Letter Of Good Standing

A Step-by-step Guide to getting a Letter of Good Standing so you can win those Tenders!

 Do you need a Letter of Good Standing to apply to Contracts and Tenders, but you’re not sure how, where and why? Here’s everything you need to know.

A Letter of Good Standing is essentially an official document that proves the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID) will assist you in paying for any work-related injuries or harm to your employees, because your payments to the fund are up to date.

 

Why is a Letter of Good Standing required when applying for most Contracts and Tenders?

A Letter of Good Standing is basically a form of security to most clients as they want to make sure they’re not responsible for picking up the medical bill or life cover for anyone hired to work on their premises, in the case of work-related accidents or illnesses.

If you don’t have a Letter of Good Standing, your business probably owes the Workman’s Compensation fund money and more importantly, it means your employees aren’t covered by COID and your clients are not safeguarded in the case of a work-related accident on their property.

 

What precisely is the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID) and why do you need to pay them?

Almost every employer (with a few exceptions that you can see by clicking HERE is required by law to register with the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID).

This government fund helps employers pay medical bills or compensation, in the case of death, related to an injury on the job to any employee. However, there’s a yearly fee connected to this fund.

To find out more about the COID and why it will benefit your business, click HERE to read our article, What is Workman’s Compensation (COID) and why do you need it?

A Letter of Good Standing proves that you are in good standing with COID, with no outstanding yearly payments.

Without registering with COID or without paying your yearly fees, you’re not eligible for a Letter of Good Standing.

If you’d like a FREE consultation with one of our experts on getting your Letter of Good Standing in order, simply call our toll free number (0800 007 269) or email us at: support(at)companypartners.co.za

 

Here’s exactly how the process works in three steps:

STEP 1: Register your Company with COID

The first step in getting your Letter of Good Standing is registering your business with COID. During the process, you will have to pay a registration fee.

You can either register directly with the Labour Department or use our COID service, where our team of Experts will complete the process for you.

Our COID process only takes 25 days whereas working directly through the Labour Department can take up to 3 months or more. Plus we’ll send you all the forms and the updates straight to your email inbox.

Documents you’ll need:
  • Valid South African ID
  • Your Company’s Registration Document
  • COID Registration Form
  • Power of Attorney (this is only necessary when using our COID service, to legally permit us to complete the application on your behalf)
  • Proof of Payment for your registration fees

 

STEP 2: Submit your employee expenses

In this step you have to submit your Company’s total estimated wage and salary expenses for the year (according to financial years) in order for the Compensation Fund to calculate the amount payable to them.

They work out your fee as a percentage of your yearly total wage and salary expenses. This means you have to submit your wage and salary expenses (in a Return of Earnings document) every year.

The deadline for submitting your Return of Earnings and getting your new or renewed Letter of Good Standing is 30 April.

For first-time registrations, the submission document is included in the COID Registration form, as submitted in step 1.

Renewals, however, require a document called the Return of Earnings.

Once again, you can either work directly through the Department of Labour or you can use our streamlined service, avoiding long queues and confusing admin altogether.

SPECIAL FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL ONLY
Letter of Good standing (new or renewal) from COID at only R490 (SAVE R300)

Documents you’ll need:

  • A Return of Earnings Form (only for renewals)

 

Step 3: Pay your yearly / monthly fee to COID

In about 3 working days after your Return of Earning document submission, the Department of Labour will send you a Notice of Assessment (NOA) stating the amount payable to COID.

After you’ve paid that amount, you’ll receive a Letter of Good Standing proving your employees are covered for a year.

If you can’t pay the yearly cost in one go, you have a monthly payment option. However, you will still need to put down a 30% deposit. Unfortunately this option also means you’re Letter of Good Standing will only be valid from month to month, upon payment.

Whenever you neglect to pay your account or forget to renew your Letter of Good Standing by the end of April, the Compensation Fund will not cover your employees in that time.

