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Who is SwiftReg

SwiftReg is one of the largest companies specialising in 'Company Registration' and related services. They register approximately 5% of all companies in South Africa and provide direct back end services to three of the largest banks in South Africa. They are the most advanced online service in the country and are backed up with a call centre operating Monday-Friday during business hours.

What is the difference between BEE and BBBEE

They are the same thing. The term BEE is used as a shortening for BBBEE, its just simpler to say. BBBEE stands for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment.

SwiftReg provides a service for the 'Exempted Micro Enterprises' (EME) which are companies where the turnover is (in most cases) below 10 million. This threshold changes depending on which sector of industry your company operates. Although the current legislation is confusing, owing to the fact of SANAS requirements of EME, and changes in the BEE Act, SwiftReg has placed together a package which should meet everyones needs, namely we provide a BEE Affidavit.

Who is Black in accordance with the ACT?

A Black person, is defined as all people who may have been disadvantaged under the apartheid govenment, and includes Black, Coloured, Indian or Chinese demographics. However the individual must have been a citizen before 1994.

Example : A Chinese imigrant who has only received citizenship in 2005 would not be considered 'Black' as defined by the act.

What are the difference between the Level 1,2,3,4?

The smaller the number the better the level. In the past we had level 3 and level 4. Level 3 is better the level 4. Level 4 is intended by white owned companies, or companies where more then 50% of their shareholding is white. The mark for level 4 is 100%, and level 3 is 110%.

Level 3 was the best option if you are majLevel 3 was the best option if you are majority Black Owned (see definition of Black above). In a nutshell if you have a level 3 certification, your quote might be 10% more costly then your Level 4 competition and you could still win the tender.

A new series of codes were released in October 2013, listing the new codes of Level 1 and 2 for companies who dont appear in specific sectors. This means that a Black Owned company could get a Level 1, which equates to 135% Bee Rating as an EME.

Generally with SwiftReg, if you are 100% Black owned, you will receive a level 1 certificate. In unique cases, certain departments in South Africa might not yet recognise this level (they are outdated departments as this law is now over two years old) and you might be disqualified. In these cases you are welcome to request a level 3 instead.

And what happens if I am white and call myself black?

Manipulating the system is a legal offense. SwiftReg reserves the right not to certify a company who could be manipulating the system so as to gain greater certification. Copies of ID's are required and they are used as basic testing in this regard.

What you need to do a BEE AFFIDAVIT

A BEE Affidavit is a service we offer our clients to lay out information in requirement with the current BEE guidelines. You need the details of your company, names and ID numbers of the share holders

What is a BEE CERTIFICATE?

A BEE certificate is a legal document that is used by the government or companies to show black ownership in a company, the word BEE stands for black economic and empowerment. It is not a must that every company gets one, but it can be at a benefit. There are three levels for a BEE, there is level one, level two and level four. The BEE was implemented in the year 2003. After black South Africa become free.

The whole point of BEE is to improve the lives of black South Africans in the country. Many people that would like to apply for tenders and from the South African government and large companies would apply for a BEE certificate or BEE affidavit. In this chapter we will go in to details about what the difference between a BEE certificate and a BEE affidavit.

Where do to apply for BEE and how?

There are a lot of places where you can get a BEE certificate if you qualify for a certificate. Companies and intellectual property commission is one of the places where they can assist you. There are many professional companies. As well as accountants they can provide you with a certificate at the rate that they charge, companies such a Swiftreg can assist you with a BEE affidavit. They provide you with the affidavit on the day you apply for it.

What is the difference between BEE certificate and BEE AFFIDAVIT?

A Black economic empowerment certificate is done by an accountant and is for companies with a turnover of 50million and above they would qualify for a certificate and you BEE level is detained by your points not you black ownership, accountants need to come to the business and do a few checks in order for them to give you a rating on your certificate on the other hand a affidavit is for smaller companies with a turnover of less than 50million rand. There is not much of a difference in the affidavit and certificate.

