Want to register your company name (company formation)and setup your business in Zimbabwe? Business formation in Zimbabwe can be a very confusing and difficult process when you’re doing it for the first time.
The company registrars office is the one responsible for the process, however most people choose to register through consultants to avoid the unnecessary waiting and frustration often involved. Even if you choose to go through a consultant, it’s really important that you understand the basics and you choose the right agent to register your business for you.
This post will show you what you the requirements for the company registration process in Zimbabwe, how to get it done quick, affordable and professionally!
Why register your company in Zimbabwe?
There are a few important benefits you should be aware of
- A registered company has more credibility. Having a business that’s not registered is a signal to potential customers and partners that you’re not serious. A registered company is an entry-level commitment and sign that you’re not just a fly by night operation or shadow business as so many in Zimbabwe have become.
- Big opportunities often require registration papers. Big government tenders and dealing with many big companies will often demand that you are able to produce your papers in one form or another. You may be capable of doing the job perfectly and at the best price, but you could lose the opportunity if you’re not registered.
- No registration papers? No corporate bank account. Again, if you’re dealing with larger amounts, most corporates will not pay you in cash. In fact, some investors or securities will not even consider you without looking at your banking history. You cannot get a corporate bank account without being a registered business. If you’ve been keeping your cash under the mattress, isn’t it time for the next level? When you open a bank account, you will be able to register for Tax clearance from ZIMRA. This process, if you are registered, will include a bank tax clearance that enables you to open a business bank account.
- If you’re building a real business, You MUST be registered. There are things you do to make a quick buck here and there, then there are things you do for the long-term – like your dream business or a business you hope to sell for massive profit one day. If your company is not registered, you will be disadvantaged and even hinder your growth.
- Registration proves you exist! This is important for Tax related issues and VAT. It’ll also prove important should you end up in court to defend you rights in some matter.
- Registration helps to protect your brand. You could invest significantly into building a name and reputation, only to watch someone else legally enjoy all the benefits because they’ve started a competing business and they own your name! Not much you can do to stop them!
In Zimbabwe there are two ways register your Company Name
- Buy a ‘shelf company’
- Register a business from scratch.
A shelf company is a business that for the most part has already been registered. Supposedly all you have to do is buy it, change the directors names and you’re done. It’s supposed to be faster and easier in every way. Truth is though, it’s NOT. These days it’ll take about the same amount of time and in some cases much longer to go the shelf company route. It’s also not really any cheaper (Except in some artificial pricing scenarios by some consultants). More than all that though it will almost always hurt you in the long run. The silly sounding, nonsensical names often used will make your marketing both more difficult and expensive. The consultants who sell them won’t tell you this, most don’t know and the rest just don’t care. My recommendation? DO NOT BUY A SHELF COMPANY! Registering from the start is the second and by far the best option. It allows you the most flexibility and branding power later. You’ll need to come up with at least 4 or 5 possible names for your name search.
How to Name Your Business
- Don’t try to win any creativity awards. This is more science than art so don’t waste days or weeks trying to find the perfect name.
- Keep it simple. You name should be easy to pronounce and spell. No silent letters or out of the ordinary punctuation marks
- Tie your name to your line of business. I should be able to look at your name and without any help, at least have a clue about what you do. Think ‘Chicken Inn’, ‘Fawcett Security’, ‘Floorcare’, ‘Agri-Bank’. Sure, you could use a name like Coca-cola, Kodak or Apple…but be prepared to spend a massive amount of money on branding to help us associate that name with your line of business in the mind of your market.
- Make it as unique as possible. I’m talking about unique in your industry or domain, not in the world. Unless you’re using words and sounds or geographic qualifiers like (Zimtech, Zimsun or Zimnat) coming up with a completely original name may be difficult. I’d recommend going for a name that’s unique in your industry. If you understand SEO, then you may also want to see what implications that name could have from that perspective.
- Finally, submit your names in order of priority. when you submit your list of names to be registered, you’ll need a CR 21 form, unless you are registering a Private Business Corporation (PBC). Whether you do it with the Business Setup Group or whoever, please remember to write them in order of preference. That way, if you don’t get your most wanted name, the company registrar’s office knows which one on your list you’d next prefer.
Best Way To Register your company. Now there are dozens of places to get your company registered in Zimbabwe. Many will charge you ridiculous amounts to get it done, then take forever to do it and finally, they’ll deliver a shoddy half done job.
So in summary, lets say i am planning on starting a security company in Zimbabwe, how would i go about it? Obviously i would need to be registered with the relevant authorities to operate properly. I would need to name my security company, something easy to remember, pronounce. Then of course after that i would want to go about all the usual important things a local security company needs. I would go to a Fawcett security shop in Harare or Bulawayo, and buy whatever security equipment i needed from them. Make sense?