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What is an enterprise?

by , 09 November 2015
This was a question we received from Jack on the AccountingandTaxClub.co.za. He didn't know if the business he is running is an enterprise.

But this is something you must understand. You see, operating an enterprise is a basic requirement to register for VAT in terms of section 1 of the VAT Act.

Read on as I'll show you what an enterprise is and if you run one...

Checklist: 4 Ways to tell if you run an enterprise
 
Here's the easiest way to tell if your business is an enterprise. Tick the boxes on the checklist below. If you answer yes to all 4 of these you can register for VAT.
  • Does your business carry on any activity where you supply goods or services?
  • Does your business carry on this activity on a continuous or regular basis?
  • Does your business carry on these activities in SA or partly in SA (if it's a foreign business)?
  • Does your business receive consideration for the supply of your goods or services (this need not be only money, but could be on a barter transaction, for example)?
If you answer yes to all 4 of these, your business is an enterprise and you can register for VAT. This checklist applies to businesses operating to make a profit as well as non-profit organisations.
 
But it doesn't end there! Read on for 7 examples of enterprises…

 
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  • When you're eligible to apply for Vat;
  • How to correctly fill in your VAT101 form;
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  • Your Vat responsibilities while waiting for your Vat number?
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7 Examples of enterprises
  1. Ordinary businesses. For example, shops, contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers and hotels;
  2. Trades and professions. For example, builders, engineers, doctors, accountants and attorneys;
  3. Activities of non-profit companies. For example, welfare organisations, societies, associations and sports clubs;
  4. Municipalities, water boards and certain functions of government departments;
  5. Foreign businesses if they trade in South Africa;
  6. Farmers; and
  7. Foreign providers of electronic services to South Africans.
P.S. Businesses that render ONLY exempt supplies aren't enterprises and won't ever be able to register for Vat! Turn to E01: Exempt supplies in your Practical VAT Loose Leaf now for more information on exempt supplies.
 

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