Category Archives: Business

Business planning

article-2-August-nlOwning a business requires careful succession planning and is part of your estate planning as you have to determine who will succeed you, or who will purchase your shares, or who will be entitled to the income after your death. The future ownership of your business is at stake.

A Partnership automatically dissolves upon the death of a partner and the remaining partners will then have to dissolve it and divide the assets amongst them.

In the case of a Company the shareholders may agree that:

  • The remaining shareholders have a right of first refusal to purchase the deceased shareholder’s shareholding, as opposed to dealing with it in a will.
  • The future of ownership of shares can be regulated by a written agreement between shareholders that is referred to as “buy and sell” agreement and has an influence at the death of a partner or shareholder.
  • The buy and sell agreement compels the executor of the deceased to offer the shares at a pre-determined price, and life policies between shareholders normally cover the purchase price.
  • The remaining shareholders are the beneficiaries of the policy on the life of the deceased and use it to purchase the shares, normally pro rata to the shares they already own.
  • Buy and sell policies fall outside the deceased estate and are not subject to estate duty provided that three requirements are met:
    • None of the premiums should have been paid by the deceased;
    • The shareholder relationship must have existed at the time of death;
    • A written agreement must exist.
  • When the skill and knowledge of a partner is essential for the survival of the business, “key man insurance“ can be taken out on the life of such a partner or shareholder. The premiums are paid by the business and the benefit is paid to the business to prevent financial loss or to appoint and train a replacement.

In the case of a “sole proprietor”, succession planning is dealt with in the Last Will and Testament.

  • All the value of the business vests in the deceased estate.
  • Planning is essential as the business terminates at death, although the executor may sell it as a going concern.
  • It is a good idea to grant a right of first refusal to an associate, who can purchase the business and intellectual capital at the time of the death.
  • A life policy can provide for cover on the life of the owner, with the associate being the beneficiary, and the proceeds at time of the death utilized to purchase the business.
  • It deserves no debate that planning increases the benefit for the estate as opposed to closing the business down, where the assets will be worth far less.

Continued succession planning must be part of your business strategy to ensure your hard work benefits the right people.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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Besigheidsbeplanning

article-2-August-nlDie besit van ‘n besigheid vereis noukeurige opvolgbeplanning en is deel van jou boedelbeplanning omdat jy moet bepaal wie jou gaan opvolg, of wie jou aandele gaan koop, of wie geregtig sal wees op die inkomste na jou dood. Die toekomstige eienaarskap van jou besigheid is op die spel.

‘n Vennootskap word outomaties ontbind by die dood van ‘n vennoot en die oorblywende vennote moet dan die vennootskap ontbind en die bates onder mekaar verdeel.

In die geval van ‘n Maatskappy mag die aandeelhouers ooreenkom dat:

  • Die oorblywende aandeelhouers ‘n reg van eerste weiering het om die oorlede aandeelhouer se aandeelhouding te koop, in teenstelling met ‘n bemaking in ‘n testament.
  • Die toekoms van eienaarskap of aandele kan gereguleer word deur ‘n skriftelike ooreenkoms tussen aandeelhouers en word na verwys as ‘n “koop- en verkoopooreenkoms’, wat ‘n invloed het met die dood van ‘n vennoot of aandeelhouer.
  • Die koop- en verkoopooreenkoms verplig die eksekuteur van die oorledene om die aandele aan te bied teen ‘n vooraf bepaalde prys, en lewenspolisse tussen aandeelhouers onderling dek gewoonlik die koopprys. Die oorblywende aandeelhouers is verplig om te koop.
  • Die oorblywende aandeelhouers is die begunstigdes van die lewenspolis op die lewe van die oorledene en gebruik dit om die aandele te koop, normaalweg pro rata tot die aandele wat hulle reeds besit.
  • Koop- en verkooppolisse val buite die boedel van die oorledene en die opbrengs is nie onderhewig aan boedelbelasting nie, op voorwaarde dat die volgende drie vereistes nagekom is:
    • Geen van die premies moes betaal gewees het deur die oorledene self nie;
    • Die aandeelhouers-verhouding moet bestaan ten tye van die dood;
    • Daar moet ‘n skriftelike ooreenkoms wees.
  • Wanneer die vaardighede en kennis van ‘n vennoot essensieel is vir die voortbestaan van die besigheid, kan “sleutelmanversekering” uitgeneem word op die lewe van sodanige aandeelhouer of vennoot. Die premies word betaal deur die besigheid en die opbrengs word betaal aan die besigheid self om finansiële verlies te voorkom of om ‘n plaasvervanger aan te stel en op te lei.

