What does a Sole Proprietor need to Operate under Level 4 of the Lockdown
The South African Lockdown Rules have left many business people very confused about that they need in order to operate. For small businesses it is hard enough trying to comply with the numerous regulations that normally apply, including SARS, PAYE, UIF, etc.
Many small business owners who are anxious to get back to work are very uncertain. Particularly sole proprietors, including maintenance businesses, plumbers, electrician's and the like. Everyone is talking about an Essential Services certificate. In this article we seek to clarify some of the uncertainty.
Firstly, sole proprietors cannot get a CIPC Essential Services Certificate because they are not registered on the CIPC database. This does not mean that they cannot operate, it simply means that they do not require a CIPC Essential Services Certificate.
Secondly, while sole proprietors do not require a CIPC Essential Services Certificate, they definitely do require the Covid-19 Level 4 Staff Permit. While is it a bit strange, the owner of the business should also sign a Permit in favour of himself or herself. Each staff member should also be given a Covid-19 Level 4 Staff Permit in order to ensure the safe travel to and from work. These permits are not issued at Police Stations, they are issued by the owner of the business.
Since initially writing this article, the Minister of Small Business Development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, finally issued directives for micro and small businesses trading in permitted services during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In addition to the Covid-19 Level 4 Staff Permit (Form 2 of the Regulations), a sole proprietor is now required to be in possession of an Affidavit indicating that they are performing a service permitted in terms of the Regulations. Furthermore, a sole proprietor must have sole trader document issued by SARS, or certified copies of the trade certificate of the owner or college certificate in the related qualification, or other documentary proof of the existence of, and the nature of, the business.