How to start a spaza shop

How to start a spaza shop

The valuation of Spaza shops in South Africa keeps increasing on a yearly basis. The whole spaza shop market is currently worth 40 billion rands as of 2020. This article will discuss how to start a spaza shop with no previous experience.

Starting a spaza shop

I have practical experience of starting and running a spaza shop. Starting a spaza shop is not one of the most difficult things. It can be done by everyone, it does not require education besides basic literacy and math. The purpose of starting a spaza shop is to sell products to your local community.

What you will need

You first need to decide on where you will run your spaza shop from. Most foreigners in South Africa invest in building tuck shops or buying containers for their spaza shops. But for someone who does not have a huge budget; this can be difficult. In most rural areas of South Africa, people open spaza shops right from their homes. This is easier to do in rural areas than it is in townships.

After finding your operating premises; you will need capital for the first batch of your stock. I started my spaza with only R1000 specialising in wors, chicken, cool drinks, snacks and milk among other things. But you may need to start with way more than that, especially if you are in a busy area. You need to be careful of where you stock your goods, try to stock at wholesalers who sell them at a cheaper price so that you will be able to set competitive prices. It will be hard for you to set competitive prices if you buy your products from retail stores like Shoprite and Pick n Pay.

You need transportation, I did not know the importance of a reliable transport when starting a spaza shop. Transport is needed for buying products that are out of stock quickly. You may find that most of your products are in stock and a few are out of stock, you will need to replace them quickly, if not; you run the risk of your customers going to your competitors.

Spaza shop suppliers

It is very important to have about 3 reliable suppliers. Suppliers differ from place to place, the best way to find them in your area is to do a little research. Wholesalers are your best bet.

How much can a spaza shop make in a day?

The honest answers is: it depends. However I used to make around 1500 per day when I was running my spaza shop but that’s not the profit. A spaza shop in a very busy area can be able to make around 1500 – 5000 on a daily basis. This depends on the items it sells and their demand.


Starting a spaza shop is a fun and exciting adventure, get started today. This article was a guide on how to start a spaza shop. Do you have any thoughts or questions? leave them in the comment section below

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This Post Has 72 Comments

  1. Do you need a. Buisness license 4 a spaza, tuck shop in a container in a private property.

    1. No, you don’t need a business license to run a spaza shop.

      1. Soooo can I be able to register my turk shop/ spaza as my business?

        1. Yes

    2. Yes I need a business licence

    3. I need a business license
      How much is it?
      I just want to open a tuck shop for plz help me

  2. i want to start a spaza shop in my garage .but my home is on a residental stand ..will it be a problem .and what permits do i need so i dont get harrased by athoroties

    1. You don’t need permits ,all you need are an food safety certificate from your municipality,health inspecters will pay you an visit when they notice your shop and fill a application ,then charge you 270 for the certificate .you can open the shop ,just keep it clean and randomly remove expired products from your shelves ,so when health inspections pay you an visit ,you’ll be safe.

  3. How much profit can a spaza make per day

    1. I used to make anywhere between R1300 and R1700 in a day. Some spaza shops make way more than that and some make less. It depends largely on location, demand and competition.

  4. I want to start a spza shop is it possible cos still on lock down

    1. Hi Sithabile, I am not familiar with the rules and regulations for starting new businesses while we are still on lock down.

    2. Yes ,you can start the shop

      1. I need to start a shisanyama business but the problem my location of choice is along the gravel road which may compromise cleanliness of my business.
        Please advise me. Thanks.

  5. I wanna start a spaza shop were can I get the containers in a cheaper price

  6. I have capital, space and the willingness to employ surrounding community members. But the only thing stopping me is that alot of people said that most black community members prefer buying from Somalians, who by the way, dont have legal Food Health certificates, they manufacture some of their own goods & continue selling expired/counterfeit goods. This broke my motivation

    1. I think you should continue with your vision. A lot of people like to say unproven things just to discourage people. You should strive for good customer service and you will do well.

  7. I also want to start a spaza shop at giyini, at home we have a garage which is now rented by somalians for a shop so i want to own it i only hv 5500 is it enough

  8. These foreigners must leave SA and everything will be OK.

  9. Good day
    Can someone please shed a light on how to become a prepaid electricity vendor. I want to incorporate that in the spaza when I start. There’s companies I have contact but I am not getting any feedback. Eskom website is not helpful either.
    Do you know of any individuals/ corporates that can help with financial aid for start up when requested?

