company

Like a private company, a personal liability company also has the potential for personal liability for the commitments and obligations of the shareholders and directors. Such forms of legal entities in South Africa are frequently employed in businesses where individual accountability is necessary, such as law firms and accountancy firms.

State-Owned Company (“SOC”)

A state-owned company or state-owned entity (SOE) are business that has a large impact on the South African economy and is wholly or partially controlled by the government. The definition of a state-owned business is based less on the percentage of the business that the government owns than it does on the business’s mission and level of government involvement.

Non-Profit Company (“NPC”)

Non-profit organizations are ones that were founded with goals other than producing a profit. Such types of companies in South Africa are created with the intention of promoting one or more cultural or social endeavors, or for other purposes. Such types of legal entities in South Africa must consist of a minimum of three incorporators and three directors to be registered.

The most sophisticated and developed economy in Africa is that of South Africa, which is home to some elite businesses in the fields of banking, real estate, business services, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail commerce.

Author: Chandrawat & Partners

Topic: Doing Business in South Africa

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Chandrawat & Partners stands as a dynamic and rapidly expanding full-service firm, specializing in the delivery of exceptional professional and corporate services to a diverse clientele, both foreign and local. We proudly represent companies and individuals across a wide spectrum of sectors through distinct entities established in various countries worldwide.