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Shelf Company Registration

A guide to Shelf Company Registration in South Africa

Shelf Company Registration

Do you have questions on Shelf Company Registration in South Africa? In this guide, our business consultants will answer your questions.

This guide is designed to: support South African entrepreneurs or businesses who want to know more about Shelf Company Registration in South Africa. It’s designed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Pty Company Registration (it’s the official website of Company Partners). In this guide we’ll walk you through general questions first. Thereafter we’ll move into more practical questions to help you do your Shelf Company Registration in South Africa.

Read this guide if: you’re considering Shelf Company Registration, but you still have some questions on the benefits and the process of buying a Shelf Company in SA.

The best way to use this guide: is to have a look at the topics we’ll be discussing below. You can scroll to the areas you’re interested in. Please keep in mind we’re tried to touch on as much as possible to give you a general overview. Nevertheless, this guide shouldn’t serve as legal business advice.

Shelf Company topics we’ll be discussing in this guide:

  1. What’s the definition of a Shelf Company in South Africa?

  2. The legality of Shelf Company Registration in South Africa

  3. How does a standard Company and a Shelf Company differ?

  4. The benefits of a Shelf Company in South Africa

  5. How do you get a Shelf Company in South Africa?

  6. The price of a Shelf Company in South Africa

Shelf Company Registration

If you can’t find an answer you’re looking for, or if you’d like to save some time:Shelf Company Registration









Shelf Company Registration

What’s the definition of a Shelf Company Registration in South Africa?

A “Shelf Company” in South Africa describes a standard CIPC-registered company that isn’t registered for the purpose of establishing a trading business. It’s registered to resell it to an entrepreneur or businesse person at a later stage. Figuratively speaking, it’s registered and then “put on the shelf”.

Shelf Company Registration is no different to normal company registration. A Shelf Company is a fully registered South African company that hasn’t been traded with. It’s registered with the intention of making it available to business owners who need a CIPC-registered company ASAP.

A Shelf Company is a good option in a time crunch, because it’s already registered with the CIPC. With all the paperwork already done, you can just purchase the business entity and start trading with it immediately. There’s no need to wait for the registration process to be finalised. It’s already registered at the CIPC –  just like a new company.

The term Shelf Company is simply used to describe a CIPC-registered company that you can buy and use to trade with right away. 

This is particularly helpful, because you can use the company registration number immediately to apply for a Tender, Contract or RFQ. Changing the details of the company like its directors, its address or its name is quite easy (we assist) and it doesn’t affect the company registration number.

In addition, Shelf Companies are usually available in every year. This means the business entity that you’re buying right now was registered in a specific year. You can, for example, buy a 2014 or a 2018 Shelf Company.

Also, as Shelf Companies are registered with the intention to resell, they usually have general names that are easy to use in any business, like for e.g. Cape Town Trading. However it’s very easy to change a Shelf Company’s name to a different name that you prefer – we can also assist with this process.

Shelf Company Registration

The legality of Shelf Company Registration in South Africa

Shelf Company Registration is completely legal, because it’s just a South African company that’s already registered at the CIPC.

The term “Shelf Company Registration” refers to the process of registering a standard company to resell later. It can also refer to buying a Shelf Company. Either way, it’s 100% legal.

The important part is the fact that it’s officially registered at the CIPC, that all the annual renewal payments are made and up to date, and also that the company has no trading history.

Shelf Company Registration

How does standard Company and Shelf Company Registration differ?

The initial behind-the-scenes process of standard Company Registration and a Shelf Company Registration is exactly the same.

Both are registered at the CIPC. The central difference is, buying a New Company implies you still need to go through the CIPC administration. Buying a Shelf Company, implies the CIPC administration is already done.

When you buy a Shelf Company, the Shelf Company Registration process would refer to purchasing the company and changing the details of that existing company to your own details. You won’t need to go through the lengthier CIPC registration process.

Consequently, the biggest difference between the two is the waiting time from the point where you first buy the Company to being able to actively trade with that entity or use it to apply for Tenders, RFQs and Contracts.

Here’s a quick overview of how they are similar and how they differ:

Shelf Company Registration


Shelf Company Registration

What are the benefits of a Shelf Company in South Africa?

