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How to win Tenders in SA: Company Registration to Compliance

Are you a South African entrepreneur looking to land Tenders, Contracts, or an RFQ to grow your business?

Then you’ve come to the right page!

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to find the best Tenders opportunities, how to get the Tender Documents you need (from Company Registration to the full list of Tender Compliance documents) plus how to successfully apply for the Tenders you’re interested in.

How exactly can Tenders grow my Company and why should I apply?

When you run your own business, the scariest part is not having a stable and consistent income.

Winning a Tender, RFQ or a contract can mean that dependable income you need to really solidify your business and its future.

Also, people often have a perception that government Tenders are awarded unfairly, however, the majority of Tenders are awarded justly thanks to all the institutionalized red tape.

The key is having expert guidance in all the administration you need from the company registration to the other Tender Compliance documents.

Why are Tender Applications so complicated?

All the red tape is used to ensure two things. First, that Tenders, RFQ’s and Contracts are awarded fairly to the best applicant and secondly, to weed out a large number of applicants.

No company has the resources to work through hundreds of applicants without ruling some out preemptively on the grounds that their legal paperwork isn’t up to industry standard.

Unfortunately, that means your legal compliance and the standard of your application is just as important as your company’s ability to take on Tenders, RFQ’s or Contracts.

In fact, studies have shown that South Africans are often great entrepreneurs, but lack the Business Tender Assistance needed to grow their businesses. You can read all about it, right here >

However, you shouldn’t let this discourage you.

There are various resources to assist you. Our company focusses specifically in assisting entrepreneurs like you with their compliance needs.

 

A quick overview of the Tender process in South Africa

Before we get into the details (we get into the details in Section 1, 2 and 3), I’d just like to give you a broad overview of the process of winning Tenders in South Africa:

Government Tender

Step 1: Get your basic Company Compliance in order

A valid Company Registration number is more often than not the first non-negotiable prerequisite to a Tender.

This means you have to register your Company at the CIPC or purchase a Shelf Company. This means you have to register your Company at the CIPC or purchasing a Shelf Company. You can read more about this in Section 1 described below.

Government Tender

Step 2: Find the perfect Tender for your business

With all the paperwork that needs to be done, it’s easy to see the company compliance documents like Company registartion as the most important factor.

However, the most important requirement in applying to a Tender, RFQ or Contract is first and foremost your business’s ability to successfully complete the job at hand within the proposed timeframe and budget.

This means you need the staff, resources and cash flow (although there are financing options) to complete the job as promised. If not, rather keep your eyes peeled for a Tender that does suit your specific business and its resources.

That means you need access to multiple Tender Leads. I discuss how you can get access to enough Tender Leads in Section 2.

Government Tender

Step 3: Make sure you have all the Compliance Documents

Every Tender, RFQ or Contract differs, but generally, there are a few compliance documents that are always required. The first document you need is a company registration document. These compliance documents are discussed more in detail in Section 3.

An incomplete application will be the first thing to make your attempt null and void.

Government Tender

Step 4: Submit your complete application before the deadline

It’s not only important to meet the deadline for the deadline’s sake. It’s also important to allow yourself enough time to get all the compliance documents, from your company registration to your other documents, in order (they can often take months if you don’t use fast-tracked compliance services like ours) and to study other good Tender applications – and competitive pricing – to improve your application.

Government Tender

Step 5: Repeat the process until you find your Tender success

Business and Tenders aren’t for the faint-hearted. The businesses that succeed are often the businesses that keep on trying until they do.

Make sure you improve your application with every submission and make sure your pricing is fair to you, but also competitive in terms of your competitors.

All the details you need to know about winning Tenders in South Africa

The whole Tender process is quite extensive, so we’ve broken down the info into 3 sections.

If you’d like a quicker alternative to the three section scroll down to the first infographic. We offer a simplified Tender Maintenance Service that might make things easier for you.

If you rather want to do it yourself and not make use of a paid service, you can use the following sections as a guide to understanding how you can win Tenders in SA. We’ll guide you from Company Registration straight through the more specific company compliance documents.

These 3 sections on Company Registration to Tender Compliance are described in detail below the infographic.