You need to take the affidavit to the commission of oats for it to be stamped and signed and you will need to sign infant of the commissioner.  You can go to any company that offer the service for a valid black economic and empowerment affidavit there is no need for accountants to come in to your company as the affidavit is rated by the amount of black ownership you have in a company not by the points. They both valid for one year and once it is expired you need to get it renewed again.

Benefits of registering a Pty Ltd. an have unlimited directors and shareYou can have unlimited directors and shareholders. There is no auditor required when registering a company. Remember in the past when you registered a Close corporation an accounting officer was required well that is not required with registering a Pty Ltd. With the Pty Ltd you can get taxed only 28% and It’s Limited Liability.

How long does it take to get a BEE CERTIFICATE?

There is no turnaround time to get a certificate because there is a lot that the accountant’s needs to do before a business is issued with a certificate. One of the things that the accountant need to do is to visit your company as well as check money going in and out of the business by providing a bank statement. When the accountants have completed the process then you will be issued with a Black economic empowerment certificate. 

You will need to apply for a new one each year when it expires. On the other hand a affidavit depending on the company that you use you can get it on the same day or the next day, there is also no turnaround time for it but it takes less than 2 days to get the affidavits. 

How long is the certificate and affidavit valid for?

A black economic and empowerment certificate is valid for one year and every year only once it has expired then you need to get a new one because it has no value once the year is completed , you will have to do the same processes again to get a new black economic empowerment.

The same applies for a affidavit, it is only valid for one year. and it has an expiry date ne it, once that date pass then it will have no value, you will have to reapply for a new one every year, companies like Swiftreg are able to assist you in applying for a new one every year at  a reasonable cost. But for the certificate you need to go to an accountant again to assist you with reapplying for one, and there are a lot of accountants that have reasonable fees, but you will have to do all the steps all over again.

Are there three different levels?

There is not only three levels for a Black economic empowerment but there are three that are popular. Level one is one hundred percent black ownership and it is the highest level there is , black people would be anyone who is born in south Africa before 1994. If foreigners have a document proving they were a citizen before 1994 they qualify. They will also get level one. Level two is when you have 51 percent black ownership and 49 percent is another race. For example if you have one black person as a share holder with a percentage of 51 and a one black person with a percentage of 49 then you will get level 2, a level two is not a bad level it is still a good level to have.

And it can also put you in the chance of getting tenders and big projects. As to date there is no level 3 as it was removed by the South African government. Level 4 starts from 50 percent black ownership and down they will get a level four. Level four is one of the lowest levels that you can get but that doesn’t mean that your certificate or affidavit is invalid or less important it is still at an advantage to have one. And it can also give you a big chance in getting tenders. The higher your level is the best chance for you to get tenders from government or any large companies.

Who can apply for a Black economic and empowerment certificate and why?

Anyone with a turnover of 50million and above per year is welcome to apply for a certificate , Swiftreg doesn’t assist with certificate they deal with smaller companies that have a turnover of less than 50 million, accountants would be the best place to do a black economic empowerment certificate. So anyone with a company can apply for a black economic empowerment no matter what your turnover is or how much black ownership you have on your company, but the only difference will  be if you qualify for a black economic empowerment certificate or affidavit.

Which document will you need to apply for a BEE CERTIFICATE?

A exempt micro enterprise only needs to do a sworn affidavit on a annual basis to confirm the annual returns and the level of black ownership. Business with a turnover of between 10million and 50million are called qualifying small enterprises they have more in depth assessments if the percentage of black ownership is less than 51 percent they need to prove that they comply with all the five BEE categories on the be BEE such as supplier development, management control, social economic development, skills development and ownership development. Identity document (ID BOOK) of the directors and shareholders and tax income certificate just to mention a few .

What are the benefits of having a BEE certificate?

One of the biggest benefits for a bee certificate is being able to conduct or trade with big business and government departments. The certificate allows a company to tender and the higher your black economic empowerment level is the better your chances are to win a tender and level one is the highest and most desirable level. The other advantage is the impression that it gives. It shows that you care and you are willing to develop South Africa developing black South Africans.