In die geval van ‘n eenmansaak behoort opvolgbeplanning in die Testament behandel te word.

  • Die volledige waarde van die besigheid vestig in die bestorwe boedel.
  • Beplanning is essensieel omdat die besigheid by dood termineer, alhoewel die eksekuteur dit mag verkoop as ‘n lopende saak.
  • Dis ‘n goeie plan om ‘n reg van eerste weiering te gee aan ‘n assosiaat, wat dan die besigheid en intellektuele kapitaal na die dood kan koop.
  • ‘n Lewenspolis kan uitgeneem word waarin die eienaar se lewe verseker is, die assosiaat die begunstigde is en die opbrengs by dood aangewend word om die besigheid te koop.
  • Dit is voor die hand liggend dat beplanning die voordeel vir die boedel verhoog, in teenstelling met die sluiting van die besigheid waar die bates veel minder werd sal wees.

Deurlopende opvolgbeplanning moet deel wees van jou besigheidstrategie om te verseker dat jou harde werk die regte persone bevoordeel.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kliek hier om die volledige vrywaring te sien

Be careful what you write or say!

G&T_What you sayClassically, the law of defamation attempts to strike a balance between a plaintiff’s right to reputation, and a defendant’s right to freedom of expression, two rights that are recognised both at common law and in the Constitution. Defamation is a serious consideration in the interaction with letters, e-mails, and general discussions. A plaintiff needs to firstly prove that a comment regarding him/her was firstly publicised (to someone else than the plaintiff) and secondly that the comment was prima facie defamatory. Once this has been determined the onus is on the defendant to prove that his conduct was not wrongful (without intent).

Wrongfulness is based on intent as opposed to negligence. Even where it remains that the comment was wrongful, the defendant might still have several defences like:

  1. Truth of the statement;
  2. That the comments are in public interest;
  3. That the comment was just an opinion and not given as a fact;
  4. That the comment was fair under the circumstances;
  5. That the comment was made under circumstances of qualified privilege, where the defendant had a duty and someone else had a duty to receive the comment.

The fact that comment is the truth does not mean that it is not defamatory. The test to determine defamation is the reasonable person of normal intelligence and how he viewed it. The defendant can succeed with his defence of fair comment and public interest if no element of maliciousness is involved. The plaintiff only has to prove that the comment was prima facie defamatory of his character and that it was publicised.

Publication can be to a specific person or within hearing distance to the general public and is material if heard by or publicised under the public by a book, postings on websites, or bulletin boards on the Internet.

The onus is on the defendant to prove his defences on a balance of probabilities. This means that where two versions are before a court it should decide on the most probable version under the circumstances. When the court cannot decide which version is the truth for arguments sake and the defendant raised it as defence he then will not succeed with his defence.

In a democracy, forthright criticism, wild accusations and innuendos – often unfair and unfounded – are part and parcel of political activity and right-thinking persons in society generally do not think less of politicians who are subjected to derogatory statements by opposing politicians or political commentators. The context might cause material that would otherwise have been defamatory to be no more than mere abuse. Courts allow wide latitude for political debate and politicians should not be over-hasty in complaining. Nonetheless, it is important to note that courts extend latitude, not immunity, and there are limits: any latitude extends only to political information or activity or issues pertaining to the country’s governance, not beyond; and a distinction must also be drawn between an unwarranted attack on the dignity and reputation of a politician and an attack on the person’s political views, policies and conduct. Courts have to give effect to the values of openness, transparency and accountability, yet protect dignity and privacy. It seems that the bounds are exceeded where improper motives or dishonourable conduct is imputed.

