Brief summary on Business Permits

A Business Permit may be issued to a foreign national, who intends to establish or invest in a new business in South Africa. This foreign national are also able to take over an investing business.

Temporary Residence

There are quite a few factors involved in the establishment of a business, which are the following:

1. Required Investment:

The intended investment into the book value of the business of:

a. R 2.5 million in cash;

b. a capital contribution of at least R 2.5 million;

c. at least R 2 million in cash and a capital contribution of at least R 500 000

A Chartered Accountant must, in form of a written report, confirm this investment. It is also essential that these funds be invested from abroad and not generated already in South Africa.

IF the investment is lower than R 2.5 million it may be reduced or waived with, either a recommendation by the Department of Trade and Industry or proof that the business is within an industry which is in the national interest as declared by the Director General.

2. Employment of SA citizens or PR holders

The creation of employment for at least five South African Citizen or Permanent Residents is another legal requirements of setting up a business in the Republic. This should be done within 2 years from establishment of the business. If no employees are appointed yet, the foreign national can submit an undertaking that this will be done.


3. Registration with SARS:

A third issue of setting up a business in SA is that the company must be registered with the South African Revenue Services for income tax. IF the company is not registered yet, the foreign national can submit an undertaking that it will be done.

4. Business Plan:

A detailed business plan outlining the feasibility of the business, both in the short and long term, must be included in the application.


A foreign national will be expected to pay a repatriation fee to the department of home affairs or applicable SA mission. Such fee varies from country to country.


Permanent Residence:

An important factor will be that foreigners can apply for permanent residence immediately based on own business, where the requirements will be the same as with temporary residence.


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