Starting a taxi business, like starting any South African business, requires planning. After creating a business plan and obtaining funding, the business must be registered with the appropriate South African agencies, including the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO), the Department of Labour and the Department of Transport. Once registration is completed and licensed taxi drivers are hired, the business is free to operate.
Register the preferred business name by visiting CIPRO's website and filing the Application For Name form. As of August 2010, the cost is ZAR 50 (USD $6.40) and the waiting period is approximately three days. The form can also be submitted in person at the CIPRO office in Pretoria. The approved name will be automatically reserved for two months. The name reservation can be extended for one month at a cost of ZAR 20 (USD $2.56).
Submit a completed Certificate to Commence Business form to CIPRO so that the business can begin to raise capital or trade shares. Include the following completed documents: a CIPRO letter indicating that the company name was approved, a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of the Memorandum and one copy of the Articles of Association, which must include a signature page. A fee must also be included. The minimum cost can be ZAR 415 (USD $53). Additionally, the following forms must be submitted: Form CM22, CM27, CM29, CM31, CM46 and CM49. All forms are available at the CIPRO website. Once all required forms, documents and fees are submitted, CIPRO will take five to seven days to complete incorporation.
Register for tax purposes by submitting the required forms to the South African Revenue Service. The proper form will depend on the type of business, but all forms are available at the SARS website. The business must then register as an employer using the EMP101e Form, which is also available at the SARS website. For Value-Added Taxes (VAT) purposes, the business must submit the name of its public officer to SARS and this person must be a resident of South Africa. The tax registration process will take 12 days.
Register with the South African Department of Labour. To do this, submit Forms U18 and U19 and wait for the department to approve the application. The forms are available at the Department of Labour website. After approval, the department will issue a reference number to the business.
Hire taxi drivers with professional driving permits obtained from the Department of Transport. All taxi drivers must have a driver's license and a professional driving permit to operate in South Africa. The taxi driver must go to a provincial Department of Transport to apply for a permit.
To learn more about running a taxi business, contact the South African National Taxi Council. The Council advocates for taxi businesses and drivers. If and when the taxi business fires a taxi driver, be sure to submit the Certificate of Service form, which is required under the Sectoral Determination for the Taxi Sector. The form is available at the Department of Labour website.
Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.