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Commercial Risk Assessment

There are many laws and regulations which with companies must comply to operate legally in South Africa.

Failure to comply can result in penalties of up to R10 million and even criminal offences and imprisonment.
 

Many business owners are not aware of all the laws with which they must comply. This free risk assessment helps your company to stay legal so you can focus on growth.

1. Is your debt book under control?

 

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business, and there is nothing more frustrating than having customers / clients fail to pay your bills after all your hard work. You should ideally have written contracts in place with your debtors, but if your debt book is growing, let us help before it's too late (remember, debts expire after a certain period).

Find out more about debt collection here.

 

 

2. Have you filed annual returns with both SARS and the CIPC?

 

Failure to do so can result in tax penalties and the deregistration of your company.

 

3. Do you have a custom Memorandum of Incorporation and Shareholders' Agreement?

 

This is especially important if you have multiple directors and shareholders. These documents prescribe the rules of the company and the rights and responsibilities of shareholders. We have had many a director come to us for help in trying to remove a shareholder, but without a Shareholders' Agreement, it becomes difficult and expensive.

Can you imagine how stressful and expensive a shareholding dispute is? We deal with them all the time. You don't need that kind of stress distracting you from doing proper business.

4. Does your company keep a Records Book, Securities Register and hold proper AGMs in terms of the Companies Act?

The Companies Act requires companie to create and maintain records. These help in times of disputes. Failure to keep them can result in compliance notices and fines being issued.

5. Does your business have proper written contracts:

     - with clients / customers?

     - with suppliers / service providers?

     - with staff?

     - with its franchisees?

 

A written contract should be the basis of any significant relationship, and will go a long way toward reducing your legal expenses in the event of a dispute. In some circumstances (for example, franchise agreements), a written contract is a strict legal requirement - if you haven't signed a franchise agreement with your franchisee, the agreement is invalid in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.

Failing to conclude a written contract is a common source of growing debtors books and expensive disputes. You can save yourself an enormous amount of frustration and expense by implementing written contracts now.

Find out more about the importance of contracts here.

6. Does your company's website have:

     - a cookies notice and policy?

     - Terms and Conditions of use and a Privacy Policy?

     - A Section 51 PAIA Notice?

     - POPI and GDPR compliance?

 

Your website needs to have safeguards in place to prevent any claims against you arising from a user's misinterpretation of information thereon. It must also safeguard the user's personal information in terms of recent privacy laws like POPI. Failure to adequately protect a user's information can result in fines of up to R10 million.

The POPI Act requires all companies to be compliant by July 1, 2021. Find out more about POPI here.

7. Does your company use intellectual property like a special logo, design or slogan, or software, trade secrets or or inventions?

 

These intellectual property works may have to be trademarked or patented. It is critical to ensure that your business' IP is protected, and also to ensure that you are not infringing on anyone else's IP. Failure to do so can result in expensive litigation which could have been avoided.

Think it won't happen to you? We assist clients with trademark litigation cases all the time. It is more than ten times more expensive to litigate a trademarks dispute than to simply have us investigate and register a trademark for you.

8. Is your business complying with labour laws?

     - Employment contracts compliant with POPI

     - Workplace policies and procedures

 

Labour disputes can be a common and frustrating part of business in South Africa. Failure to comply with labour laws can result in expensive litigation and crippling fines. Your business needs to ensure that the proper contracts, policies and procedures are in place.

A simple CCMA case can easily waste two full days of your time. Reduce the hassle and expense by ensuring you are compliant with labour laws first.

Commercial Services

Articles [coming soon]

  • How to start a business

  • Can I get out of a contract?

  • Directors must comply with the Companies Act

  • How the National Credit Act amendments affects you

  • Can you sue a director personally?

  • Why you must trademark your business name

  • Should you sign that lease agreement?

  • Everything you need to know about starting a franchise

  • Starting a company with a partner or colleague

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