Want to register your company in Nigeria?
This tutorial will show you a comprehensive guide to company registration in Nigeria.
Come along with me as we take a ride and I show you how to register your business or company in Nigeria
Registering your Company or Business in Nigeria and any other part of Africa is as important as your survival in business.
It is one of the best decisions you would ever take in the whole of your business career. Registering your business is what makes it a legal entity.
It’s with no doubt that getting your Company or business registered is something that should constitute the foundation of your business as far as starting or running your company/business is concerned. But it’s not all about just how to register your business or company, it’s about why
Why Should You Register Your Company in Nigeria?
When you register your company or business in Nigeria, you are positioned as a legitimate business owner and also your registered business name is secured and protected just for you, thereby not allowing other businesses to obtain the same business name with you.
It provides legal liability Protection for your company. It also builds up trust in the heart of your clients, do you know why?
Because there is this sense of positive perception that sparks in the heart of your clients for your company when they know that you are operating a registered business
You wouldn’t want to lose your reputation to your competitors simply because their business is registered and yours is not, would you?
Would you want to be denied insurance for your company because you have not registered it?
It might even surprise you to know, that one of the first documents the Banks will ask you for when you want to open an account for your business is your license or other similar prove of business registration.
Yes, that’s true!
That`s why it is always a good idea to register your company or business.
There is more to registering a company by its name than just identity.
You are automatically exposed to more opportunities when you register your company.
You can now see how obvious the disadvantage of not registering your company is, can’t you?
But there is one more thing I need to clarify before we proceed, which is this; a lot of people misunderstand Company registration with Incorporation.
Registration of business names and Incorporation of Companies are two of the three major classes of registration available under the relevant law (the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990, in Nigeria)
Both of these are very important, slightly similar in process and are managed by the same organization called Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) here in Nigeria.
But they are not the same in purpose or reason for which they are done. In most cases, the two are done together.
The sole aim of registering a company is to obtain a Business license which is often required by regional laws in order to carry out business activities, while Incorporation recognizes a business as a separate and unique entity and protects you (the business owner) against the general public from suing you for personal assets
Note: Registration of a Company precedes Incorporation of Company.
You can only do the former before the later or both at a time but it can’t be done the other way round.
So, How Can I register my company in Nigeria?
This is how to…
In Nigeria, you register with an organization called “corporate affairs commission” (CAC).
Gone are the days when the only option you have is to travel to the corporate affairs commission’s office in your state capital or their headquarters in Abuja.
Then you travel to their office to obtain an application form for a business name, come back after a week or two to find out if the name you applied for is available to be taken by you and be registered for you or if it has been taken by another company or business.
After that, you fill out the registration form, make your payments and there you go!
Lots of hassle, right?
Well, I have good news for you.
All those processes and other minor ones which I didn’t mention above can now be done on their website with clicks and filling of the forms online from the comfort of your room, including tons of other post-registration processes.
Thank God for the internet!
You can now create an account on their website, search for Company name availability, register your company all in few minutes as far as you have all their requirements which I will be revealing to you sequentially down this post.
You are now curious to know how you can do that from your room or offices Right?
Let’s go have some adventures!
First of all, you need to create an account and to do that go to the CAC website (I will give you the website’s URL at the end of this tutorial)
At the homepage click on create an account and you will see the login/signup page
Click “create account”
Next, you fill in the required information for the account creation, after that click the create account button.
Check your email inbox to complete and confirm the process, the confirmation email send to you contains the user name you registered with and a default password which you will be required to change later at login.
After that, you will be redirected to the login page,
Enter your username and password and click login, when that is done, you will be asked to enter your new password twice. Do that and click save.
Next, you will have to answer the question presented to you on the screen or create one yourself (this will be used for your password recovery if you eventually forget it)
After entering it, click the save button.
There you go!
You now have an account with the corporate affairs commission (CAC).
Now that you have successfully created an account, let’s go register your company in two major steps right away!
Now pick up your pen and down at least 2 or 3 proposed names for your company.
Go to the homepage and type your company name in the two text fields labeled name option 1 and name option 2 and click on proceed.
You are now applying for name search and checking its availability.
Now review the company information,
Also, fill in the additional information text fields and click on Next
On clicking next, you should see the payment page which includes various payment options.
Select your preferred payment option, the most common and one of the fastest options is the pay with card online option (where you pay with your ATM card).
Note down the Transaction reference ID at the top left side of the page. It’s very important.
If you selected the pay with card option, you should see this….
Select your debit card type then click the proceed button.
Now fill in the card details here…
The payment you just made above was for business name reservation!
(It`s #500 as at the time of writing this post)
Now is the time to actually register your Company!