References:

Law of South Africa, Volume 8(1) – Second Edition Volume
DELTA MOTOR CORPORATION (PTY) LTD v VAN DER MERWE 2004 (6) SA 185 (SCA)
Constitution of the Republic of SA, 1996 ss 10 and 16. National Media Ltd v Bogoshi 1998 4 All SA 347 (SCA)

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

 

Acceptance of Electronic Funds Transfer payment specifically in sale of vehicles and transfer of registration on eNatis

G&T_EFTElectronic Funds Transfers, better known as EFT’s, have become a popular payment method in South Africa, accepted by many in lieu of cash or cheque payments.

Many accept the printed electronic funds transfer as “proof” of a cash payment into the bank account, especially in the selling and purchasing of motor vehicles.  They insist on the transfer to be made immediately there and then upon which the vehicle is transferred and registered to the buyer on the same day.

The abuse of Electronic funds Transfers made to the seller’s bank account, especially between different financial entities, is yet another devious manner in which the original Natis documentation or registration of ownership in a motor vehicle can be obtained with no intention to honour the actual payment.

Electronic funds transfers are governed inter alia by agreements between the various financial entities.  Depending on the agreement, such electronic funds transfer transaction can take up to two days to actually reflect as a deposit on the statement of the seller.  The risk of accepting proof of an electronic funds transfer as “proof” of actual payment as if it was a cash deposit, puts the seller at a real risk of being defrauded.

Most ordinary citizens do not know that an electronic transfer can be reversed within a few hours after it has been made, depending on the individual financial institute at which the account is held.

Devious fraudsters who are au fait with the mechanics of the law and the financial systems in South Africa, use this knowledge to the detriment of others.

In the sale of any motor vehicle, or any other object of which ownership are registered on the eNatis system, the Natis registration document is a very useful instrument to secure and verify payment prior to the transfer of registered ownership.

The easiest safeguard against any such risk of loss because of non-payment, is the current, valid and original Natis-document, reflecting the registered owner and titleholder of such a vehicle.

For as long as the seller of the vehicle retain the possession of the original Natis document reflecting the seller as the registered owner, no fraudster or any other person can obtain registered ownership of the vehicle, unless the seller physical enable them to do so.  Once payment actually reflects on the bank statement the necessary documentation should be handed over to effect transfer of registration to the purchaser or his nominee.

Should a seller hand the original Natis-registration documents over prior to actual confirmation of payment, the vehicle can be traded and registered to any innocent third party, whilst the seller himself still await payment.

As no party to an agreement can transfer more rights than he is legally entitled to at that time, the seller will be able to claim the motor vehicle from any person whom has such motor vehicle in his or her possession, even if the possessor at that stage has “purchased and paid” the vehicle.  As long as the motor vehicle has not been transferred and registered to a purchaser whom has not paid for same, the seller can safeguard himself in such a fraudulent transaction.

In the event of the payment then not forthcoming, your rights as seller can be enforced by means of a very simple but highly effective application to any court, which can be done ex parte with an interim relief order to return the vehicle by sheriff to the registered owner of the motor vehicle and a date on which service is to be effected on the purchaser, where after the normal motion procedure is followed.

It is also recommended to issue summons for the cancellation of the agreement, return of the vehicle, cost and interest simultaneously.

For as long as the seller retain and hold on to the original Natis documents and is reflected as the registered owner of the motor vehicle, the seller will have a prima facie right and be the entitled possessor of such motor vehicle.

A seller whom has already caused registration of the vehicle to be transferred to the purchaser prior to have payment secured, are left in a precarious position.  The seller has very little hope of success against such a purchaser with the intention to defraud.  The litigation can be prolonged and costly with no guarantee of recovery of the loss.