 

Documents you’ll need:

  • Notice of Assessment (sent to you by the Department of Labour)
  • Proof of Payment for your yearly fees

 

If you’d like a FREE consultation with one of our experts on getting your Letter of Good Standing in order, simply call our toll free number (0800 007 269) or email us at: support(at)companypartners.co.za

How to create a Professional Company for under R3 000.00 in only two weeks

Company partners

So, you want to be your own boss, but you don’t know where to start? Here’s how you can set up your very own professional Company in three easy steps in under two weeks. No queues. No drama. Your future starts today.

Whether you want to grow your side hustle into your main source of income or whether you want to turn a great idea into an actual Company, setting up a professional Company for success is much easier than you think.

Thanks to Company Partners, a company that specialises in delivering Company Documentation and Start-up Services within record time, you can register your Company; develop a brand new logo and get a professional website within the next two weeks for only R2 970.00.

All you need is access to the internet, so you can submit the necessary documents via their sophisticated online system, and the determination to do what it takes to grow your Start-up into something spectacular after receiving your registration, logo and your brand new website from Company Partners.

Here’s exactly what you need to do to set up your business:

STEP 1: Get your Company registered (R990.00)

Do you have clear idea of what your product or service is; can you think of 3 to 5 Company names for your business; do you have an ID and a South African home address? Well then that’s all you need for the first step.

Simply sign up for a new Company Registration by clicking right HERE and Company Partners will let you know exactly what you need to submit via their online system in order for them to register your Company at the CIPC.

Then allow about 8 working days for your documentation to be processes and voila, you’ve got yourself a professional, registered Company.

Registering your Company allows you to apply for more Tenders and Contracts; it enables you to get an official business bank account and it minimises risk, because a registered PTY Company is considered a separate entity to an individual. This means there’s a smaller chance of you losing your personal belongings, if your business ever goes bankrupt.

It’s also a necessity to have a registered Company if you’d like to register for a BEE CertificateTAX Clearance or a Letter of Good Standing.

Company Partners’ limited special: get a Shareholder Agreement for only R1890.00 (SAVE R1000) from 15 – 31 March 2017 only! Call our Toll-FREE (from landlines) number, 0800 007 269, today to get your Shareholder Agreement special or click HERE to learn more.

STEP TWO: Get your own Company Logo (R990.00)

In order for you to function like a professional business, you need to look like one. Having a logo is the first step in differentiating your Company from all the other businesses out there.

You can develop a unique logo that’ll represent your Company to the world within a week. Company Partners’ logo service allows Start-ups to work with a professional designer at an affordable cost.

Just click HERE to order a logo today and HERE to see some of the logos Company Partners has designed for their clients.

STEP THREE: Get a Professional Website (R990.00)

Nothing conveys how serious you are about your business like a high quality website.

You can send all your potential clients to your website, where they can learn more about your products or services, your pricing and your contact information directly from their smartphones.

Just click HERE to order a website today for only R 990.00.

You can also check out previous examples of websites created by Company Partners by clicking right HERE.

Keep in mind you’ll have a monthly hosting cost of R75.00, but you’ll have your own website address, website design and up to 10 professional email accounts if needs be.

You can even add an online shop, so your clients can order products directly from your website, at an small additional charge.

Contact Company Partners today if you’d like to set your Business up for success on the following toll-FREE (from landlines), number: 0800 007 269.

The road to Tender success in 4 simple steps

Winning Tenders means big businesses. Unfortunately, the application part is complex, time-consuming and labor intensive. Why not use the experts and boil the process down to 4 easy steps?

 Before you can bag a great contract to boost your business, you first have to find that perfect tender and submit a successful application. This always involves a ton of paperwork and proof of compliance with multiple requirements, as a method to weed out all the unfitting applicants.

Your ability to comply with the complicated application requirements in your Tender can be just as important as your business’s ability to successfully complete the project’s objectives, at a competitive price.

You could spend many frustrating hours working through this process by yourself or you can opt to use the experts, who know exactly what you need and how to get it as soon as possible.

Simply follow these four Tender steps to make things simpler for yourself:

1. Sign up with the documentation experts

There are a few basic documents that most Tender applications require.

