Registering a business name in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission can be the easy way to go if you are looking for a relatively affordable option to formalize your business. The requirements are quite straightforward, the technicalities are limited and compliance reporting obligations are minimal. This structure can be used for a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Below are 5 easy steps to help you register your business name in Nigeria.
Recommended reading: How to register a company in Nigeria
STEP 1 – Name Search CAC
Two businesses cannot carry on business with the same name. The process of confirming that your proposed name is not being used is called a public search and can easily be done on the CAC official website. This is the first step in the registration of Business Name.
STEP 2 – Availability Check and Reservation of Name
It is important to note that a public search does not suffice. It is merely a first step and not conclusive. After the public search, you must apply for a confirmation and approval by CAC that the name is not being used. This is called availability check and reservation of name, you are expected to submit two proposed names to the CAC, and make the required payment. If approved, go ahead with registration.
STEP 3 – Input Details
The Statutory form for registration requires certain particulars to be provided, accompanied by a number of documents. They are as follows: –
- approved name;
- general nature of the business;
- full address of the principal place of business and every other subsidiary place of business;
- proposed date of commencement of the business;
- passport size photographs of the owners; and
- Proficiency certificate (If required).
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Once everything looks good, go ahead and make payment, printout the documentation, attach relevant passport photographs and sign.
Step 4 – Document Upload CAC
The Application form for the registration of Business Name and other relevant documents must be uploaded. The CAC will review the documentation and if all is in order, you will get a notification that the application has been approved, after which your Business Certificate will be ready for printing.
Step 5 – Certificate of Registration
The following documents would be available on the CAC website for download by the proprietor(s) of the newly registered business name :
- Original Certificate of registration of the business name
- CTC of the Application for the Registration of the business name
Recommended reading: types of business registration
What Are The Benefits Of Registering a Business Name With CAC
1. Registering your business name with CAC provides legal recognition and protection
for your business identity. It establishes your ownership of the name and prevents
others from using it for their businesses in the same jurisdiction.
2. Business Registered businesses often appear more credible and trustworthy to
customers, suppliers, and potential partners. It signals a level of commitment and
professionalism to stakeholders.
3. In some cases, depending on the type of business structure you choose (e.g., a
company or a limited liability partnership), registering with CAC can offer limited
liability protection. This means your personal assets may not be at risk if the business
incurs debts or legal liabilities.
4. Financial institutions require businesses to be registered with CAC before they can
open a business bank account. This separation of personal and business finances is
crucial for financial management and taxation.
5. Some government grants and incentives are only available to registered businesses.
This can provide financial and operational advantages etc.
How To Get Incorporated With CAC in Nigeria?
a. Carry out a name reservation by choosing two suitable company names and
checking for their availability with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
b. Commence the company registration with the availability code provided by the
Commission after the approval of the name reservation.
c. Prepare the Memorandum of Association and all related documents based on the
objects of the companies to be registered for this. (The Commission provides a
template for this on the registration portal).
d. Fill out the registration form on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal to be
submitted alongside other required documents such as Particulars and means of
identification of the directors and shareholders of the company, Statement of Share
Capital and Particulars of Shareholdings, Utility bill (proof of address) for directors and shareholders, Memorandum, and Articles of Association (for companies limited
by shares) etc.
e. After filling out the registration form, and confirming the information provided, the
filing fee and stamp duty fees are paid online via the Remita platform.
List Of Documents/Information Needed To Complete The CAC Registration Process
1. The proposed objective of the business
2. Particulars of shareholders and directors
3. Statement of the authorised share capital
4. Two recent passport photographs and authentic means of identification(e.g.,
National ID, drivers license, international passport) of each director and
5. Memorandum and Articles of Association.
6. E-signature of the director and shareholder.
7. Address of the principal business office etc.
Cost Of Registering Business Name in Nigeria
Sidebrief charges N15,000 for business name registration and N50,000 for company
Types Of Business You Can Register in Nigeria
A. Sole Proprietorship
B. Limited Partnership
C. Limited Liability Partnership
D. Private limited company
E. Public limited company
F. Public Company Limited by Guarantee
G. Private Unlimited Company
A sole proprietorship is a type of business structure in which an individual, known as the
sole proprietor, owns and operates a business. In this kind of business, the owner of the company is the same as the company itself and is responsible for any liabilities it may incur. The business owner also benefits solely from the profit.
However, an LP is a partnership arrangement with at least two (2) partners (i.e. at least
one general partner and one limited partner) in which the liabilities of a General Partner
are unlimited while the liabilities of a Limited Partner are limited to his or her undertaking
in the partnership (unless he has a very huge investment and takes part in the management of the partnership).
Limited Liability Partnership
An LLP is a partnership but one with a body corporate and perpetual succession, just
like a limited liability company. An LLP is a business structure or arrangement with its own separate legal personality, distinct from the partners. In an LLP, the liabilities of the
partners are limited to the amount agreed to be contributed by the individual partners; or
what is outstanding (from that agreed amount) in the event of winding up.
Private limited company
A private limited company is considered a separate legal entity distinct from its shareholders. It can own property, enter into contracts, and sue or be sued in its own name. Shareholders are the owners of the company and hold shares representing their ownership. Directors are responsible for the management of the company’s affairs. A private limited company has authorized share capital, which represents the maximum value of shares the company is allowed to issue. The shareholders subscribe to shares by investing capital into the company, and their ownership is determined by the number and value of shares held.
Public limited company
A public limited company (PLC) is a type of business entity that offers shares to the public and has its shares traded on a public stock exchange. This type of company is equired by law to publish their financial records annually for transparency and accountability.
Public Company Limited by Guarantee
These types of companies are otherwise referred to as “non-profit organizations.” They
are registered not to make money, but for the promotion of commerce, art, science,
religion, sports, culture, education, research, charity or other similar objects. They may
have unlimited shares, but the owners’ (shareholders’) liability is limited. They also don’t
sell their shares on stock exchanges because they are not in the business of making profits.
Private Unlimited Company
This is a type of company where its shareholders have unlimited personal liability for the
company’s debts and obligations. This means that the personal assets of the shareholders can be used to settle the company’s debts.
Business Name in Nigeria
It is important that the documents are downloaded promptly and safely kept on a cloud storage that you can subsequently access. The CAC charges for subsequent downloads after an initial period.
Sidebrief is a RegTech startup that makes business registration and compliance easy for founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners across Africa by removing lengthy paperwork, complexity, and hidden fees. We provide the tools for founders to start and scale businesses across borders from a single interface. To take advantage of exclusive discounts and pricing, simply sign up to get started.
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