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New company? Make sure FICA and your bank don't stop you from getting started

by , 19 March 2015
If you're are starting a new business and you're not sure what type of company you should register, you need to structure your business effectively to minimise your tax payments.

That's where you bank and FICA come in.

Confused?

We explain everything in the article below.

SARS won't let you register for any kind of tax without yourcompany's bank details

Opening a bank account is far more complicated than it used to be, thanks to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (FICA).This Act requires banks to obtain certain information concerning their clients.

Here are five documents you need for FICA compliance when opening your bank account

To open a company bank account, you must submit the following documentation to your bank:

1. A copy of the founding documentation of any legal entity that the business is trading under. This would include:
• The Memorandum of Incorporation in the case of a company;
• The CK1 and the latest CK2 (if applicable) in the case of a CC; or
• The Trust deed in the case of a Rrust.

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2. A copy of the minutes (or a certified extract there of) of the meeting at which the resolution was passed to open a bank account.

This resolution should ideally specify the bank and branch at which the account is to be opened, the type of account to be opened (current, savings, etc.), and the names of the people who will act as signatories on the account.

3. A certified copy of the identity documents of each of the directors/members/trustees.

4. An original or certified copy of an external document that verifies the physical address or stand number of the business' registered office or principal trading premises.

• This may be in the form of assessment rates or a utility account, lease agreement (in the case of leased premises), or, failing which, a telephone account.

Pay attention to the fact that a telephone account isn't always acceptable to some banks. If this is what you intend to present to the bank, save yourself time and trouble by checking with the bank first to make sure they'll accept it.

5. A similar document verifying the physical address or stand number of each signatory on the account.

There you have it. Before you can register with SARS, you must have a FICA-certified bank account. If you don't, SARS won't let you trade.

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