How to Register Your Business Name in Nigeria Online
Being an entrepreneur in Nigeria comes with many difficulties. For several reasons you definitely would want to register your company legally. In this post, we have brought to you a detailed article on how to register your company in Nigeria without having to patronize a legal practitioner using Nigeria’s CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) online portal.
The conception of the CAC online portal is indeed one to be grateful for as business owners can easily register their business names without much hassle. It is important to note that the Agency is powered by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990, Pursuant to section 659 to register.
Categories of Company Business in Nigeria:
- Business Name Registration
- Private Limited Company (LTD)
- Public Limited Company (PLC)
- Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE)
- Unlimited Company (ULTD)
- Incorporated Trustee
The list above covers the categories of businesses one can register in Nigeria. It doesn’t matter if your business is a small or medium scale business, sole proprietorship or partnership the list above covers it.
There are some steps to follow in order for you to register your company name yourself, which includes checking for name availability, reserving the name, uploading necessary documents and making payment.
If you have read up to this point, congrats because we are about to enter the main thingy you came for.
Steps to register a company business name in Nigeria
Step 1: Sign up or login into your CAC account
This step is important as you need an account to access the functions on the CAC website. Either signup of login your CAC account. If you already have an existing account you can go ahead to use it as it will work perfectly.
Step 2: Check for your company business name availability
Just like checking for your websites domain name availability, on the CAC portal, you will have to check if your business name is available. All it takes is for your name to be unique, and boom! You can go ahead with the next step.
If for any reason you want an alternative to the online business name availability checker, then you can visit the nearest Corporate Affairs Commission Office to you. You will be asked to pay a little amount of money to acquire a CAC form, then your name will be reserved for you by the CAC officials. After 3 days, you can check back the CAC office if your name is available.
You definitely do not want to go through the stress of visiting a CAC office when you have easy access to the online portal where you can do everything without having to pay extra fees to CAC officials.
There are some blacklisted words that are not allowed to be in your business name, this include– “Chamber of Commerce”, “Federal”, “National”, “Regional”, “State”, “Government”, “Municipal” or “Chartered”, “Co‐operative” or the words “Building Society”; or “Group” or “Holding”.
Step 3: Reserve your business name
There are 2 ways to reserve your business name. If you are using the online portal, you basically have to enter new names until you get a free name. But if you are doing it offline, you have to purchase new forms whenever a name has been taken.
If you have finally held hands on your name, you can go ahead to reserve it with a fee of N500. Reservation lasts for 60 days, if you do not complete the process in 60 days, someone else can take your name.
Step 4: Pre-registration form and Payment
For you go ahead, you need to download the Business Form here (FORM BN1), fill up the necessary fields on the form, then upload and complete payment.
The essence of you downloading the form is to sign and fill in the date before re-uploading. It is important that you know that business name registration costs N10,000.
The form requires you to fill in the following.
- Approved Name of the Business
- General Nature of the Business
- Address of the Business
- Name, Address, Occupation and other details of the Proprietors of the Business
- Signature of the Proprietors
Step 5: Upload duly forms
Upload your signed documents, (signing and stamping in court shouldn’t be above N1,000).
The below documents are required to be uploaded:
- Availability Printout (same as the Approval Note).
- Statutory Form (FORM BN 1)
- Proficiency Certificate (where applicable)
- Means of identification
- Payment Receipt.
If you have gone through this process, the below forms will be given to you by CAC:
- Certificate of registration of the business name (Original copy)
- CTC of the Application for the Registration of the business name
Note: Applicants shall submit or upload a duly completed statutory form alongside two sized passport photographs. The same method mentioned above can also be used to register an enterprise under CAC.
Fees for Registering a business name in Nigeria
- Registration form: N250
- Per form: N100
- Reservation of Name: N500
- Registration of business name: N10,000
- Search on business name file N1,000 per business name file
- A certified true copy of business name certificate of registration: N5,000
- Certified true copies of other documents: N2,000 per document.
Note: Business name registration takes roughly 3 weeks depending on how things go. You do not necessarily need to pay a lawyer to help you with this process if you have read this post. Getting a lawyer is recommended if only you are doing a partnership with someone.