Section 1: The Tender basics

  • How to register your Company online in South Africa (so you can actually apply for Tenders)
  • Why buying a Shelf Company might be more beneficial than registering a new Company

Section 2: How to find a relevant Tender in South Africa

  • How to find Tenders opportunities that are right for your business.

Section 3: Making sure your Tender Application is Complete (a list of compliance documents you need)

  • A list of Tenders Documents you need to ensure Tender Compliance

Faster Alternative: Our 4-step Tender Maintenance Service

Scroll past the infographic to get back to the 3 Tender Sections

For only R490 p.m.our Tender Experts will walk you through a 4-step process to get you Tender Compliant and applying to relevant Tenders in no time.

If you win a Tender within the first 12 months, we’ll give you your money back. (T’s and C’s apply to offer). For more details, click HERE.

 

View Testimonial: Rubik Power won their first RFQ within one month with us!

Within 48 hours of identifying and submitting their application for a Department of Human Settlements RFQ, our client Rubik Power won their first RFQ / Tender! “Company Partners was instrumental in introducing me to Tenders.

They helped me understand the process, pitfalls and areas to win. They also helped me to identify those fraudulent RFQs, which could have cost me dearly.” “I found the flexibility refreshing as they taught me and allowed me to canvas for RFQs as I saw fit. Their guidance at the beginning helped me understand areas of opportunity.

Great job & thanks for helping me win my first RFQ.” Rubik Power specializes in e-ink, nanotechnologies and mobile apps and hopes to reinvest the profit from the RFQ in growing their business.

Client Interview

Bilal Jagot, from Rubik Power, explains how within one month of joining Company Partners, Rubik Power won their first RFQ / Tender!

1. Tell us about your business, Rubik Power?

Rubik Power was started by Yoomna Vally to serve customer needs better through innovative products. We have identified e-ink, nanotechnologies and mobile apps as our 3 core areas of expertise.

So far we have introduced the following products to South Africa: Joan Assistant, which is eco-friendly Boardroom signage; VitroArma, which is screen enhancement technology for mobile devices; and BillVisor, an app that assesses and helps with mobile cost savings.

2. How and when did you win your first RFQ?

We won our first RFQ within the first month of joining with Company Partners.
It was an RFQ that we identified. We submitted an application and we got a response within 48 hours that we won the RFQ. It was for the Department of Human Settlements.

3. Did you find Company Partners’s Tender Subscription service helpful?

We used the tender service to search for tender within areas that we have capabilities and relationships.

Company Partners helped us Company Partners helped us understand how Tenders work and gave us access to the Tradeworld’s tool that enabled us to be pro-active and search for Tender opportunities.

They also advised us on the administrative requirements to that point that we developed a slick process for responding to RFQs.

4. Would you recommend our Tender Subscription and do you have any other tips for entrepreneurs?

I will recommend it to other entrepreneurs. Submit as many RFQs as you can, as the market is saturated and there is a less than 5% success rate.

 

 

tender-company-registration-steps-1

Section 1: The Tender basics

  • How to register your Company online in South Africa (so you can actually apply for Tenders)
  • Why registering a Shelf Company might be more beneficial than registering a new company 

How to register your Company online in South Africa (so you can actually apply for Tenders)

Luckily we’ve dedicated an entire blog post to the subject of registering your own company online.

This post shows you how to register your own brand new company step by step.

You can find that on online Company Registration post here:

Company Registration Guide: How to register a new Company in South Africa online

Shortcut: Chat to one of our Company Documentation Experts and they’ll walk you through the process of registering your company online…

Why registering a Shelf Company might be more beneficial than registering a new company 

Rather than registering a new company, you can also register a Shelf Company.

A Shelf Company is essentially a company that’s already registered.

You simply need to find an existing Shelf company with a suitable company name. As the company is already registered, the name would be too.

The primary reason a Shelf Company might be more beneficial to you is the older company registration number. Companies and clients often associate older registration numbers with more experience and stability. This slightly ups your chances of winning a Tender, RFQ or contract.

I’ve created a whole infographic on Why older Company Registration Numbers are better for you. It’ll give 5 reasons a Shelf Company might be beneficial to you.

