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How To Get your Business Registered in Nigeria


Everyone’s wish is to own a business in Nigeria another part is getting it registered, we have a different business in Nigeria every day either innovative or renovative business. The purpose of getting your business registered is to let the public know that your business is legal, improves company trust among customers and makes people take your business seriously.

This article is to assist the individuals interested in getting their business registered using Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) which is an Agency empowered by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990, Pursuant to section 659 to register businesses operation in Nigeria. It is the requirement of the law that you should register your business if you wants to do legitimate business in Nigeria.

Using CAC does not require a lawyer you can get it done yourself, First Thing i will let you know before registering your business is to check if the proposed name is not used yet and that can be done by checking ->  (click here).

Are you still looking for a way to write your business plan? then read our article on how to write a business plan.

After checking if name not in used by any other company you should have fulfied this requirment before proceeding.

  • Your company has to have at least two members, but no more than 50 members.
  •  The members of your company have to be at least 18 years old (However, they may be younger if at least two of your members are over 18).
  • You can’t register your company if there are members of unsound mind, disqualified by CAMA or bankrupt.
  • The minimum share capital of your business has to be at least N10,000. No less!

The categories for business registration in Nigeria are:

(a) Business Name Registration

(b) Private Limited Company (LTD)

(c) Public Limited Company (PLC)

(d) Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE)

(e) Unlimited Company (ULTD)

(f) Incorporated Trustee

The process to follow in order to register your business name at the Corporate Affairs Commission is understandable.

Note that the process of registering your company may take 3-6 weeks, depending on the schedule of the CAC so be ready and patient.

How To Register Your Company Name in Nigeria

Choose a company name

Before you began this step, you must have chosen the name your business will answer. Go for a name that can be branded and at the same time, memorable. If that has been taken care of, then visit the Corporate Affairs office nearest to your state.

They will run an availability search and will see if you can use the name. In order to save some time, submit at least two names for your company. It is easier to do a couple of names in a row and see if one of them will work than submit one name, receive a refusal and send another. Note that your name will be rejected if it already exists or you have words such as: National, Government, Federal, Holdings.

In order to use these words, you need to have special permission. The process of getting a name for your company may take up to a week. Don’t forget to submit more than one name.

The Preparation of Memorandum and Articles of Association

Remember we told you about preparing some documents? Well, now it is time to do it! You can do it after your name is submitted or during the process of submission. In order to prepare the documents, you will need to have a lawyer. He will be responsible for preparing the needed documents.

You will need to tell him the names of the first directors of the company, and the names of the shareholders. They have to meet the requirements that we listed (have to be older than 18, crime-less, etc.) The directors will be inspected by the CAC, and they will have to provide means of identification.

The incorporation forms

The next step is to fill the incorporation forms from the CAC. There will be a number of documents that you have to fill. You can use the help of the secretary, lawyer or accountant. The person will also be responsible for filing the documents for the Corporate Affairs Commission after the registration of your company.

The form filling process:

– The Statement of Share Capital and Return of Allotment form (Form CAC 2)

– filled by one director;

– The Notice of Situation/Change of Registered Address form (Form CAC 3)

– signed by the secretary and director; – The Particulars of Director form (Form CAC 7)

– filled by all the directors;

– The Declaration of Compliance with the requirements of CAMA form (Form CAC 4)

– filled by the firm accredited by CAC;

– Two directors of the company have to sign a form appointing the new company secretary to the company (the one that is responsible for the documents after registration).

When all documents are willed, they are to be submitted back to the CAC together with the Memorandum and Articles of Association. You should submit them after payment. You will also have to complete the pre-registration form – the CAC 1.1 online, or download it from the official site, fill it and submit it to CAC as well.

Payment Of Stamp Duty and filing fee

You have to pay the filing fee to CAC. Note that you should check the CAC fees before registering your company if you don’t want to lose any additional money.

The fees can be checked here – Fees.

You are also required to pay the Stamp Duty fee to the FIRS (the Federal Inland Revenue Services). You may pay at a designated bank into the account of FIRS.

After the payment, the documents will proceed to the Stamp Duty where they are stamped. Then they are submitted to CAC.

After six weeks of the date of your submission, you will receive the Certificate of Incorporation/Registration. What should you do after receiving the Certificate of Incorporation/Registration?

After you have registered your business, the final step is getting your business name certificate of registration. This should be ready after a week or more. It will be delivered to your doorpost if your business registration is a limited corporation.

There are things that you should follow if you don’t want to get fines. You need to:

– Hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year;

– Fill annual returns 42 days after AGM;

– Register for Companies Income Tax and Value Added Tax with FIRS;

– If it applies to your company, then register for the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering.

Have you been able to get your business registered while not give us feedback how it went?

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