JOHANNESBURG - In a first for the banking world, Nedbank announced earlier today that they will be offering business registrations together with black economic empowerment (BEE) affidavits or certificates, endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), in one seamless process for new businesses with an annual turnover of less than R10 million.
 
For the past four years the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has been working with the four major banks in South Africa to simplify the company registration process and other related services, enabling small businesses to succeed. 

The latest addition to the suite of services through this collaboration will enable bank clients to also apply for BEE affidavits or certificates valid for 12 months from the date of issue. This service is aimed at exempted microenterprises (EMEs).
 
"In partnership with CIPC, Nedbank has become the first bank to offer BEE affidavits or certificates to its clients when they incorporate a company using the Nedbank portal. It is envisaged that this service will be expanded in future and will enable clients to renew their annual returns through the bank’s online platform," Nedbank said in a statement.
 
BEE legislation exempts small enterprises with an annual turnover of less than R10 million from needing a BEE certificate. Instead, such enterprises need to have only an affidavit that includes ownership and turnover information. However, because EMEs prefer to have a formally issued document confirming their BEE status, the dti and CIPC agreed to offer an integrated service for company registration and issuing of BEE affidavits or certificates at no extra cost for EMEs.
 
During the past year the dti and CIPC reviewed their memorandum of agreement to allow bank partners to offer BEE affidavits or certificates.To date more than 500 BEE certificates have been issued to EMEs through the Nedbank portal.
 
Nedbank Head of Relationship Banking Sales, Alan Shannon, said, "Nedbank is always looking at innovating and providing practical solutions for small businesses, particularly startups, aimed at alleviating red tape and other obstacles in their quest to start a new business. Through our ongoing client engagements, we are cognisant that it has become increasingly difficult for startups to take off. Through initiatives such as these, which form part of our Banking and Beyond offering, we hope to make it easier for entrepreneurs and startups."

 
Shannon further added that as a bank for business, Nedbank has successfully partnered with the government and business to help grow the economy and create jobs. One great story is Retail Relationship Banking’s partnership with the Expanded Public Works Programme as the preferred service provider for the Vuk’uphile Learnership Programme aimed at developing emerging contractors. This initiative has created more than 3 000 jobs.
 
Shannon also said he is proud of the Nedbank-powered website SimplyBiz®. Launched in 2010 and revamped in February this year, it is a resource, support and networking portal aimed at small-business owners. 

"SimplyBiz® is more than a website. It’s a niche mentorship platform for business owners, driven by business owners. The aim is for business owners to provide authentic, firsthand guidance based on their own experiences of how to get more clients, sort out business operations, deal with staffing and finance issues and how to stay motivated throughout their journey,’ Shannon said.
 
‘Through the ongoing partnership with the CIPC, Nedbank is proud to help businesses take their endeavours to the next level,’ Shannon concluded.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE