Starting your own business in South Africa

Starting your own business in South Africa

South Africa needs entrepreneurs. But how do you go about starting a business?


The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) provides business development and support services for small enterprises.

Seda will give you all the information you need to start a business, including how to write a business plan, and once you have a business, to grow it.

The Department of Labour has useful tips for self-employment.


Funding for various types of businesses is available through the Industrial Development Corporation or the Department of Trade and Industry’s Government Investment Incentives.

Registering a business

The South Africa Government Services website has information on registering a business in all official languages.

The basics on setting up a new business in South Africa

A common type of question we receive is on how to start a business. Company structures and management systems can become quite complicated but its also possible to keep things relatively simple. It is the common and simple setup structures that we will focus on at the moment.

The main sections we deal with that should give you a start towards starting your own business are as follows:

Before you start – the various things you may need to consider before starting your business.

Types of business structures – the common types of company structures in South Africa and what they mean.

Business plan – planning the details of how your business will run and trying to predict whether it really will be successful.

Getting started – the first steps on starting your business.

Common problems – the issues faced by most aspirant entrepreneurs that create barriers to starting their businesses.

Once you’ve digested and implemented all the above you can find further and more detailed information at our book store, from our list of service providers and from our small business products pages. Its also a good idea to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter to stay abreast with small business developments.