For further reading, see Unitrans Automotive (Pty) Ltd v Trustees of the Rally Motors Trust 2011 (4) SA 35, just one of the transactions during a shopping spree of fraudulent transactions using electronic funds transfers by a fraudulent purchaser, and other matters referred to in the judgment.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Wees versigtig wat jy sê of skryf!

G&T_What you sayDie wet van naamskending poog om  balans te vind tussen die eiser se reg op reputasie, en n verweerder se reg op vryheid van uitdrukking, die is twee regte wat beide die gemenereg en in die Grondwet erken word. Die skending van iemand se naam is deesdae ‘n ernstige oorweging met die interaksie in die skryf van briewe, e-posse en algemene gesprekke. ‘n Eiser moet eerstens bewys dat die kommentaar wat oor hom of haar gemaak is, gepubliseer is (geopenbaar aan iemand anders as die eiser) en tweedens dat die kommentaar prima facie lasterlik tot sy reputasie is.‘. Sodra dit bepaal is berus die onus (bewyslas) op die verweerder om te bewys dat sy optrede nie wederegtelik was nie (m.a.w. sonder opset).

Wederegtelikheid Onregmatigheid is gebasseer op opset in teenstelling tot nalatigheid. Selfs waar dit vasstaan dat die verweerder onregmatig opgetree het mag hy steeds ander verwere hê soos:

  1. Dat die woorde die waarheid is;
  2. Die kommentaar is in openbare belang;
  3. Dat die kommentaar slegs ‘n opinie was en nie as ‘n feit weergegee nie;
  4. Dat die kommentaar billik was onder die omstandighede;
  5. Dat die kommentaar gemaak is onder omstandighede van gekwalifiseerde privilegie, byvoorbeeld waar iemand ‘n plig het en teenoor iemand wat ‘n plig het om daarvan kennis te neem.

Die feit dat kommentaar die waarheid is beteken nie dat dit nie skending is nie. Die toets om die skendings waarde te bepaal is of die redelike persoon van gewone intelligensie dit so sou verstaan het dat dit neerhalend van die eiser is. Die verweerder kan slaag met sy verweer dat sy kommentaar billik en in openbare belang was mits daar geen element van opsetlikheid in is nie. Die eiser hoef maar slegs te bewys dat die verklaring prima facie op ‘n skending van sy reputasie neerkom en dat dit gepubliseer is.

Publikasie kan plaasvind teenoor ‘n spesifieke persoon of binne hoorafstand  teenoor die algemene publiek, en dit word as genoegsaam geag as dit hoorbaar is aan ander of onder die publiek versprei word soos ‘n boek, plasings op webtuistes, of bulletin borde op die Internet.

Die onus  rus op die verweerder om sy  verdediging op ‘n balans van waarskynlikhede te bewys. Wat dit beteken is dat die twee weergawes oorweeg moet word en die hof besluit dan op die op die mees waarskynlikste weergawe onder die omstandighede. Wanneer die hof egter nie kan besluit watter weergawe die waarheid is nie en waar dit as verdediging geopper is sal die verweerder dan nie met sy verdediging slaag nie.

In ‘n demokrasie is kritiek,ondeurdagte beskuldigings en insinuasies – soms onbillik en ongegrond – deel van die politieke speelveld en regdenkendes in ‘n gemeenskap dink gewoonlik nie minder van politici wat die voorwerp van sulke kommentaar deur opposisie partye of politieke kommentators is nie. Die konteks veroorsaak dalk dat wat andersins lasterlik sou wees, niks meer as misbruik is nie. Die howe laat baie grasie toe vir politieke debat en politici behoort nie oorhaastig te reageer nie. Nietemin is dit belangrik dat howe toegewings maak maar nie immuniteit gee nie en dat daar beperkings is: enige toegewing behoort vir politieke inligting, aktiwiteite of sake wat verband hou met die land se politiek te wees maar nie verby dit nie, en onderskeid moet ook getref word tussen ongevraagde aanvalle op iemand se integriteit en reputasie van politici en ‘n aanval op iemand se politieke sienings, beleid en optrede. Die howe moet toepassing gee aan die waarde van openheid, deursigtigheid en rekenskap, en tog steeds integriteit en privaatheid beskerm. Dit blyk dat die grense oorskry word waar bymotiewe of eeneerbare gedrag ter  sprake is.

