South Africa is trying to lead the field in its latest reforms on the ease of doing business. It has now become the first country in the world to allow companies to be registered within one day of opening a bank account. This move was taken in collaboration between the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and First National Bank (FNB).

This ground-breaking initiative will start in May and will be piloted by FNB to ensure that the system is operated correctly. Other banks in South Africa: Nedbank, Standard Bank and Absa have all been invited to take part, but do not have the required systems up and running yet.

As part of the initiative South Africans will now also be able to electronically file intellectual property applications on trademarks, designs and patents.

According to Business Day: “All these initiatives are aimed at expediting the process of company registration, a vital element in the ease of starting a business which historically has been a long one in South Africa compared with other countries.”

Another collaboration between the Home Affairs Department and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is trying to create a more integrated service to provide exchange and verification data that would allow SARS to register a company and register it for VAT at the same time.

CIPC Commissioner Astrid Ludin said the move was to make it easier for entrepreneurs to interact and do business with the South African government.

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