Everything You Need To Know About Starting A Business In South Africa As A Foreigner

Starting a company as a foreigner in South Africa can be a daunting task without securing professional help.

At Black Pen Immigration we have helped numerous entrepreneurs with their aspirations to establish a business in South Africa. Before you spend time and money, you should look at the requirements and visa options available.

There are two visa types you can apply for:

Business visa:
This category is almost always recommended for anybody starting a business as a foreigner in South Africa.

Independent Financial Permit:
An extremely underused permit category that enables the holder to start a business, but additionally provides some other advantages above the regular business visa route.

Business visas are suitable for people wanting to invest in a business, or an existing startup, and who'll be functioning within the business.

The Independent Financial skills permit isn't limited to a particular economic activity. It allows the visa holder complete flexibility to invest in a business, whether or not they will be working in it.

A business can be owned and operated with 100% foreign ownership. Nonetheless, for those that have a local partner, this is also good. This is applicable to both of the abovementioned visas.

For business visa holders you need to invest R5 million into the business should you not be eligible for a waiver. 

It isn't a requirement for the holder of the Financially Independent permit to invest any specific amount into a business. They are free to invest any amount they want. To successfully obtain a Financially Independent permit, you'll have to demonstrate a net worth of R12 million; however, these funds are not required to be brought into South Africa.

There is, however, a condition that workers are no less than 60% South Africans. They must be permanently employed if you hold a business visa. This is not a condition for the Independent Financial permit holder.

If you start a business in South Africa using the business visa, you would first need to obtain temporary residency. Once you have temp residency, you can apply for permanent residency. 

If you choose to go the Independent Financial permit route, you may only apply for permanent residency. This is a great option but could take longer to process the visa.

There is no better company to assist than Black Pen Immigration when it comes to starting a business as a foreign national in South Africa. Our services don't only focus on the appropriate visa or permit but provide a combination of skills; company structures, tax, investor business plans, insurance and much more.

To contact any of our experts, please give us a call.