Company Partners, a team of dedicated experts in tender documentation, can assist with getting the following documents, in record time:

  • A Registered Company Document (vital for any governmental Tender)
  • Tax Clearance Certificate
  • BEE Certificate
  • Shareholders’ certificates
  • Letter of Good Standing at the Compensation Fund
  • Many others as required by an industry

How to get your vital documents? Call Company Partner’s advisors for a FREE consultation at 0800 007 269 (toll-free from landlines) or just click HERE  to sign up for Company Partner’s Tender Package.

2. Sign up for Tender Notifications and a booklet on How-To-Tender

Before you can establish, which supplementary documents you need to submit, you’ll have to find the Tender you’d like to apply for.

You can either sift through multiple newspapers, bulletins and websites to find relevant Tenders or you can simply sign up to an online Tender Notification Service, which sends you industry- and area-related jobs right to your email.

If you do decide to sign up to Company Partners’ Tender Package, you’ll receive a month’s subscription to the “Trade World Tender Leads Service” FREE for a month.

TradeWorld’s tender service will send you personalized notifications based on your location and your business profile / industry. You’ll also have access to the available RQF’s (all projects below the formal tender value of R500 000).

Then you need guidelines of how to actually complete a tender application. Therefor you will also receive a booklet of the most important tips on ‘How to Tender’ (with weekly updates) FREE!

How to get FREE Tender Notifications and a booklet? Just click HERE for your FREE month’s subscription to TradeWorld Tender Notification Service, as part of Company Partner’s Tender package.

3. Collect your supplementary documentation

Depending on your specific tender’s requirements, you usually have the following documents left to submit (as certified copies), besides your proposal:

  • ID documents of the Directors or Members
  • Audited/reviewed financial statements of the last 3-years
  • Proof of Public Indemnity Cover (proof that you have insurance on any harm that may come to your employees, while they are at work)
  • Letter of Guarantee (a form of insurance from your bank, assuring that you will spend the allocated Tender money as promised)
  • Proof of Industry membership and compliance (documentation to prove your membership and compliance to the required institutional industry bodies)
  • Depending on your industry, Company Partners can also supply you with the services above.

4. Attend Workshops – to write your proposal based on expert-advice

You need an excellent proposal and a competitive price to bag a Tender.

To find out which elements make up an excellent proposal or appropriate pricing you can use the Tender Info provided FREE along with Company Partners’ Tender Package or you can attend any of TradeWorld’s How2Tender workshops:

  • 20 September and 22 November – SAP Offices Johannesburg
  • 4 October – SAP Offices Cape Town

How to sign up for workshops?  Just click HERE for your FREE Tender Info, as part of Company Partner’s Tender Package or email us for more information on the tender workshops: support(at)companypartners.co.za

That’s how you pave your road to Tender success!

What is a Trade Mark and how will it help your business?

Your brand is your hard-earned property. If you’d like to protect your asset, registering your logo and company name as a Trade Mark, might be a good idea. Here’s exactly why and how you should register Trade Marks for your business.

Register

If you want to understand Trade Marks, you need to understand Intellectual Property. You can’t physically touch Intellectual Property, but in eyes of the Law, it’s considered an asset like any other, for e.g. property.

However, because determining Intellectual Property is a bit trickier than determining ownership of physical assets, registering your Trade Mark might be a good idea to help stop anyone else from claiming, using or mimicking your brand.

Also, once you’re registered, you get a nifty ® symbol added to you Trade Mark which scares off potential offenders. You registered Intellectual Property also adds value to your business’s total worth – if you ever decide to sell your business.

 

The difference between Trade Marks, Patents and Copy Rights

In short, Trade Marks, Patents and Copy Rights are just different ways to protect different forms of Intellectual Property.

Patents are used to protect inventions. Inventions can be anything from new forms of medication to significant improvements to existing machinery – as long as the invention is non-obvious, useful (because mere ideas cannot be registered) and completely new or state-of-the-art.

Patent rights will legally deter others from making money or using your invention, without buying those rights from you, for a maximum of 20 years. After that it’s considered fair game for all.

Copy Rights are rights that are automatically given (here, there’s no need for registration) to the author or creator of original publication or production work. Works like photographs, films, literature and even computer programs all fall into this category.