Go to the homepage and you should be back to where you started your Company-name search and registration, which is here….
Down at the left, you will see a link called Register a company, click it.
Enter your availability code, if your name search and registration was successful, you will be given the code. Enter it and proceed.
Now the approved company name will be displayed, beside it at the right, you will see an Action dropdown box. Click it and click on register.
Fill in this form correctly and click on continue.
Next fill in the company information.
Note: You can always click on “save and exit” to continue later where from where you stopped.
Click the green button to proceed.
Click the “Add a director” button to add the details of the company’s directors.
Next, add the details of your business/company`s director and click “+ save director”
A list of all the directors you added will be displayed.
You can delete or edit the details anytime.
To proceed with the business registration, click “continue”
Next fill in the resulting form for the secretary of your company.
Next is the form for the allotment of shares (that’s where you add shareholders of the company). Click on “add new shareholders” and fill in the details from the resulting form.
You can also add any of the directors as shareholders.
After that, a list of all the shareholders added will appear. You can always delete or edit them.
Click on continue.
On the next page, add the memorandum and articles of association. To do this, click on “add an object” and fill in the corresponding information in the fields that appear.
A list of the added articles of Association is displayed at the lower part of the page, to delete any of them scroll to the object and click on “Action” there will be a drop-down menu, select “delete”. After adding the articles of Association click “Continue” to proceed
Next click on the pointer on the right side of each document to select the number of document you need.
Select and click continue.
A preview of your company registration will now be displayed, go through the whole preview for clarity.
You can click on “go back” to return to previous pages and make corrections or click on“ Proceed to payment” at the bottom right of the page to continue.
Make your payment just in the way I showed you above during the name reservation process;
Or select a payment option and click on “Next”. Also, note the
Transaction Reference ID
There you go.
Was the process of registering your company above complex?
Please read again because it’s actually very simple.
Was it simple?
Yes, it was but if you find it too complex or there have been changes to that online processes, you can easily do the whole thing manually in above 5 steps.
- Determine the name you want to choose for your business and one alternative (because that name might have been taken by someone else). Make sure you choose a very creative business name
- Go to a nearby commercial bank and tell the teller that you want to pay into the Federal government`s joint account in respect of the Corporate Affairs Commission for the name reservation. The banker will help you to pay (#500) into the appropriate account and give you back a printout, plus a copy of the pay-in-slip
- Go into the nearby Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) office. They have branches in every state of Nigeria (usually in the capital) and F.C.T. Submit the print out after they have asked you to make a copy of it.
- Visit back in the next 7 or 14 days to check maybe your company name is approved. If for any reason your proposed business name is not approved, you will have to choose another name and repeat the process (sorry if this happens to you). If your name is approved…
- Get the necessary forms, fill, attach photo passport and submit.
Your company name is registered!
How much will it cost me to register my company`s name?
Actually, I was going to answer you even before you ask me.
Sir/Ma, it might interest you to know that the fee for registering your company is cheaper than you think!
Yes, I meant that!
Am not sleeping… Am awake and really laughing at myself and do you know why? Because there was once a time I thought it takes a million or two to register a company.
No, No, and No. whoa…. I was seriously wrong.
Don’t mind me. That is by the way.
As at the time of writing this tutorial, it takes just
#500 to reserve a business name and #10,000 to register a private company with a share capital of #1 million or less
Or #5,000 for every one million shares capital, that is for private company/Increase in share capital above #1 million and up to #500 million
For the Registration of private company/Increase in share capital above #500 Million, the fee is #7, 500 for every #1 Million share Capital or its part thereof.
Registration of a private company not having a share capital goes for #20, 000
There you have them!
The scope of this tutorial is focused on how to register a private company, which is why I didn’t, mentioned the cost of registering a public company.
The differences in cost are not too much but the processes are the same as explained in this tutorial.
Now is the time, go ahead and get your company registered.
If you delay doing that then you could be disappointed at finding out later that your precious and nice company name has been taken by another company and it will be too late then……..
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know that the name of your company alone can break or make your business?
What will you do if I tell you that the idea of that company you want to start or just starting is also in the minds of other people somewhere (maybe even close to you?)
Your ability to act first is what makes you a pioneer of that idea, is not because it’s only you who conceived it.
How do you act first?
By register your company first!
Again what will you do if I tell you that, the name you are proposing is also flashing across the minds of other business men in your field, or some hired experts?
The answer is before you.
I leave you with these words by Robert Kiyosaki:
Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead but the bold.
The earlier you act the better for you, therefore I say to you today, be bold!
As you act.
This is the corporate affairs commission`s website…. https://new.cac.gov.ng
They have four other websites, but the one above is the best for the benefit of this tutorial.