Registering a company in Abuja with the Corporate Affairs Commission

Registering a company in Abuja with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has become a little bit easier in a bid to ease doing business in Nigeria . The CAC is the

authority charged with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the operation of

companies, from registration to post registration stage in Nigeria.


A company is simply an association of persons who have come together for a common purpose which is usually to do business and make profit. In the legal parlance, a company is essentially an artificial person. It is an entity separate from the individuals who own, manage and support its operations. A company has the same legal rights and responsibilities as an individual.

A company is different from a Business name. Click here to find out more

Registering a company in Abuja can either be as a Public company or Private company. A company must also be limited by shares, by guarantee or be unlimited. 

The popular means of carrying out business intended solely for profit and especially when just starting is a Private Company Limited by Shares. The requirements are less cumbersome and it is easier to establish. Companies making millions in revenue in Nigeria operate with this model. Therefore, for the purpose of this article, we would stick to a private company limited by shares.


The cost of registering a company in Abuja depends on a number of factors. A major

disparity in cost exists between Company Incorporation in Nigeria by foreigners or locals. Foreigners interested in incorporating a company in Nigeria are subject to a higher minimum capital requirement which in turn increases the fees charged by CAC.

Another Factor influencing the cost of registering a company in Nigeria is the type of

business to be carried out. Certain highly regulated businesses have a higher minimum capital requirement which also increases cost. Minimum capital share requirement can range from 10,000 Naira to 25 Billion Naira. Specialized industry

includes Travel, Aviation, Technology, Oil and Gas etc.

The Company, Agent or Firm you commission is another factor to be considered. At

Sidebrief we pride ourselves in maintaining competitive pricing. Prices from $150 for

Nigerians and $1,000 for foreign individuals looking to register a company in Nigeria.


Company Incorporation in Nigeria has been relatively made easy by the CAC however, using professionals is advised because of the complexities that might arise due to inadequate understanding of Nigerian laws and company registration requirement especially as it relates to certain industries.


It is easy to do a check on the corporate affairs website here to find out if a company is registered in Nigeria. This is called a public search. However note that you might not always get results if the name of the company is wrongly spelt.


When you register a company in Nigeria which is also known as Company Incorporation in Nigeria. The name of your company is already registered. No other individual or company can register a business under this particular name or any name similar to it. You might however want to be adequately protected by going forward by registering the name as a Trademark.

Private Company Limited by Shares

Now that you know what type of company you want to register, let’s take a look at some unfamiliar terminologies that will help you have it registered.

1. Shareholders

These are the owners of the company. They own shares in the company. They are also called members. The law provides that a Private company limited by shares must be owned by a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 people. If you are thinking of starting a business, now might be a good time to look for that strategic individual(s). A Person under 18 can only be a member if there are 2 other adults.

2. Authorized Share Capital

The authorized share capital is the sum of all shares which the company is allowed to issue to members (shareholders) who own shares in it. The minimum share capital for a private company limited by shares is N10,000 however, most private companies have 1,000,000 as share capital. The members of the company can agree to increase or reduce the authorized share capital, so you are not stuck at 1,000,000 shares for life.

It is important to note that there are certain regulated industries which have a required

minimum share capital e.g. Finance, Consulting, Aviation. Also, where there is foreign

participation (A foreigner or foreign company is a shareholder) in a company, the minimum share capital required by law when registering a company in Nigeria is N10, 000,000.'

3. Company Directors

These are people who are in charge of the day to day running and management of the business. The law requires a minimum of 2 directors in every company. Shareholders can double as Directors of the company. However, Directors do not necessarily have to be shareholders. This means you can involve that mentor of yours who can give you guidance on your board.

4. Company Secretary

A company secretary would either be a lawyer, chartered secretary or an accountant. A Private company need not have these categories of professionals as company secretary however, it is good to have. The advice and guidance of your company secretary when starting out a business is priceless.

5. Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART)

These are the Holy Books of a company. Like the Quran to Islam, Bible to Christianity so is MEMART to a Company. These documents indicates Who? Where? What? of a company. It states the Name, Objects i.e. the business the company is into, Office address, Type, Liability and the Shareholders of the company.  This document is public and everyone has access to it from the CAC. Be Cautious.

