Before you think of starting any business in Nigeria, it is important that you register your business name. If your business must stand the test of time, then you must duly register it. Don’t jump into a business without having your business register with corporate affairs commission if you are going to locate this business here in Nigeria. I have seen many companies fold up because of this. Every great business started from a solid background. One of those foundations that help sustains a business is to have your business registered within the country of your business operation.
Gone are those years when registering a business in Nigeria is faced with challenges that delayed the process of registering businesses. The fact is that it cost far less to register a business now than it was in years past because you can now do it directly without involving the middlemen.
Today, it is easier to register your business from the comfort of your home with just your laptop and internet connection. The good part is that you can do it at your own pace and make every payment without hiring lawyers or agents to do it for you. In this post, I will show you the six easy steps you need to follow to register your business in Nigeria.
But before you proceed to register your business name with corporate affairs commission I presumed that you must have gotten a big picture of the business. You can read this article for more information on, how to Start small business in Nigeria
Benefits of Registering your business name
There are special benefits of running a registered business. Some of these benefits include:
- Trust and loyalty from customers – registering your business name helps building customer loyalty and trust.
- Fast acquisition of loans from financial institutions – How will feel when one of these banks denied giving you loan because your business name is not registered. Just know that you can’t obtain loan from bank if you business name is not registered.
- Facilitate getting government’s contract – You can never get contract to supply anything to government own establishment if you’re not registered. Even if you manage to supply them; sorry to say this, your money is gone.
- Enhanced business to business relationship – business relates more to businesses with name
- Branding of your business – without a business name your product will lack branding which is a key marketing strategy.
- International recognition as your business entity expands – with your business name, you can easily gain international recognition.
If we should continue to the list of the benefits your business stands to gain when you register it, this post would become longer than expected. So let us find out how you can register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria.
You should note that CAC is the only body mandated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to register businesses in Nigeria. You can access their branch offices across the state capital of the 36 states of Nigeria. Currently, you can also visit their website to run your business registration.
Requirement for Business name Registration
- Business name.
- Business address.
- Full detail profile information of the business owner – at least 2 share holders, 2 boards of trustees and valid passport.
- Brief information about the business – All the businesses you intend going into in future to avoid double registration.
This was the reason why I said that you must have gotten a big picture of your business.
Steps To Register Your Business with CAC in Nigeria
Let’s get started with your business name registration process. You can follow these six simple steps in registering your business in Nigeria.
#1. Search Your Business Name
Search for the availability of your intended business name. You can easily do this by visiting the Search Record of CAC. This is where all registered business names in Nigeria can be accessed.
Before you hit the search box for your ideal business name. I will advise that you do a simple search on the internet to find out if someone is using that name or related name. This is for future needs in case your business may need a website.
You are given the option of submitting two potential names for name reservation which is fully explained in step four below. This is to ensure that if one has been taken, the other name may be available.
#2. Create CAC-CRP Account
Before you can proceed with your name reservation, you must create an account or sign up on the CAC portal. It is when you have signed up that you can carry out the remaining steps below.
During sign up, you are required to provide the following information:
- Authorized Representative: this includes your name, date of birth, nationality, and gender.
- Account details: this includes your username, password, occupation.
- Address: This includes your state, LGA, postal code, and country.
- Means of Identification: You will have to choose any of the following means of identification. These are voter’s card, national identity card, international passport, Driver’s license. Age declaration, and birth certificate
You can sign up here for account creation.
#3. Reserve the Business Name
Business name reservation is about keeping your intended business name for a specific period. This will cost you ₦500. The reserved business name will be held for 2 weeks within which CAC expects you to have completed your business registration.
You will fill a name reservation form which will carry the necessary information about you and the business you want to register. This form will be needed during the upload of the required documents.
#4. Pay the Filing and Stamp Duty Fees
Now that you have your business name reserved for you, you can proceed to make the payment of ₦10,000 as the filing fee. You can make payment using your debit card on the CAC platform or walk down to the nearest bank to make your payment (the details needed to make a bank payment is available on the CAC platform).
Once you have made the payment, you can now move to the next step.
#5. Upload the Required Documents
Now you can upload your required documents. The list of documents you are expected to upload are as follows:
- Your means of identification (these include: National ID, voter’s card, International passport, or driver’s license).
- Filing fee receipt.
- Application form.
When you are done with the required document upload, then move on to the next step which is the final step.
#6.Obtain Your Registered Business Certificate
At this stage, this is when you need to visit the nearest CAC office. You will be required to provide the original documents in exchange for your registered business certificate. The required documents are the documents you uploaded in step five above.
Please note that your means of identification will be a photocopy not the original.
If you don’t want to register your business by yourself, you can employ the services of any CAC accredited agents. They will act on your behalf. You need to be aware that they are going to charge you for the service you will receive from them.
You can view the full details of how much it will cost you to get your business registered with CAC here
Now that you have known the steps in getting your business registered through CAC in Nigeria, go ahead and give your business a better identity and trust by registering it.
Other functions of CAC includes the following:
- Conversion and re-registering of a private company as public.
- Registering a company limited by shares as an unlimited company.
- Change of Business Name.
- Company search etc.
When you get to the CAC official website, you will gain access to all the necessary information that you need to get your business registered and incorporated in Nigeria.
Don’t forget this, when you register your business, it becomes an entity that carries a lot of advantages in the eyes of customers and other business relationships. Even the government will view your business as a highly responsible one.
You can do the registration yourselves BUT let me sound this as a note of warning, please go through a qualified lawyer because of legal implications which maybe accrue to this.