The author or creator retains exclusive Copy Rights to use, distribute and sell the work or the Copy Rights, a glorious 50-years after death (straight after death these rights fall to whomever inherits the creator’s assets). That’s why historic photographs or illustrations and classical music are considered public domain.

Trade Marks are used to protect branding elements, which distinguish you from your competitor, like your logo and your slogan or even patterns (like Burberry’s definitive check pattern) or packaging (like Coca Cola’s classic glass bottle shape). Trade Marks can offer you a lifetime exclusivity provided you renew it every 10 years and you don’t sell it to someone else.

 

Intellectual Property Rights: Things to keep in mind

It’s limited to local trade: Intellectual Property Rights are limited to the country they are registered in; you have to register in every country you want to trade in / with. Copy Rights can often extend to some other countries.

It’s limited to your trade: Trade Marks are registered according to categories called Classes (the industry in which the business trades in). If you trade in multiple Classes, you’ll have to register your Trade Mark for all of them.

 

How to register your Trade Mark and protect your brand

STEP 1: Apply through professionals 

Company Partners’ Legal Department specialises in Trade Mark Registrations. We will fast track your Trade Mark Phase #1 Registration to an estimated 40 days, whereas registering directly with CIPC may take up to several months. Click HERE to order your Trade Mark registration with us.

STEP 2: We do the specialized preliminary search for you

We do a preliminary search for you, to determine whether or not there’s a registered Trade Mark that’s similar to your brand.

If there is, we’ll help you make the necessary adjustments – this process might take 6 to 8 weeks.

You can do an online search yourself by clicking HERE, but our experts will do it for you, if you’re signed up with us.

STEP 3: Your application gets processed

Once that’s done, your application will be submitted to the South Africa’s Trade Mark registrar for Phase #2 Registration. If everything goes well, you’ll be a proud new owner of a Trade Mark!

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Holding Companies Explained

Business magnates use it. Small family businesses use it and you can use it too. The structural advantages of Holding Structures (most commonly known as Holding Companies) can help you manage multiple services, products and even businesses under one Holding Company. Here’s the break down on Holding Companies.

Holding Company

A Holding Company is the mother ship. It holds various businesses within one corporate entity. That means, it’s the perfect way to structure various services or products within one corporate group without having to keep them all within one company.

Thousands of South Africans use a holding structure to setup their business. This structure can limit financial risk and assist you with branching out to new industries. Click here to read more.

Why choose a Holding Company?

A Holding Company is perfect for entrepreneurs looking to branch out to new business prospects; prospects that don’t quite fit into their existing companies.

It’s also great for business owners who want to compartmentalize different departments, services or products.

Actually, anyone looking to limit the financial risk of having various trades within one company can opt for a holding company to keep risk factors limited to specific divisions.

A Holding Company also makes it less risky to team up with business partners in new ventures; you won’t have to expose your existing company to the risk of failure your new business poses.

How does a Holding Company work?

In essence a Holding Company is a parent company, which owns various businesses (or at least 30% of their issued shares). A Holding Companies doesn’t trade in services or products itself, it merely has ownership in various companies that do, holding them together in one corporate entity.

Interestingly, Investment Holding Companies use this holding structure to attain shares of various promising or profitable businesses within one Investment Company. However, it’s perfect for the everyday entrepreneur too.

What is an example of a Holding Company?

Let say, David has a booming home painting company in Randburg called NuHome Painting. His nephew, George, has worked at renovations businesses before, building custom cupboards, in the same area.

David would like to branch out business to home renovations in Pretoria, starting a venture with his skilled nephew. However, he doesn’t want to put his current company at risk, if the family venture goes sour.

So David registers a Holding Company called NuHome Holdings to facilitate this expansion.

Holding Company

NuHome Holdings acts as a parent company to both his established painting business and his newly registered Renovation Company (which he shares with his nephew). David’s Home Holdings owns 100% of the shares of his established business and 50% of his shared business.

This way these two businesses operate completely independent to one another within one larger entity owned by David, plus David and George have the opportunity to generate a new company name, NuHome Renovations, tailored to their new service, rather than automatically using David’s existing business to trade.

