How To Register A Business In Nigeria With Just 10,500 Naira ($27): The Complete Guide
Registering a new business in Nigeria used to be a major headache for a lot of people. Before now, incorporation of companies could only be done by accredited lawyers, chartered secretaries, and chartered accountants. Causing large sums of money ranging from 30,000 to over 100,000 Naira to be commonly charged by these professionals, depending on each’s personal worth.
The good news is those days are now gone, and registering a new business in Nigeria can now be done for as low as 10,500 Naira.
The official launch of the CAC online portal enables any individual from any part of the world and without all these qualifications to easily register a business in Nigeria.
Despite these new improvements, a lot of individuals still encounter difficulties or don’t know the right steps to take in registering a business in Nigeria online.
Asides those who have difficulties registering a business themselves online, 95% of Nigerians are completely unaware that the process of incorporating a business name has been reviewed by Corporate Affairs Commission for easy access for any individual that has attained the legal age. Meaning they could do so now for just a total of 10,500 Naira, instead of paying anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 Naira, as they would have.
In this article, we would give you a comprehensive guide on the procedure for registering a business name by yourself using the CAC website in Nigeria.
What Is The CAC?
Surprisingly, a lot people have asked me most times for the meaning of CAC and what it is all about. In a nutshell, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is an autonomous body charged with the responsibility to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria.
Requirements For Online Business Registration In Nigeria
1). Proposed business name:
It is advisable to choose a unique business name to increase the chances of its approval. You can determine whether the name you wish to choose is already in existence by conducting a public search first, before submitting the name for a search.
Here is how to conduct a public search:
i). Visit cac.gov.ng.
ii). Click on public search.
iii). Enter the name you choose to register.
iv). Enter the captcha as displayed in the box, and search.
v). The names of existing companies that are similar to the name you typed into the box will be displayed.
With this, you would be able to know whether the name you intend to register is already in existence. If it is already in use, choose another name and repeat the steps until you get a name with high chances of getting approved.
This process is absolutely free, and you don’t have to pay any amount of money to a professional to help you know if anyone has already taken your name. All you need is a device with an internet connection.
2). Address of the principal place of business.
3). Nature of business
N/B: As an addendum to the nature of your business, always ensure you include general contracts. This encompasses every other type of business in case you decide to introduce new types in future.
4). Name of proprietor or proprietors in case of partnership
5). Residential Address of proprietor or proprietors.
6). Passport photographs of the proprietors
Creating An Account In The CAC Portal
Before you fully proceed to start the registration of your business, the first step is to create an account on the CAC online portal by following the steps below:
1). Visit services.cac.gov.ng
2). Click on “create account” on the home page of the portal
3). Complete the displayed form correctly.
4). If you are an accredited user select “Are you an accredited customer” and enter your accreditation number in full.
5). If you are not an accredited user, enter your valid means of identification. The approved means of identification are, permanent voters’ card, international passport, birth certificate, Driver’s license or National Identity card.
6). Enter the captcha as displayed in the box.
7). Click on submit.
8). After all these are done, you will receive an email detailing your username and password from the CAC.
- Login with the username and password as received.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
- Then change your password.
At this stage, you are now successfully done with the account creation process and free to use the CAC online portal at any time.
How To Register A Business Name On The CAC Portal In Nigeria
Step One: Availability check and reservation of name:
This is the first and most important stage in the registration. Once you complete this stage and get your name approved, you have done 60 percent of the job.
i). Log into your portal.
ii). On the home page, provide two names for your business name registration.
iii). On the first box, provide the most preferred name and provide an alternate name in the second box. Either of the two should be approved if available and without any impediments.
iv). Click on proceed and fill in the details correctly.
v). On classification, select business name.
vi). On company type, also select business name.
vii). Select your reason for the availability.
- If you are registering a new business name, select “new incorporation”.
- If you want to change the name of an already registered business name, select “change of name”.
- If you want to convert a business name to a company, select “conversion”.
- If you are registering as a subsidiary of an already existing company, select “subsidiary/affiliate”.
- Once you are done filling in all the information required, click on “next” to proceed.
- The summary of all the information you have supplied would be displayed.
- Click on next, and you will be brought to the payment section.
- Choose any type of online payment most suitable for you and pay the sum of N500 for the search.
To view your payment history, return to the portal, click on “reservation history”, then click on the “action button” on the right end of the reserved name. It will take you to the payment history page. Click on “check status” to confirm your payment.
To check whether the name has been approved once this is completed, click on the “check my reservation history”. All things being equal, the approval or denial of a business name shouldn’t take more than two working days.
Once a name has been approved, the status on the name changes from pending approval to approved, and a code is given as an identity for the reserved name. This code is what you will use to complete your registration. To view this code, click on the “action button” and download the approval note and code.
Step Two: Filling Of The Application form
1). Log into your portal.
2). Click on ‘registration’ on the top left of the web page, select business name, enter the availability code you have already copied from the approval note, and proceed.
3). The approved name will appear. Click on “continue registration” to continue.
4). Fill the forms carefully and accurately provide all the requirements stated earlier. Make sure you fill in the names and addresses of proprietors, nature of business, and principal place of business addresses correctly. In filling the nature of the business, don’t forget to add general contracts as advised, as correction of any mistake after incorporation would cost you more money and time. Including the fact that it can be a very tasking process.
5). When asked if you need additional copies of a certified true copy, select zero, as this is applicable to those registering a Limited Liability Company.
6). The next step is the payment of the sum of 10,000 Naira for registration.
7). Click on the “action button” to download and print the completed form for the proprietors to sign and have their passports attached.
Step 3: Document Upload
1). After the proprietors are done appending their signatures and attaching their passports, scan the document and save it as a PDF file.
2). Visit http://docupload.cac.gov.ng or http://cac.gov.ng and select document upload.
3). Type in the availability code you used in registering the business and select the nearest CAC office you wish to pick up your certificate from.
4). Type in the captcha.
5). Click on begin.
6). Click on “Choose Scanned Document Below” and select the documents you wish to upload.
- You will have to upload the BN/1 form you filled, availability of name approval note, payment receipt, copies of ID cards of the proprietors, proficiency certificates where applicable.
7). Click “Attach” to attach the document.
8). Attach all documents one after the other.
9). All attached documents are displayed in the “List of Documents window”.
1o). Click “submit” to submit.
11). Wait for your certificate. Once the certificate is ready, you will receive an email to that effect, the status of the registration will change, and the BN number would have been generated.
To Sum It Up
I hope you find this very helpful. However, I wish to state succinctly that the role of an accredited practitioner in a business or company registration can never be overemphasized. Do contact one for professional advice before carrying on with this process.
About The Writer
This is a blog post submitted by Amara Okafor. She is a lawyer, a writer, and a member of the Startup Tips Daily Media Team.
You can contact her through Startup Tips Daily Media for any further questions or enquiries concerning your business name registration and company incorporation.
Note: This article has been edited for style and substance.
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