Except for some fear, which is normal, and subsequent adrenalin there are no legal obligations when you are planning to become self-employed.

The safety net is gone. No salary at month-end. It is you and you alone who are now responsible for bringing in the sales and paying the bills. If you shy away from responsibility then maybe, just maybe this self-employed thing is not for you.

You will need to decide which trading format will suit you best. The trading format you choose will have some registration requirements as well as various laws you need to adhere to. You can either choose between being a sole proprietor or you can incorporate a company. Choosing either of these options will require you to register for:

  • a tax number at the South African Revenue Services;
  • companies and intellectual property commission;
  • commissioner for income dispensation (COID);
  • unemployment insurance fund (UIF);
  • pay-as-your-earn (PAYE), if you pay salaries above the threshold; and
  • value-added tax (VAT), if your turnover exceeds the threshold.