Verwysings:

Law of South Africa, Volume 8(1) – Second Edition Volume
DELTA MOTOR CORPORATION (PTY) LTD v VAN DER MERWE 2004 (6) SA 185 (SCA)
Constitution of the Republic of SA, 1996 ss 10 and 16. National Media Ltd v Bogoshi 1998 4 All SA 347 (SCA)

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Nuwe prosedures by maatskappy deregistrasies

G&T_CIPCDie Kommissie vir Maatskappye en Intellektuele Eiendom (“CIPC”) het nuwe prosedures vir die deregistrasie van maatskappye en beslote korporasies gepubliseer.

Jy kan aansoek doen om die betrokke entiteit vrywilliglik te deregistreer indien:

  • Dit nie meer handel dryf nie, of
  • Dit oor geen bates beskik nie of nie oor genoegsame bates beskik om dit te laat likwideer nie.

Geen vorms word vereis nie, net ‘n brief op die maatskappy of beslote korporasie se briefhoof wat bogenoemde status bevestig en ook:

  • ‘n Belasting uitklaringsertifikaat van SARS, of
  • ‘n Skriftelike bevestiging van SARS dat die maatskappy geen uitstaande belastingverpligtinge het nie.

Moet dit eerder nie sonder professionele kundigheid aanpak nie 

Daar is ook ander formaliteite waaraan voldoen moet word en ook gevolge wat deregistrasie meebring, insluitende :

  • Die verlies aan CIPC beskerming van jou maatskappy of beslote korporasie se geregistreerde naam.
  • Die maatskappy kom wel tot ‘n einde as ‘n regspersoon. Enige onbetaalde skulde bly egter in plek. Jy mag dus steeds persoonlik aanspreeklik gehou word vir hierdie skulde:
    • Op grond van persoonlike borgskappe wat jy namens die maatskappy onderteken het, en
    • Op grond van voortdurende persoonlike aanspreeklikheid van enige direkteure, voorgeskrewe beamptes insluitende senior bestuurders met uitvoerende beheer en aandeelhouers wat aanspreeklikheid kan opdoen vir maatskappyskulde. Hierdie maatskappyskulde spruit dan uit enige optrede of versuim wat plaasgevind het, voordat die maatskappy van die register verwyder is.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Verpligte aftrede: Wanneer is dit diskriminasie?

G&T_RetiredDiskriminasie op grond van ouderdom is ‘n vorm van outomatiese onbillike arbeidspraktyk. Wanneer ‘n werknemer dus aftree-ouderdom bereik en hy gevolglik afgedank word, sal die werkgewer moet bewys dat dit die ooreengekome of normale aftree-ouderdom is.

In praktyk sal die werkgewer twee dinge aan die Hof moet bewys:

  1. Dat daar reeds ‘n aftreebeleid in plek is, en
  2. Wat die aftreebeleid behels.

Die volgende feite het in ‘n onlangse saak voor die Arbeidsappèlhof gedien:

  • ‘n Groep Finansiële Direkteur het die ouderdom van 60 bereik, wat ook die maatskappy se aftree-ouderdom was. Die maatskappy het hom versoek om aan te bly. Hy is meegedeel dat die normale kennisgewingsperiode van toepassing sou wees wanneer die maatskappy later wou hê dat hy wel moes aftree.
  • Twee jaar later het die maatskappy hom in kennis gestel dat sy aftrede sou begin. Die partye was dit tydens die hofsaak eens dat die afdanking gebaseer was op die werknemer se ouderdom.
  • Hy het die saak na die Arbeidshof verwys en het beweer dat hy geregtig was om te werk tot met die ouderdom van 65.
  • Die Arbeidshof het ‘n maksimum vergoeding van 24 maande aan hom toegeken en het bevind dat die ontslag outomaties onbillik was.

