JOHANNESBURG - Nedbank is offering business registrations, together with black economic empowerment (BEE) affidavits or certificates, endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in a 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 related services. The latest addition to the suite of services through this collaboration will enable bank clients to apply for BEE affidavits or certificates valid for 12 months from the date of issue. This service is aimed at exempted micro-enterprises (EMEs).
In partnership with the CIPC, Nedbank is 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.
BEE legislation exempts small enterprises with an annual turnover of less than R10m from having to obtain a BEE certificate. Instead, such enterprises need 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 the issuing of BEE affidavits or certificates at no extra cost for EMEs.

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During the past year, the DTI and CIPC reviewed their memorandum of agreement to allow bank partners to offer BEE affidavits or certificates. Nedbank employs stringent authentication measures, and therefore the process is robust and in line with the CIPC’s biometric verification requirements.
Nedbank's head of Relationship Banking Sales, Alan Shannon, says Nedbank is always looking at ways to alleviate the red tape and other obstacles facing small businesses, particularly startups.

One way Nedbank has been assisting businesses has been through the "Essential Guide for Small-business Owners", which contains key information that a business owner must know when starting up. 

The Nedbank-powered website, SimplyBiz, is a resource, support and networking portal aimed at small-business owners.

"SimplyBiz 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 experiences of how to get more clients, sort out business operations, deal with staffing and finance issues, and stay motivated," says Shannon.

As added support, business owners can, until December 15, 2017, obtain expert answers to their questions within 24 hours.