If you are thinking about undergoing BEE certificate verification, you may be wondering what the process will entail, and what documents will be required. You might have heard rumours that it is a long and complicated procedure, with veritable tomes of papers needed. Provided that you work with a reputable, accredited verification agency, however, BEE certificate verification can be a smooth, streamlined undertaking. Here’s what you’ll need.
The scorecard for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE or BEE) has eight rankings, with number one being the highest and most sought after. The calculation of these rankings works differently for different sizes of businesses. For example, companies with an annual turnover of less than R10 million are subject to only minimal checks.
Many of these Exempt Micro Enteprises (EMEs) need do nothing more than submit a sworn affidavit on an annual basis confirming total annual revenue is under R10 million and the level of Black Ownership. They receive automatic Level 4 BEE status, which is upgraded to Level 2 if they are at least 51% black-owned, and Level 1 if they are 100% black-owned.
Businesses with an annual turnover of between R10 million to R50 million, called Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs), face more in-depth assessment. If the percentage of black ownership is less than 51%, the QSEs need to show that they comply with all five categories on the BEE scorecard. These are enterprise and supplier development, management control, socio-economic development, skills development and ownership. Ownership, skills development and enterprise and supplier development are prioritised on the points scale, but QSEs need to submit documents showing their efforts in all areas.
These documents may include the following, among many more: certified copies of ID documents for owners and shareholders, certificates of incorporation, income tax certificates, share certificates, trust deeds, organograms of upper management, employee details and contracts, papers to show employment equity plans and progress, a list of suppliers and the spend thereupon, suppliers’ BEE certificates, proof of socio-economic contributions, proof of enterprise development initiatives, details of beneficiary entities, a workplace skills plan, and training documents.
QSEs with at least 51% black ownership can fast-track the verification process, as they are deemed to be Level 2 BEE contributors with an affidavit attesting to their ownership. In cases of 100% black ownership, they are classed as Level 1 contributors.
On-site verification is done for QSEs as a matter of course. The same is done for Generic Enterprises – businesses that fall into the largest size category, with annual turnover of above R50 million. Generic Enterprises are subject to far more intense BEE verification procedures, with interviews included as part of the on-site assessment.
The thought of preparing all of the necessary documents for your BEE certificate verification may seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but with the assistance of a good verification agency, the certification process can be simple. The agency’s expertise will ensure that you obtain your BEE certificate with as little stress as possible, allowing you to continue taking care of day-to-day operations as you work to develop your enterprise.