6. Proficiency Certificate

There are certain industries that are more regulated than the others. The CAC would usually like to be sure that companies that profess to carry out business in such industries are adequately qualified and equipped to carry out such services. This is a measure to protect members of the public from dealing with unqualified personnel. Hence, if registering a company in Nigeria under these sectors, be sure to have a director with certification in this industry or at least a provisional license from your regulator.

7. Declaration of Compliance

The CAC requires that a Legal Practitioner or Notary Public confirms that the promoters of a company have complied with the requirement of the law. This step can only be skipped if the person in charge of registering a company in Nigeria is a lawyer or Accredited by the CAC.


Now that you are aware of all the terminology that can get in your way of registering a

company in Nigeria, let’s go the practical way and get that business started. First, Create an Account on the CAC Website. This is only necessary if you want to help yourself through the process. We however recommend you get a professional like  Sidebrief  . If not, continue with the following steps.

1. Availability Check and Reservation of Name

The first step is to ensure that the priced name you love and cherish so much and intend to use to start your business is not already taken. Two companies cannot bear the same name. Have this in mind when registering a company in Abuja, Nigeria. The process for checking of name has been digitized and can easily be done through a public search on the CAC official website.

After this, go ahead with the availability search by submitting two proposed names to the CAC, make the required payment and within 24Hours a note is sent from CAC. If it reads APPROVAL NOTE, you are definitely on your way to being a Company owner. However, you only have 60days within which to get it registered and make it permanently yours. If your proposed name is disapproved, you have to repeat this step with new names.

It should be noted that certain names are expressly prohibited. Names that are identical or closely similar to names already registered or reserved, names capable of misleading, offensive names, names that violate any existing copyright or trademark except with owner’s consent. Names that include Chamber of Commerce, National, Federal, State, Government, Municipal, Chartered, Corporate Society, Building Society and a few others require consent by CAC.

2. CAC Portal

Head over to the portal, click on RESERVED and then Start Registration. Fill in all relevant information. Don’t forget all the concepts explained earlier. You would need them while filling out the CAC Form. Fill out the following sections;

1.       Presenter’s Details

2.      Company Details

3.       First Directors

4.      Company Secretary

5.      Declaration of Compliance

6.       Objects of MEMO

7.      Articles of Association

8.      Documents (Identification, Certificate of Compliance)

After these, you will need to upload E-signatures and identity cards of the shareholders, directors, and the secretary. You conclude by paying for the filing and the stamp duty. Lastly, you wait for notification of either a query you need to resolve or your company being successfully registered.

4. Certificate of Incorporation

If CAC finds all prim and proper and there are no queries, a notice is sent to the email

provided that your company has been duly registered; the Certificate of Incorporation,

certified copy of your application for registration, as well as your Memorandum and Articles of Association will also be provided for you to download.

We understand that navigating the CAC Website and portal might not be easy especially if you are a first time user. Understanding legal terms and queries are essential to ensure that you do not make your first bad business decision while just getting started.

CAC Registration Form

The form tagged Form CAC 1.1 is needed for the registration of a company. CAC

registration form can be obtained and filled from the CAC Website. The form can also be obtained physically from accredited CAC offices or accredited agents or firms such as Sidebrief; however, it should be noted that physical application for company registration is still being restricted due to safety reasons.

CAC Registration Promo

As part of the Federal Government’s post-Covid-19 Pandemic survival intervention to

support micro and small businesses to formalise their businesses, the Federal Government approved the free registration of a large number of Business Names in each of the 36 states including the FCT. This free registration started on the 19th of October 2020.

Consequently, all interested Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, Artisans, Craftsmen/Women (one or more persons) that are yet to formalise their businesses can take advantage of this promo. Aggregators have been appointed to receive applications from interested persons in line with CAC requirements.

CAC Registration Fees

The cost of CAC registration fees for companies may differ depending on the type of

company (Private Company or Public Company). It is important to know that certain

specialised or regulated industries have a minimum share capital requirement, and this increases costs. Finance companies, travel companies, logistics companies and several others have minimum share capital requirement. Foreign participation also affects costs. The minimum share capital for private company is N10,000 (Ten thousand) however in practice, N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) Share capital is utilized. The total cost for the registration of a company is between N100,000 (One hundred thousand Naira) and N500,000 (Five hundred thousand Naira).


At Sidebrief, we have professionals ready to help you at every step of the way to ensure that you start off on the right track. We understand that funds can be a determining factor in getting started and that’s why we provide competitive pricing. 

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