Die maatskappy het die saak op appèl na die Arbeidsappèlhof geneem. Hierdie Hof bevind dan dat die werknemer stilswyend ingestem het om langer as die normale aftree-ouderdom te werk en dit aan die werknemer oorgelaat het om die nuwe aftree-ouderdom te bepaal. Die Hof bevind dus dat daar niks onbillik of onwettig met so ‘n reëling was nie.

Werkgewers: Neem advies 

Dit is beter om voorbereid te wees en voorkomend op te tree. Die regskostes en nagevolge kan ‘n mens duur te staan kom. Ons howe is geneig om streng op te tree waar enige vorm van outomatiese onbillike arbeidspraktyk bevind word. Verkry dus advies oor jou posisie sowel as die posisie van jou werknemers.

  • Maak seker dat die beleid oor aftrede duidelik en in plek is.
  • Maak seker dat jou nuwe dienskontrakte die verpligte aftree-ouderdom bevat.
  • Indien jou huidige dienskontrakte nie ‘n aftree-ouderdom stipuleer nie, moet jy dit nou met die werknemers ooreenkom. Onthou dat jy nie eensydig so ‘n klousule op jou werknemers kan afdwing nie.
  • Indien jy ‘n werknemer versoek om by jou maatskappy aan te bly nadat hy reeds die aftree-ouderdom bereik het, moet jy vanuit die staanspoor ‘n nuwe aftree-ouderdom met hom ooreenkom of ‘n ander reëling hieroor tref. Beide partye moet egter duidelikheid hê oor die reëling om enige onsekerheid of toekomstige litigasie uit te skakel.

Werknemers se regte 

Enige vorm van onregverdige diskriminasie word deur ons arbeidsreg verbied. Jy geniet beskerming teen direkte of indirekte diskriminasie op enige arbitrêre gronde. Dit sluit in beskerming teen diskriminasie as gevolg van ras, geslag, etniese of sosiale oorsprong, kleur, seksuele oriëntasie, ouderdom, enige vorm van gestremdheid, geloof, oortuiging, politieke opinie, kultuur, taal, huwelikstatus of familieverpligtinge.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Hoe meer dae, hoe meer dinge: Raadsale in die kuberruim

G&T_VirtualDie Maatskappywet van 2008 gee erkenning aan vandag se moderne middels van kommunikasie. Formele vergaderings en besluite van die Maatskappy kan nou by wyse van e-pos, aanlynboodskapdiens, stem- en videokonferensies (byvoorbeeld Skype, SightSpeed en iChats) geneem word.

Die tradisionele raadsvergaderings waartydens almal persoonlik en in dieselfde vertrek teenwoordig moet wees, gaan gevolglik in die toekoms die uitsondering raak.

Direkteure en aandeelhouers wat in verskillende stede en selfs lande gesetel is, hoef dus nie meer te reis om die raadsvergaderings persoonlik by te woon nie. Dit is regtens aanvaarbaar indien die vergadering aanlyn en in verskillende geografiese gebiede plaasvind. Dit bring noodwendig groot besparings op reistyd, verlore produksie en reisonkostes mee. Dit beteken ook dat dringende vergaderings op kort kennisgewing belê kan word, besluite geneem kan word en elektronies genotuleer kan word.

Selfs waar ‘n “formele vergadering” (hetsy fisies of aanlyn) nie gehou word nie, kan besluite nog steeds by wyse van skriftelike goedkeuring van die meerderheid direkteure in elektroniese formaat met ‘n verskeidenheid van platforms geneem word. Daar is wel kennisgewingsperiodes waaraan voldoen moet word of formeel van afstand gedoen kan word.