What is a BEE Certificate for a qualifying small enterprise QSE

A QSE is a business with a turnover between 10 million and 50 million per year. Most of the time this category is a family business, the directors and shareholders are family member. Not every QSE need to undergo official assessment to get a certificate. If 51 percent of the owner ship is black then the company would get a level two. A very important rule for a QSE is to comply with the BEE certificate need to empower supplies, without doing this the QSE cannot use the BEE certificate.

How can you spot a fake BEE certificate?

Many  people don’t understand or know how selling fake or buying fake BEE certificate harms South Africa economy very badly, this also take away tenders from companies that should be getting them with a valid bee certificate.  The most common things that are done by business is to fraud the date on the certificate and the turnover amount as well. For companies that are found doing this that BEE certificate can be taken and the company will have a bad name.

They can also be black listed from getting any tenders or big business, the worst thing is they can face criminal charges. To make sure that your bee is not fake double check the contact details on the BEE certificate and the company reference number, also check the alignment type size and the spacing as this is most of the time inconsistent. If you have any questions or you find any discrepancies immediately check with the verification agency. To protect yourself and your business it is important that you check if you certificate is note fake and avoid any legal criminal charges.

Is there a difference in the levels if there is a female ownership?

For big companies yes there will be a difference. So for companies with turnover of 50million and above  they are based on points that’s why you would need accountants to come to the company physically. On the other hand for small companies with a turnover less then 50million it is only based on race, not on points.

Non- profit companies and BEE

Non profit companies with a turnover more than 10 million per year but less than 50million will qualify as a exempted micro enterprise they automatically get level four status and only an affidavit will be issued to them. Companies like Swiftreg can assist with the BEE affidavit for a Non profit companies. All they will need from you would be your registration number, name of the company, company address, and amount of black ownership and financial year ending.

Can you get a BEE affidavit or bee certificate if you don’t pay your annual returns?

Let me start by explaining why you need to pay your annual returns and what happens if you don’t, the reason for annual returns is to keep you company active and show that it’s still in business, by not paying them it can lead to deregistration of your company. When your company is not active you will not be able to apply for a black economic empowerment certificate or the affidavit, annual returns is a fee that you pay each and every year to keep your business active. You can’t do any amendments or changes if your annual returns are outstanding. So your returns are very important.

Is a BEE certificate only done in South African and is it valid in other countries?

Black economic and empowerment is only done in South Africa nowhere else in the world.  And it’s only valid in South Africa. The whole point of the affidavit or certificate is to uplift black South Africans In our country. It Uplifts black women in our country as well. For the company it gives you a great chance in getting tenders from the government and big companies

What do you do when you Black economic and empowerment certificate or affidavit is expired?

Once the affidavit has expired you need to do the whole process over again do the same steps that you did when you were applying for it, each year on the date that you applied for your certificate or affidavit it expiries. If you have an affidavit you will have to reapply by going back to the company that provided you with the affidavit or you can get it from any reliable company. Or you can do it directly at Companies and intellectual property commission. The certificate you will need to do at an Accountant to check money going in and out of your business and to check how much points your company will have.

How much does it cost to do a BEE certificate and a bee affidavit?

There are many companies that can assist you with the certificate. Each company has its own price and the price range starts from between four hundred to thousands of rand.  This can depend on if you will need a SANAS approved certificate.  The turnover amount will affect the amount charged for your BEE certificate. That fee is not including the accountant fees. The accountants have they own price range and they can be a bit expensive but in the end when you have the certificate it will be worth it when you get tenders. The affidavit also has a different price but Swiftreg does offer the service at a very reasonable price. You get different types of companies depending on their amount of turnover. 

EME’s and QSE’s are charged different amounts. An EME (exempt micro enterprise) only needs an affidavit this is much more cost effective.  Affidavits can be free on CIPC’s website but if you don’t know how to fill in the required information or fill in the wrong level that will be committing fraud.  Its best to have an accounting firm or another company assist you this way the document will be correct.