Foreign and External Companies

A foreign company is a company incorporated outside of South Africa , irrespective of whether it is a profit or non-profit company or carrying on business in South Africa or not. A foreign company is prohibited from offering securities to the South African public unless it follows the specific provisions of the companies Act, relating to offers to the public.

A foreign company is required to register as en “external company” with the CIPC if it conducts or intends to conduct business in South Africa. The Companies Act in terms of Sect 23 lists a series of activities which will be regarded as conducting business. This list is much broader than the provision in the 1973 Companies Act relating to a “place of business” in South Africa.