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How to register a business name in Nigeria

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Basic Medical Scientist, Freelance Health Writer, Lifestyle Blogger and Business Enthusiast

How to register a business in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC

Many potential business owners have asked, "how do I register my business in Nigeria?" This article answers that question. Read on to get a step-by-step guide on how to register a business name in Nigeria, the cost of business registration and CAC guidelines.

The body in charge of business name registrations in Nigeria is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The conventional way of registering a business in Nigeria is that you visit the CAC office physically.

However, thanks to technology, today, you can now register your business online on the CAC portal if you choose to (we will create a separate article on how to register your business online in Nigeria).

Note:

You don't necessarily need the services of an Attorney when registering your business in Nigeria. However, an attorney might come in handy for your business in the future, should it run into a legal issue.

Steps to register a business name in Nigeria

Contrary to what some people think, registering a business in Nigeria under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is not a herculean task.

Here are steps to register a business name in Nigeria fast and without making mistakes. You will also find these steps available on the CAC official website, except they are not explicitly explained as in this article.

Steps to register a business name in Nigeria

1. Pick a business name

The first step to registering a business in Nigeria is to pick a business name. This step is meant to be easy, but unfortunately, it is not as easy as it seems. This is because you have to think and consider a lot of things before you pick a name.

The first thing to consider here is your line of business. Any business name you are picking should be relevant to the products or services you are selling as it would end up as your trademark and brand name.

Also, your business name ought to be catchy and unique. It would be best if you also use a name people can remember easily, a name that makes a statement.

There are instances whereby people choose business names that CAC has already registered. In such a case, you will be mandated to choose another business name to proceed with your business registration. It helps to have at least two backup names in case any of the chosen names have been registered.

2. Complete a pre-registration form to register your business name

You can make a business name reservation at CAC. However, unlike before when this procedure takes days, nowadays it takes just one day and costs just about N500.

After you are done with the business name reservation, you then register the business name properly. You will have to complete a pre-registration form called CAC-BN01 on the online registration portal.

3. Pay a filing fee

The next step on how to register a business name is to pay a filing fee in the bank. For those registering online, payment can be made directly on the website portal.

The cost of business name registration will typically depend on the type of company you want to register.

4. Upload and submit your documents

The next step on how to register a business in Nigeria is to upload a signed copy of the pre-registration documents to the CAC website for processing.

The requirements for registering a business name include:

  • The application form
  • The filing fee receipt
  • Means of Identification for the proprietors of the business

After uploading a scanned copy of the documents required to register your business name, the next step is to submit the original signed copies of those documents you uploaded to the CAC office.

When you submit the required documents, you should receive, in return for them, your certificate and the Certified True Copies of the documents.

The cost of registering a business name in Nigeria

The cost of registering a business name in Nigeria

As stated earlier, how much it will cost you to register a business name in Nigeria depends on the type of business or company you run. For instance, is your company a private company or a public company?

With that said, find out how much it would cost you to register a business name in Nigeria below.

  • If you are registering a private company with an authorised share capital of one million naira (N1m) or less, the cost of company name registration is ten thousand naira (N10,000).
  • If you are registering a private company with an authorised share capital of between one million naira (N1m) and five hundred million naira (N500m), the cost of registration is five thousand naira (N5,000) for every 1m shares of the company.
  • For a private company with more than five hundred million naira (N500m) authorised share capital, the cost of business registration would be seven thousand, five hundred naira (N7,500) per 1m shares.
  • Registration of a company that does not have a share capital is twenty thousand naira (N20,000).
  • To register a name for a public company for the first 1m shares, the cost is twenty thousand naira (N20,000).

Benefits of registering your business in Nigeria with the CAC

Why you should register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

You might be wondering why you should register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Some people don't register their business because they want to evade task. Others fail to register out of sheer ignorance.

However, some perks come with registering a business in Nigeria. Perhaps you will see reasons to register your business after reading this session. Some of the benefits of registering your business with CAC include:

  • It is easier for financial institutions to grant loans to a registered business.
  • With a registered business, you can open a corporate account.
  • Customers tend to trust businesses that are registered more and see them as legit.
  • When you register your business, you have better access to investors as it gives them more confidence that they are dealing with a reputable .organisation
  • A registered business gives you access to more opportunities from both government and individuals.
  • Registering your business makes it easier for embassies to approve your visa to travel to other countries for business conferences and other purposes.

Conclusion

Now, you have learnt how to register a business name in Nigeria; you can see you don't need a legal party or any other third party to register your business.

If you can't do the business name registration yourself, you can engage the services of professionals to help you with that. Registering your business is one step and then, getting business insurance is another step to keeping your business afloat in Nigeria.

It is also important that every startup business learns how to create and maintain a good company culture to help grow the business and maintain its brand.

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