BONUS CONTENT: SHELF COMPANY INFOGRAPHIC

older company registration number

tender-company-registration-steps-2

Section 2: How to find a relevant Tender in South Africa

  • How to find Tenders opportunities that are right for your business
  • How to make sure your business can complete the job

How to find Tenders opportunities that are right for your business

After you’ve covered your basic compliance needs, like Company Registration, it’s time to find the Tenders you’d like to apply to establish what other documents you need besides the basic company registration number.

Luckily, there are hundreds of RFQ’s, Tenders and Contracts advertised across various sources: from newspapers to bulletins and websites.

You’ll have to keep tabs on the hottest Tender sites and newspapers 24/7. Luckily you can find all the Government’s weekly Tender bulletins right HERE, however, it’s still about 200 long.

BONUS: You can get 5 Tender opportunities for free right here!

A faster alternative would be a Tender notification service that regularly offers you a list of Tenders relevant to your industry and location.

We offer one that included other Tender support services as well. It’s called a Tender Maintenance Service. Here’s one of the testimonials we’ve received on this service:

 

WHY SIGN UP FOR OUR TENDER SERVICE?

tender-company-registration-steps-3

Section 3: Making sure your Tender Application is Complete (a list of compliance documents

  • A list of Tenders Documents you need to ensure Tender Compliance

A list of Tenders Documents you need to ensure Tender Compliance

It’s important to note that every Tender, RFQ or Contract opportunity has a unique set of requirements. These are simply the documents that are almost always required. Typically you would need the following documents to apply for a Tender Opportunity:

Company Registration

You have to register your company at the CIPC to ensure you have a company registration number needed to apply to most Tenders.

As mentioned, we’ve dedicated an entire page to the online Company Registration in South Africa.

You can find it here:

Company Registration Guide: How to register a new Company in South Africa online

You can learn more about the other alternative, Shelf Companies, in Section 1.

Tax Registration and Clearance

In short, a Tax Clearance Certificate proves that your company is legally in good standing with SARS in terms of your Tax.

That means you need to be registered for Tax, with a Tax number, before you can receive Tax Clearance proving you Tax submissions are up to date with SARS.

 

You can take a look at our Tax Clearance special or our Tax Registration Verification special right here!

If you’d like a Clearance Package, here’s one of our all-inclusive options!

VAT Registration

VAT Registration is not mandatory for companies earning less than R1 million a year, which means it won’t necessarily be a requirement to apply for Tenders.

However, it is important to make sure you comply, if your turnover is more than R1 million a year.

When is it mandatory to register for VAT?

If your company’s income exceeds R1 million over 12 months, you HAVE TO register for VAT at SARS. It’s a mandatory legal requirement.

If you earn less than R1 million over 12 months, it’s voluntary.

Why should you register for VAT when it’s still voluntary for you?

Firstly, you cannot register for VAT if you don’t have a turnover of R50 000 a year or more. The other option is having invoices that exceed R 4300 per month for two consecutive months.

If you do qualify for mandatory VAT registration, you could register for VAT to claim back the VAT you pay when making purchases.

Let me explain.

You’ve probably paid 14% VAT on all your purchases from companies that are VAT registered (made before the 1st of April 2018). And you’ll probably pay 15% VAT on all purchases after the 1st of April 2018 from your VAT registered suppliers.

If you register your company for VAT you must add 15% VAT (from the 1st of April 2018) to all your products or services. You’ll have to pay that 15% to SARS.

However, that means you can deduct all the VAT you pay from the VAT you owe – and if you pay more than you owe SARS will repay the difference.

You can also deduct VAT paid on capital goods you use for your company, like equipment or vehicles.

If you want to, or have to, register for VAT, here’s a handy VAT Package that might come in handy!

BEE Affidavit / Certificate

In order to apply for most Tenders, you need either a BEE Affidavit or a BEE Certificate.

Do I need a BEE Affidavit or a BEE Certificate?

According to the latest legislation, if your company earns less than R10 mil. a year you’re considered an Exempted Micro Enterprise (EME). This means you need a BEE Affidavit.