Kom die formele vereistes na 

  1. Maak seker dat die Maatskappywet se vereistes oor behoorlike kennisgewing, optrede en notulering van vergaderings nagekom word.
  2. Maak seker dat die vereistes van die Wet op Elektroniese Kommunikasie en Transaksies oor die identifikasie van die versender, toeganklikheid, berging en herwinning van elektroniese data nagekom word.
  3. Elektroniese vergaderings kan wel gehou word, tensy jou Akte van Oprigting (AVO) uitdruklik anders bepaal. Om enige onsekerheid te vermy behoort jou Akte van Oprigting dit in duidelike terme toe te laat.
  4. Die middel van elektroniese kommunikasie wat gebruik word om die vergadering te hou, moet alle betrokke partye steeds die geleentheid bied om deurlopend en gelyktydig met mekaar te kommunikeer. Die lede van die vergadering moet direk met mekaar kan kommunikeer, sonder ‘n tussenganger, sodat die partye vrylik en effektief aan die vergadering kan deelneem en hul insette kan lewer. Sodoende word die vergadering gehou asof al die betrokkenes gelyktydig in een vertrek teenwoordig sou wees.

Aandeelhouers 

Aandeelhouersvergaderings kan op soortgelyke wyse en op soortgelyke voorwaardes gehou word. Trouens, dit is ‘n vereiste dat openbare maatskappye in Suid-Afrika se aandeelhouersvergaderings wel toeganklik is vir elektroniese deelname deur aandeelhouers, ongeag of die aandeelhouersvergadering in Suid-Afrika of elders gehou word.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Brave new world: Virtual boardrooms in cyberspace

G&T_Virtual“O Wonder!…O Brave New World” (Shakespeare) 

One of the innovations brought in by our “new” Companies Act is that company meetings may now be held via electronic communication, opening the door for companies to use cyber services such as email, online messaging, voice and video conferencing (easy with services like Skype, SightSpeed, iChat etc) to replace traditional “face-to-face all in one place” boardroom meetings.

The result – directors and shareholders in different cities and countries around the world no longer have to travel to attend meetings – they can legally be “held” online from your various locations.   Not only does this offer up huge savings in time and travel costs, but it means that urgent meetings can (subject to notice and other requirements as below) be held at short notice, and decisions taken and recorded online.

Even if a ‘meeting’ (physical or online) isn’t actually held, decisions can be “adopted by written consent of a majority of the directors” via electronic communication (subject, again, to notice and other requirements).

Follow the formal requirements 

  1. Make sure that the Companies Act’s requirements in regard to proper notice, conduct and minuting of meetings are complied with,
  2. Comply with the requirements of ECTA (the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act) in regard to identification of originator, accessibility, storage, retrieval etc,
  3. Electronic meetings can be held unless your MOI (Memorandum of Incorporation) specifically provides otherwise, but if you want to avoid any uncertainty draw your MOI to allow them in clear terms,
  4. The “electronic communication facility” employed must “ordinarily [enable] all persons participating in that meeting to communicate concurrently with each other without an intermediary, and to participate effectively in the meeting” – in which event they are all as “present” at the meeting as if they were physically all in one location.

Shareholders 

Shareholders’ meetings can likewise take place via electronic communication subject to similar requirements to those applying to board meetings.  In fact meetings of public company shareholders “must be reasonably accessible within the Republic for electronic participation by shareholders… irrespective of whether the meeting is held in the Republic or elsewhere”.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Company deregistration: New procedures

G&T_CIPCCIPC (the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) has published new procedures for deregistration of companies and close corporations.

You can apply to voluntarily deregister your corporate if either:

  • It has ceased to carry on business, or
  • It either has no assets, or inadequate assets for it to be liquidated.

There are no forms to complete, just a letter on your company letterhead confirming its status and enclosing either:

  • A tax clearance certificate, or
  • A written confirmation from SARS that there is no tax liability outstanding.

Don’t try to do it without professional assistance 

There are several other formalities to be complied with, and also consequences to deregistration that you need to be prepared for including:

  • Loss of CIPC protections for your corporate’s name
  • Although the company will no longer exist as a legal entity, its debts survive (albeit unenforceable against the company itself).  As a result there is:
    • Continuing liability under any personal suretyships you may have signed, and
    • Continuing personal liability for any directors, “prescribed officers” (broadly, senior managers with “general executive control”) and shareholders who may have become liable for any company debt “in respect of any act or omission that took place before the company was removed from the register”.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.