The process of registering a business in Nigeria is called business name registration. It is the process of documenting a business with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the agency responsible for cataloging business names in Nigeria and administering the license of operations.
For the smooth running of businesses in the country, business registration is required. Foreigners that want to own a business in the country, are also required to register their business for smooth operations in Nigeria.
Why Register a Business Name?
1. Brand Identity
Being a registered business also means that you are on the Government's record and as such builds your credibility and makes customers comfortable doing business with you.
Customers and suppliers prefer doing business with companies that they can link with something; location, email, name, phone number and so on. Remember the KLT factor, Know, Like and Trust. People do businesses with companies that they know, then they like and then trust.
Investors will prefer to invest in a registered business with legal structure rather than in just any random business somewhere.
Part of the documentation needed when you are applying for a business loan is your business registration certificate along with other documents.
Types of Business Name Registration in Nigeria
Public Limited Liability Company (PLC)
Company Limited by Guarantee (GTE)
Unlimited Company/ Unlimited liability company
What you Need to Register your Business Name
- The Email address and phone number of the proposed company
- The registered address of the company
- Identification documents of the directors and shareholders such as International Passports, National Identity Cards, Driver’s licenses, etc.
- Name reservation approval note from the CAC
- Objects of the company
- Directors and shareholder’s full names, occupations, residential addresses, and dates of birth
- Stamp duty and statutory fees
- Incorporation certificate and company resolution in a case where another registered company (local or foreign) will be a subscriber or shareholder to the proposed company
Can I do it myself?
How much does it Cost to Register a Business Name in Nigeria?
Below are the various prices for the various types of business in Nigeria
Type of Business/Company
Private Business Name Registration
Incorporation of Company Limited
Incorporation of Private/Public Company Limited (Issued share capital of ₦ 1 million or less)
Incorporation of Private/Public Company Limited (Issued share capital above ₦ 1 million and up to ₦500million)
₦5,000 for every ₦ 1 million share capital
Incorporation of Private/Public Company Limited (Issued share above ₦500million)
₦7,500 for every ₦ 1 million share capital
How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria
If your desired business name is already chosen, you can brainstorm to come up with something similar or maybe even better.
So for your business name in Nigeria, you conduct a public search on CAC by visiting search.cac.gov.ng/home.
If you have any plans of owning a website for your business in the future, before registering your business name, you can use services like whois.com to look up the availability of your business domain name.
You can also use a platform like Namelix, a digital tool to help with finding a name that fits your business.
You are expected to submit two proposed names to the CAC, and make the required payment. After which, CAC will conduct a search to ensure that the hasn’t already been registered by someone else.
Certain words are reserved and as such, not allowed to be included in your business name. Words such as "Chamber of Commerce", "Federal", "National", "Regional", "State", "Government", "Municipal", "Chartered", "Co-operative" or other words words such as "Building Society", "Group" or "Holding".
Once approved, you proceed with the registration.
Step 3: Create an Account or LoginUsing the online registration portal, you will have to complete a pre-registration form (CAC-BNo1).
After searching for desired business name and its available,
- head to https://pre.cac.gov.ng/register to create an account
- Enter in your phone number or NIN and click on next
- Input the required info
Register your company with your business name availability code
Click on the Pre-incorporation buttonStep 5: Sign into your CAC account
Step 7: Pay the Filing Fee
After making payment you will receive a receipt of payment.
Step 8: Upload the Requested Documents to CAC
The following are the documents to be uploaded
- Application form
- Filing fee receipt
- Means of Identification for the proprietors of the business.
Step 9: Submit original copies of your personal and business documents.
The next step is to submit original copies of the documents scanned in step 8
Step 10: Download Certificate of RegistrationAfter successful registration of your business name, the following documents would be available for download from the CAC website.
1. Original Certificate of registration of business name
2. CTC of the Application for the registration of the business name.
After download it is advised that the they are stored in an online cloud storage where they could be assessed when needed because CAC charges for subsequent downloads after the initial period.
Congrats, your Nigeria business is now registered!
How to Register a Business in Nigeria for ForeignersNigeria operates a free economy and as such, there are no restrictions to foreigners starting a business in Nigeria in compliance to the rules.
1. Availability and Reservation of Name
It is issued under the Ministry of interior.
7. Bank Account Opening