Do you need a business/trade licence?
Legislation (The Business Act no 71 of 1991) requires that certain types of businesses need to have a valid business / trade licence before the business starts to operate.
Licences can be acquired from the Municipality and they can advise you on application procedures and the various health and safety regulations required for different kinds of business. Depending on the type of business, you may need to comply with the following requirements:
- Safety (particularly fire), and
- Police Clearance
If you do not have a valid Business Licence, you are in contravention of the Business Act no 71 of 1991 and will be liable for a fine, or imprisonment, or both.
Types of Business Licence Applications
According to the Businesses Act 71 of 1991 the following businesses must have a trade licence:
- Food provision
Businesses that sell or supply meals, take aways or perishable foodstuff fit for human consumption, on or off the business premises.
- Health and Entertainment
Businesses offering the following services, or have the following equipment on their premises:
- Providing Turkish Baths, Saunas and other types of baths;
- Providing Massage and/or Infrared treatment;
- Escort services;
- Keeping 3 or more mechanical, electronic or electrical devices (coin operated gaming appliances);
- Keeping 3 or more snooker or billiard tables;
- Running a night-club or discotheque;
- Running a cinema or theatre;
- Running an adult entertainment premises in terms of section 24 of the Films and Publications Act, 1996.
Hawkers need a licence if:
- You are selling food and meals, which is transported to different selling points, whether by a vehicle or otherwise;
- You are stationed on a public road or at any other place accessible to the public; or
- Operating on or from a movable structure or stationary vehicle.
Apply online for a Business/Trade Licence using the following link: Western Cape Collaborator Portal
Alternatively, Licences can be applied for at Solid Waste Section of the Knysna Municipality in Clyde Street. For more information please contact:
Natalie Salmons / Ramona Laxton on 044-302 6238/ 6405
Please bring the following documents with when you apply:
- A certified copy of your Identity Document. If you are a foreign national, your passport and a copy thereof;
- For Adult Entertainment applications, your clearance issued by the Film & Publications Board;
- Permission from our Planning Department with regards to the location zoning of the premises;
- Any additional documents issued by external organisations e.g. the Health Department of the Eden District Municipality (Contact number for the local office: 044 382 7214) or SAPS.
Once you have presented the abovementioned documentation to the Business Licensing official, payment can be made at our Customer Care Centre in Main Road, Knysna.
- A cash payment for Category 1 & 2 Licenses i.e. Sale or Supply of Perishable foodstuff and licenses for Provision of Certain Types of Health Facilities or Entertainment.
- A cash payment for Category 3 – Hawkers.
- PLEASE NOTE: A separate fee will be charged for the additional documents issued by the other Departments Eden District Municipality: Health Department or SAPS.
Once you have submitted your payment receipt to the licensing official, the application will be processed. The premises will be inspected by the relevant Departments and only when all Departments have submitted a favourable report, will the trade licence be issued. If not, you can apply for a 14-day grace period, during which you can make the necessary changes to meet all the requirements.
TRADING WITHOUT A VALID LICENCE IS PUNISHABLE WITH A FINE OF UP TO R1 000, AND/OR IMPRISONMENT FOR A PERIOD NOT EXCEEDING THREE (3) MONTHS. LICENCING IS GOVERNED BY THE BUSINESS ACT NO 71 OF 1991.