An Affidavit is a formal letter, stating what your company’s ownership looks like. However, you only have three options: 100% black ownership, more than 50% black ownership or less than 50% black ownership.

  • 100% Black ownership > BEE Status Level 1
  • More than 50% Black ownership >BEE Status Level 2
  • Less than 50% ownership > BEE Status Level 4

Once you have set up your affidavit letter a Commissioner of Oath has to sign it before it officially serves as your legal BEE certificate.

If you earn more than R10 mil. every year, the levels get more complex and you’re legally required to get a formal BEE Certificate.

You can get a BEE Affidavit template HERE or simply talk to one of Company Partners’s BEE experts.

 

Shareholders’ certificates

In contrary to popular belief, you don’t automatically receive shareholder certificates upon the registration of your company. You simply state how many shares you’d like to be available. It’s your company’s responsibility to set up the share certificate to prove share ownership.

It’s vital that you set up the certificate using an expert. We offer that service HERE.

Here it’s important not to skimp on the formalities. It’s your company’s responsibility to issue share certificates to every shareholder.

It’s also vital to set up a formal shareholder’s agreement if you, and one or more people, own the majority shares in your company.

Letter of Good Standing at the Compensation Fund

A Letter of Good Standing is essentially a document proving you’ve paid Workman’s Compensation for all your employees and your client won’t be liable for your employees.

If your company have employees, you’re legally required to pay Workman’s Compensation. This essentially means the Workman’s Compensation Fund (COID), in the case of any harm to your employees or work-related accidents, will assist you in paying for the medical and additional costs.

It’s also important to note that there are other employer requirements. If you have employees you have to comply SARS and the Department of Labour.

If you’d like expert assistance with your Letter of Good Standing, you can simply book a call-back HERE. 

At SARS you need to be registered for PAYE (pay-as-you-earn tax) and SDL (Skills Development Levy) and at the Department of Labour, you need to be registered for UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund).

There are annual, bi-annual and requirements.

However, there are a few exemptions:

  • If an employee works less than 24 hours a month, UIF is not required.
  • If your yearly expense on salaries is less than R500 000 (that’s about R42 000 a month), SDL is not required.

You can read more about PAYE, SDL and other employer requirements here:

8 Things you should know about Payroll in South Africa to avoid penalties

 

Central Supplier Database (CSD) Registration

Government Tender Compliance (How to register yourself on the Central Supplier Database)

Government Tenders are often underestimated as people assume they are awarded unfairly.

However, the majority of Tenders are awarded according to strict Tender application requirements and any company that can offer the right services at a competitive price stands a fair chance.

Regarding the required CSD registration, the Central Supplier Database (CSD) is essentially a list the Government makes of all its legally approved suppliers. You cannot apply for a Tender without being registered on the Government’s CSD. You can head straight to the National Treasury’s website to complete an online registration form.

After your submission (you’ll have to submit specific compulsory documentation as well) the Government will assess your application. However, CSD registration is included in both our Tender Packages if you’re interested in an effortless package of all the essential Compliance Docs:  

Company-Registration Company Registration Tender Package

If you’d like to find out more on Government Tenders, read our blog post specifically on this topic:

Other Industry-specific Requirements

Depending on which industry you work in, there are various requirements you need to comply with to apply for Private or Government Tenders.

You can talk to one of our experts HERE to find out what you need for your industry. 

Here are a few of our industry-specific packages:

Company-Registration  Company-RegistrationCompany-Registration

Here’s how we assisted a Security Company new branding media, all the vital business documentation and 100% Tender Compliance in only 2 months!

Our Compliance Experts assisted Elisheba Security and Cleaning Services with over 20 services to cover their compliance ar the CIPC, at SARS and at SEDA.

We also sorted out Elsheba’s logo, website, email, business cards, company profile, business plan, tax maintenance, monthly accounting, PAYE and Payroll.

Here’s what Riaan had to say about our services:

You can read the rest of Riaan’s testimonial HERE. 

As every Tender has its own set of requirements, we offer a wide range of services to cover whatever the requirements are.

You can take a look at our full list here:

A list of services for our company registrations

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