    1. Hi have found any access on getting the device to sell prepaid electricity and airtime???

  10. U Mus call kazang they give the machine for free u Mus just load the airtime and electricity on it

    1. Do they give it for free ???? you don’t buy it what documents must you present to get it for free ???

  11. Good day
    I have already build a room n money to buy stock. Could I please get help in process’s to follow. If possible in a point form what is the next step,
    Like registration of business, where to go for permits. Iam in Soweto. Thank you

  12. I also started my spaza guys beaten all odds of somalian competition,i just wanted to persue my dream of making it possible even though people like to voice out unproven thoughts.

    1. Congratulations 🙂 So happy for you.

      1. I need your contact details

  13. Please help on what and how and the requirements needed to open spaza shop

  14. I want to open a spaza shop at my garage. How to register for a spaza or get the license?

  15. I need some advise on opening a spaza shop in my garage on my property. Lot of people have so many views and so I’m completely confused and just want clarity and hoping you can shed some light on my question.
    Do I need to register my spaza shop or do I just buy a certificate for food that I’ll be selling in the future.
    I will appreciate your input and response.

    1. As far as I know, it’s not mandatory to register a Spaza shop, Tito Mboweni has said that Spaza shops will have to be regulated in the near future but for now you don’t have to register them.

  16. I’m in the process of opening my spaza shop on my property and are also planning to sell food. Where do I go to apply for a licence..
    Also I went to the police station just to make sure about registration of the spaza shop because most people told me that I have to have a permit but they (the police) told me that I have to register..
    Can somebody please help..

  17. I just like to say i learned alot from this blog . I lost my job cos of this Covid things eish . Now with the little i have iv decided to start my spaza shop . If foreigners can do it here why can’t we Thank you

    1. How do I get tax certificate or tax number for my shop?
      How do I get permit for my shop?
      How much is needed for an above questioned ?
      How to register my shop as a SA citizen?
      What is needed to register my shop?

  18. Good day my story is very sad. I have spent more than 20 000 trying to balance stock in my tuckshop i really don’t know why this business is not making any profit. Is there anything I can do to start a profitable business in this case.

  19. Please tell me, what kind of everage net profits can a spaza shop make per day? I’m here in Kempton Park.

  20. Hi I have the same question as Bongi. How do I run a profitable spaza shop. Every cent that I make goes right back into stocking do I make a profit I can see. I work from 5h00 to 6h00 every day and have nothing to show for it. I’ve started my shop in December 2020 and thus far made only R22670.70 which is only on paper as this money went right back into stock. I’ve started up with a R2500. Please help!!!!!! I need advice

    1. Hi, I don’t really know how you handle or run your business, do you keep formal records of how you spend your money? Making R22k from a R2 500 initial investment in just one month seems like a huge success to me.

  21. Hi Sibabalwe starting a spaza with R2500 to make R22k in a month is amazing. You should learn to manage your stock buy want sells and keep it stocked on a regular basis. Next you move onto controlling your float(money in your till/cash) try and set a target for the day if you want to make R500 a day for yourself put it aside once you reached it from your daily sales at your shop. The rest of the money in your float (till/cash) should be used to keep your shop running whether it be to stock on items that are selling out or just giving change to your customers. I have a successful shop which I started with a R10 000 but I sold alcohol as well and had a pool table for entertainment for my customers. I turned a profit of R20 000 a month just by managing the shop correctly. I have a lot of experience in running a shop as my uncle owned one as I was growing up and use to help during school holidays

    1. Great stuff. Very encouraging. I’m also in the process of starting a spaza shop. I have learnt alot from this blog. Please continue with your real life stories and tips to better run and manage a spaza.

  22. I have a space to open a spaza shop n I’m registered but I don’t have money to buy or get my self a container….so what can I do to have one please

  23. @Tazz where did you register?

  24. Hi I have the funds ready to open a spaza shop and I’m looking for somebody to partner up with as I’m not free to run it myself.if anybody is interested please call or what’s app me on 0605543696

  25. Hi. Please help me I’m a student I’m planning to start up my own business in this coming December. I’d like to know how will I determine whether I’m making profit or not? Bcoz what I wanna make is profit here not just to sell in vein.

  26. I have R3000 is it enough for me to start a spaza shop without a fridge?

    1. It might be enough to get you started, but beware that some customers might not come back when they realize that you only sell limited staff. You will need to get a fridge as soon as possible; so that you can sell more things.