In our previous sections we’ve focused a lot on how Shelf Companies are very similar to standard companies. You’re probably wondering why you should opt for a Shelf Company as they are so similar to New Companies.

This section will break down the 3 most significant pro’s to Shelf Companies to clear that up.

You have an instant Company Registration Number that you can use today

Shelf Company Registration

If you need a Company Registration Number (without a trade history) today, the only guaranteed way you can get it is by buying a Shelf Company.

That means, once you buy a Shelf company you can use it to trade with, or to apply to urgent contracts/tenders, immediately.

In fact, buying a Shelf Company is the only guaranteed way to get a Company Registration Number, with a clear trading history, on the same day.

Please note: We guarantee that all our Shelf Companies have never been traded with before, however we cannot guarantee the company services other websites may offer.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to get a New Company

Shelf Company Registration

When there’s a time crunch and you don’t have the luxury to wait for your New Company to be registered at the CIPC, a Shelf Company is the ideal solution.

A Shelf Company is the fastest way for you to get a CIPC-registered company. Today, New Company Registration is much faster than before. Nevertheless, Shelf Company Registration is the fastest route. If you need a new legally registered Company entity right away, buying a Shelf Company is your best solution.

Besides needing a Shelf Company for the sake of urgency, it can also be a matter of convenience.

A Shelf Company is fully and legally registered. The significant CIPC admin is already done and out of the way leaving you with more free time. Buying a Shelf Company cuts out any CIPC registration on your end.

So, if you want to save both on time and energy, buying a Shelf Company is a really simple option. You have peace of mind the registration is concluded and you have a company registration number you can use asap. In your own time you can change the company details as needed (we assist).

You can choose the age of your Company Registration Number

Shelf Company Registration










Another notable benefit is the possibility of an older company registration number. If you do a New Company Registration today, your company registration number will be dated to today. Opting for a Shelf Company Registration means you choose the year you’d like for your company registration number.

You can buy a company entity that was registered in, for example, 2014 or 2018. Having an older company registration number may give you that additional legitimacy, as your business has been registered for a significant period of time. This is true for businesses owners who has operated for a number of years, but never registered their companies in the past.

Shelf Company Registration

Shelf Company Registration

How do you get a Shelf Company in South Africa?

The simplest way to do your Shelf Company Registration is though us. You’re also welcome to have a look at other companies who offer Shelf Companies. However, here’s why we’re confident we’re the best option to get a Shelf Company in South Africa:

  • You get a CIPC Registered Pty with no trade history. No surprises.

We guarantee that all our Shelf Companies have no trade history and we offer you your company’s full documentation. So far, since 2006, we’ve supported over 20 000 entrepreneurs and business with various services.

  • Everything we state is included. No hidden costs.

We include the following elements for FREE with every Shelf Company purchase:

  • A Company Name change, changes to your directors and your address.
  • Transferring the shares and issuing new Share Certificates.
  • An Income Tax Number and BEE Affidavit. We also include a free tax clearance certificate and business bank account with selected shelf company options.
  • We support you in and after the process.

 We know you need support throughout and after your Shelf Company purchase. Here’s how we make sure you’re supported in your company administration, making sure you can get the support you need to grow your business:

  • We assign an individual Business Consultant to you as soon as you sign up.
  • You get a sophisticated system that’s 100% online.
  • We have more than 120 other company support services that we offer – if you need any additional support, we’ll walk you through it.

You don’t have to take our word for it. Talk to us directly. Claim your FREE business consultation and talk to one of our experts today.

Our line is 100% toll-free (free from SA cellphones and landlines). Just call 0800 007 269 to start.

Shelf Company Registration

The price of a Shelf Company in South Africa

Every business who assist with Shelf Company Registration has its own pricing – there’s no fixed answer as to how much the price is of a Shelf Company in South Africa.

The only factor that will be equal across most prices, is the fact that the cost increases the older the shelf company is. That’s because the value an older company registration number offers is usually more significant to a business owner as opposed to a recent company registration number.

In terms of competitive pricing, considering that our pricing is all-inclusive (so no surprises down the road), we consider our prices are the best.

Shelf Company Registration

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