This allows NuHome Renovations a better chance at winning Contracts and Tenders relating to renovation jobs. The same goes for NuHome Painting regarding painting work.

Additionally, David can venture into brand new industries at any time, like selling beverages for instance, simply by registering a new company owned by his Holdings Company.

What are the disadvantages?

The paperwork and start-up costs and will be slightly higher. You will have to register every business you’d like to run as a Subsidiary Company to your Holding Company.

Also, if the Subsidiary Companies to your Holding Company have various owners, it can be difficult to close a Holding Company, as there are multiple owners to consult.

However, if this business structure might help you better manage various parts of your business or numerous Companies, the long-term benefits are worth considering.

If you’d like to register a Holding Company, CLICK HERE to look at our great Holding Package. Alternatively, if you have any queries you can call us on our TOLL FREE phone number (landlines): 0800 007 269 or email us via support@companypartners.co.za

Statistics reveal SA entrepreneurs need business guidance

According to the latest Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute report, South Africa has high growth rates and exceptionally high rates of product and process innovation, when compared to the global average of entrepreneurship data. Business could be booming in South Africa – if it wasn’t for the serious shortage in skills and start-up know-how. Can business support and mentorship address this setback?

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A report released this year by the The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) ranks South Africa 52nd out of 132 countries worldwide and first in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of entrepreneurship and its development.

This despite South Africa’s “alarmingly low level of entrepreneurial activity in spite of high unemployment” according to a report released earlier this year by another institution, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

According to the GEDI, South Africa’s entrepreneurial environment – when compared to global standards – excels in terms of its product and process innovation, competition, growth rate, opportunity start-ups, opportunity perception, risk acceptance among entrepreneurs and internationalisation.

The report also highlights South Africa’s most dooming setback: a substantial lack of risk capital and start-up skills in South Africa.

However the latter isn’t irresolvable. Business training and guidance could compensate for the skill deficit.

Businessman Mongezi Khambule is a shining example. After Khambule was shot, as a victim of a gang robbery in 1999, he was paralysed in both legs, and consequently struggled to find a place to stay. Later he was able to pursue business studies.

“After all that happened I told myself that all my focus must be on building my future to live a better life as a physically challenged person. So I started some courses at Siyaya Skills Institute at Claremont – I did Business Studies, Computers Studies and Office Administration.”

Last month Khambule kicked off his own satellite branch for Company Partners, a business that provides startups with business guidance and administrative assistance.

Mongezi New agent of month
Mongezi Khambule with Company Partner Agent Director Norman Swanepoel

Co-founder of Company Partners Liam Stander believes many South Africans have the necessary entrepreneurial spirit, but they don’t have necessary access to continual support to their business running.

“The Europeans and Americans see the gaps and then they’re confident enough to do what needs to be done, but many of our guys struggle – because of a lack of education,” he says.

“Even if it’s micro-entrepreneurship in a township, an entrepreneur can’t do much, because there’s no one to guide or help. And if they hear about someone around the corner who can help out – they often get taken advantage of,” he says.

“There are so many people that are misguided or don’t have access to the right information.”

According to GEM one of the biggest problems facing SA entrepreneurs is keeping their businesses open.

See how our system changes this issue…

“The level of business discontinuance still exceeds that of business start-ups, resulting in a net loss of small business activity and subsequent job losses,” the report says.

The GEM report also finds very few government initiatives “contributing towards improving entrepreneurship”. Private companies like Anglo American’s Zimele programme and South African Breweries’ KickStart initiative are named as two of the most helpful initiatives.

“It’s all about follow-through. Many government organisations come and offer workshops, but after that they’re gone and then there’s no support,” explains Stander.

“In South Africa the soil is fertile and the opportunities are good, but many people get a roadblock and then, because there’s no one to help or guide them – before you know it, they just stop trying,” says Stander.

Despite discouraging statistics on South Africa’s low rate of successful entrepreneurs, the future might can be promising – if business training and guidance proves to be the simple answer to a significant, yet distinguishable, setback to the majority of SA entrepreneurs.

See how we support Companies in SA to Register, Empower, Grow.