  27. Hello I want to open a spaza shop do I need a license and where cn I go apply for one?

    1. You don’t need any special licenses or permits to open a spaza shop.

  28. Hi can anyone who is running a successful shop please tell me how do I go about stocking up. Do I go and buy everyday or do I wait for stock to run out or do I go out and replenish when something run out. How do I manage my money. Do I put a certain amount away everyday regardless of much many has been made each day . The shop is my only income and right now I’m using money buying stock and providing for my home aswell as paying accounts and it get hectic at times . Most I make is R800 per day. Please advice on how to make thing run successfully and still be able to save and bank something. I need advice

  29. Would it be possible to sell home cooked meals and cakes without a license

  30. Hi I want to start a spaza shop in my home and I was discouraged to start my business and I want it business to work and be at a point of hiring people and turning it to a real business to minimise fail what is needed how important is pricing

    1. I opened a shop at my home and was visited by a building inspector. I the got a letter telling me I am violating the building laws and will pay a fine of R4000 or go to Jail if I don’t stop because I am using residential property for business. What do I do? I am not even using my house or any part of the building but a carport from which a hatch has been opened on the boundary wall. Please assist and advise. There is no access onto my property.

  31. Now im motivated. finished building a structure,shelves neatly arranged, the interior looks perfect, just not sure how much will be adequate to fill up my tuck shop. i wanna start on a good note, i hate it to start with limit products as this might turn the customers away. im just wondering if R15 000 CAN BE ENOUGH TO FILL UP THE WHOLE SPAZA SHOP?

    1. R15 000 will definitely go a long way in filling up the whole spaza shop. You will have almost everything that customers usually buy from a spaza shop. I am very happy for you and good luck on your journey.

      1. Hi
        I get a lot of queries if I sell airtime. I don’t have a speed point machine so how do I get airtime to sell. Presently I am buying vouchers from the shops and selling them for 50c more than its value.


        1. Hi Navin, you can use Flash to sell airtime and electricity.

          1. Hi Sibabalwe. I’m about to start mine I have good capital. May you please give me a call I need some advice please. Thank you. 0767794741.

      2. Me and my two friends started a spaza shop March this year. We started with buying stock for R20 000. We are renting a building which we pay R2000 a month. I had a little bit of experience working in my sister’s spaza for over a year. What I have learned so far is that the initial phase of a spaza (that is the first 5 – 8 months) is about growing the total value of your stock and getting people to kind of get used to your business. In these initial months there is virtually no salaries (for owner). This requires sacrifice. If you are careful to keep to your commitment, after this phase, believe it or not, is a smooth sail. We are now able to make a comfortable R15000 a month in profits and it doesn’t stop growing because we keep on introducing new stuff. By the way we are black South Africans.

        1. Thank you so much Moses for your insightful comment!

  32. I started my shop on my premises at home without a permit or licence. I was paid a visit by the building regulations authority. The next thing I get a letter telling me I don’t comply with the building laws to run a shop as it is residential and I must stop or will get a fine of R4000.00 or imprisonment. A neighbour complained. What do I do? Please help. I am in Durban, Berea.

    1. Send me ur number

  33. Hi I’m Jacob i need to start a spaza shop with a new container my budget is 20000 including to buy the container ..wth the same reason i want to sell chips like sphahlo wise….pls brief me

    1. Jacob, whatever container you buy, be sure to buy with growth in mind. Your budget may only accommodate a small container but you need to consider your business will grow soon and you may find yourself having to buy another container.
      Be sure also to compile a list of start-up products as you say kota, chips etc…be sure on what this is exactly which will determine sufficiency of your budget.

      Who’ll be running the business?

  34. So many conflicting responses re need get a license to operate a spaza container shop.
    The landlord has a registered existing business on the premises already.
    Do I just put up my container and trade on his license

    1. Hi Tony, strictly speaking, any business in SA needs to be registered.
      Not only will you need to pay tax one day (unfortunately), but there are also incentives and support you may seek from government or other large companies and customers who will require your formal registration documents.

      Having said the above however, if you’re under pressure to start, I’d say start your operations and let registration find you along the way. You can then file everything retrospectively when registration comes through.
      Just a few thoughts with the info you gave.

  35. Hi team,
    Can I get a consultant to assist me with opening a spaza, no funding required just advise on how to run a successful spaza. I have a garage that I want to rent in a good location. My numbers 0662226891 … Linda

  36. Thanks Sibabalwe and everyone this is so helpful and what I love about it,it’s recent and practical stories not only theory.
    I am now motivated to go all in..I have a little idea now on how to start up.

    1. Thank you so much Ncumisa, wish you all the best 🙂

  37. Good day, can someone please advise me on at least 3 food wholesalers within a 30km radius from Johannesburg city. I’m opening a spaza shop in a month or so. Thank you Lwazi

    1. Good luck Lwazi 🙂

  38. Thank you for much insight guys. I think I’m good start with the preparations.

  39. hi there how do you go about to open a spaza shop on your premises

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