Transcription FAQs

We offer very competitive rates on a comparative scale and offer fast turnaround times and quality work. Only secretaries with a high command of the English language are employed with the majority being English first language speakers or have passed Cambridge based examinations, so you are assured of the highest standards. Our exchange rates make us globally competitive. As we are +2hours ahead of GMT and +6 hours ahead of the Americas this works to the advantage of overseas based companies as we will always meet your deadlines ahead of schedule.

On enquiry we send you a quote and require 50% payment upfront before commencing with your work. The remaining 50% is due on completion of your assignment.

Payment can be made via EFT our quote will have our banking details. Use the quote number as your reference when making payment. Special terms of payment are available by arrangement.

We handle most recording formats in both digital and analogue formats. Including but not limited to: DSS, WAV, MP3, MPEG, MOV, and analogue formats.

For more information give us a call on 011 037 6407 or email us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Simply follow this link to upload directly from our website or you can DropBox the files to us.

All our employees sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. We in turn are happy to also sign any confidentiality agreements you may also require us to sign before undertaking any work from you. Our portal through which files are uploaded is encrypted through the 256 bit encryption. We don’t archive any of our clients’ files, once we complete and have sent your assignment to you we delete all audio files and transcriptions from our systems.

We do have options for quick turnaround times at a fee. This may include having our staff work over the weekend or holidays. Please contact us for more information.

Please refer to our rates or simply contact us or email us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your requirements.

We do have the capacity to record your meetings. Please contact us for more information.

We offer foreign language transcription and translation services in only French and Portuguese. Please contact us for more information. Transcription and translation of most South African official languages is available.

Only in extreme cases and we will discuss this with you.

• First of all you must invest in good quality digital recording equipment and also ensure that it is the right recorder for the purpose which you require it for. See our recommended digital recorders that you can also purchase from us, by clicking here.

• Get proper training on how to use your recording equipment. You do not want to end up in a situation where you think you are recording meanwhile you are not.

• Test your equipment regularly by simulating a meeting and playing back the recording to ensure that you are not only recording but also that the voices are clear. This will tell you where to position your microphones.

• Request your participants to speak clearly into the microphone. Also request them to identify themselves. This makes our job so much easier.

• Reduce ambient noise by requesting the participants to avoid shuffling of papers near the microphones. It is also advisable not to place the microphones too close to their paperwork. This way you improve your audio recording quality.

• Avoid the placing of cell phones near the microphones as these tend to interfere with audio quality when ringing or receiving data.

• Avoid placing microphones near pc’s or laptops as their cooling fans cause a lot of noise.

• For precaution always download your audio recordings to your computer or other storage device as a back-up.

Company Secretary FAQs

Section 86 of the Companies Act of 2008 makes it a mandatory requirement for a public company or State Owned Company to appoint a company secretary. The company secretary could be in the form of a natural person, juristic person or a partnership. The person must be knowledgeable or experienced in relevant laws as a company secretary. The company Secretary must be accountable to the company’s Board of Directors.

Most private companies also use expert company secretarial service companies to make the best use of their more limited resources.

A company secretary’s duties include, but are not restricted to providing the directors of the company with guidance as to their duties, responsibilities and powers. A company secretary also provides advice, guidance and assistance to company directors on matters ranging from compliance with the Companies Acts and other relevant statutory obligations to organising and running company meetings and applying good governance, such as managing conflicts of interest.

Choosing a company secretary who has the necessary knowledge, ability and experience to fulfil these functions and meets certain legal requirements can be costly and time-consuming. That’s why more and more companies make the decision to outsource these services to professional organisations like First Corporate Secretaries.

An annual return is a snapshot of certain company information at a certain date. In terms of Section 33 of the Companies Act every company must file an annual return in the prescribed form with the prescribed fee and within the prescribed period. It is separate from a company’s annual accounts. An annual return must contain company registration details, statutory registers, details regarding share capital and many other facts such as annual turnover, all of them have to be checked and amended accordingly before filing with the CIPC. Each company must designate a person to ensure compliance with this section of the Act. NPC’s were previously exempt from this requirement.

Yes. The Close Companies Act, 2008 (and its predecessor Companies Act, 1973) and Corporations Act, 1984 does not make a distinction between an active and inactive company or close corporation. Therefore, even if the company or close corporation was inactive, it is still legally required to file and pay annual returns. Filing annual returns will ensure that the company does not become available for other people to use its name.

