The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission – CIPC – was established by the Companies Act 71 of 2008. The objectives of the CIPC include: the maintenance of accurate, up-to-date and relevant information concerning companies, foreign companies and other juristic persons contemplated in subsection (1)(a)(ii), and concerning intellectual property rights, and the provision of that information to the public and to other organs of state;

Many people are under the mistaken impression that information provided to CIPC should be confidential, but that is clearly incorrect as one of its objectives is ‘the provision of that information to the public.’ So, in a nutshell, all information provided to CIPC, including Annual Financial Statements, is considered to be in the public domain and freely accessible.