Non-profit companies (formerly known as section 21 companies) became liable to file annual returns as from May 2011. So if you have overlooked this you may already be in the process of being de-registered. Give us a call and First Corporate Secretaries will assist you.

All companies must prepare annual financial statements (“AFS”). Public and State Owned companies (SOC) must have audited AFS while a Private, Personal liability and Non-Profit company is not required to have its AFS audited unless certain conditions are met. The annual financial statements must be filed together with the annual returns.

It is the most important document governing a company. The MOI sets out the rules governing the conduct of the company, as specified by its owners. The Companies Act imposes certain specific requirements on the content of a Memorandum of Incorporation, as necessary to protect the interests of shareholders in the company, and provides for a number of default company rules / alterable provisions, which companies may accept or alter as they wish as long as it is in line with the Companies Act.

In terms of the Companies Act the MOI replaces the Articles and Memorandum of Association since 2012. It is therefore important for companies to ensure that they have an MOI in place in line with their own requirements otherwise they risk being in conflict with the standard MOI. First Corporate Secretaries will assist in the process of drafting and lodging you MOI.

First Corporate Secretaries’ team of company secretaries has reviewed the provisions of the Companies Act 2008 in terms of the MOI and have ensured that their drafts are in compliance with the new Act. This draft can they be used to also incorporate your own requirements to arrive at your new MOI.

The procedure for making the change involves a number of steps, but First Corporate Secretaries does all the hard work for you. We prepare board and members’ resolutions for the directors and shareholders to sign and arrange for the relevant paperwork to be filed with CIPC .

A company may have any name provided the name does not break the following rules. The name must:

  • - Not be the name of another company
  • - Not be a trade mark of another company
  • - Not be misleading
  • - Not constitute propaganda for war, incite violence or advocate hatred based on race, gender or religion
  • - Not be criminal
  • - Not imply a local or central government connection
  • - Specify the type of organisation, e.g. Pty Ltd, SOC, NPC etc

  • A trade mark is a sign, brand name, logo or slogan which can distinguish your goods and services from those of other traders. A trade mark can include words, logos, pictures, or a combination of one or more of them. It will become a ‘brand’ by which customers recognise your products or services.

    If you are manufacturing goods or offering a service, it helps you to have a trade mark. When people see or hear about a trade mark, they remember the goods or services associated with it. Your trade mark distinguishes you from other people in the same line of work, and gives you an identity in the market place.

    Any trade mark owner. You do not need to be a South African citizen to register a trade mark, but you must be using the trade mark in the Republic of South Africa. To register the trade mark you must have a business address in South Africa and must use designated professionals as required by the Registrar. First Corporate Secretaries will arrange all that for you including renewals of Trade Marks when they fall due.

    No. For protection overseas you have to register the Trade Mark in those countries or community blocs such as the EU.

    There are ten stages of a trade mark registration process in South Africa ranging from assessment, through search and formal application to the proving stages, which specialists at First Corporate Secretaries can case-manage. Click here to register your trade mark with our assistance.

    You do not have to identify your trade mark as registered. You can use the ® or the abbreviation “RTM” (for Registered Trade Mark) to show that your trade mark is registered but this could mean that the mark is registered somewhere other than in South Africa.

    No. Fees paid to the CIPC are non-refundable regardless of the outcome.

    Indefinitely, provided you pay the renewal fees on time (due every 10 years).

    Yes, it is similar to other property you may own and so you can sell it if you wish.

    Private or personal liability companies with a Public Interest Score (PIS) above 500 in any two of the preceding five (5) years are required to have a Social and Ethics Committee. Companies may apply for exemption from having a Social and Ethics Committee to the Companies Tribunal. Subsidiaries of companies that have a Social and Ethics Committee are not required to have a committee.

    Social and Ethics Committees are responsible to monitor a company’s activities with regard to its contribution to:

  • o Social and economic development;
  • o Good corporate citizenship;
  • o Environment, health and public safety;
  • o Consumer relationships; and?
  • o Labour and employment.

  • First Corporate Secretaries will assist you in to comply this this requirement of the Companies Act. We will advise you on the formation of this committee and assist with drawing up the terms of reference or applications for exemption.