In Nigeria, the institution responsible for business registration is the Corporate and Affairs Commission (CAC). The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is an autonomous body established in 1990 under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. They are charged with the responsibility of regulation and management of companies in Nigeria.
What Are The Functions of the Corporate Affairs Commission?
The powers and duties of the CAC are laid out in the Companies and Allied
Matters Act of 1990 and they include the following:
1. To administer the Act, including the regulation and supervision of the
formation, incorporation and winding up of organizations in Nigeria;
2. To establish and maintain company registry, directory and offices in all the states of the nation suitably and adequately equipped to discharge its functions under
the Act or any law in respect of which it is charged with responsibility;
3. Conduct investigations into the affairs of any company
4. To perform any other functions as may be specified and required by any Act or Enactment;
The Commission also registers Business Names, Incorporated Trustees and
provides a range of specialized services to the public.
How To Register A Business in Nigeria with The CAC
Below are the required steps to registering a business in Nigeria.
Step 1: Choose A Business Name
Choosing a business name can be quite tasking sometimes. But your business name needs to be identified with a brand name. It is also vital you pick a name that is relevant to your business.
You should do a quick search on the internet on the names you choose and have up to three backup plans. This is to ensure you have at least chosen the names that are not in use to the best of your knowledge. You can also use Namelix, a digital tool to help with finding a name that fits your business.
Step 2: Submit Your Name To The CAC For Name Reservation
In the past, name reservation at the CAC takes days before it comes back with a result. Today, it only takes the same day if you submit your request before 5 pm. It costs just N500. You can make the name reservation on the CAC website.
Step 3: Register Your Business Name
Once you wrap up with the name reservation, you can then proceed to the registration of business name proper. Using the online registration portal, you will have to complete a pre-registration form (CAC-BNo1).
Step 4: Pay For Filing Fee
Upon payment of the filing fee, you will receive a receipt of payment. Note, you can make Payment directly from the website portal or straight to the bank. The cost of business registration depends on the type of company you are trying to register.
- Registration of a private company with an authorized share capital of N1m or less, costs N10,000
- Registration of the private company with a share capital of more than N1m and up to N500m costs N5,000 for every 1m shares of the company.
- Private company registration above N500m authorized share capital costs N7,500 for every 1m shares of the company.
- Public company registration for the first 1m share capital or fewer costs N20,000
- Registration of company not having a share capital costs N20,000
Step 5: Prepare Your Documents For Upload
You will need to prepare a signed copy of the pre-registration documents and upload a scanned copy to the website for processing. The pre-registration substantiating documents include
- Application form
- Filing fee receipt
- Means of Identification for the proprietors of the business.
Step 6: Submit the original copies of your documents.
You will have to submit the original copies of documents uploaded in step 5 to the CAC office. You will do this in exchange for your certificate and the Certified True Copies of the documents.
How To Check If A Business Name is Available on CAC
There are many reasons to verify the registration status of a business. From considering a partnership deal with the company to applying for a job, it is essential to know if the business is legit. If in doubt, you can find out in a matter of minutes.
Verifying the authenticity of a company in Nigeria is a straightforward task that you can carry out on the CAC website. Follow the simple steps below:
- Visit the CAC website.
- Type out the name of the business in the provided field. Do not add “Ltd”, “Limited” or “Plc”.
- Check the CAPTCHA box that says “I am not a robot”.
- Click the submit button.
If the company does exist, the result will reveal the company name, RC Number, Address and Date of Registration. On the flip side, you will get no result If the company does not exist.
At times, you may get different results if the business has other companies with a similar name. Scroll through the list and locate the exact company name you are looking for. There also cases where the business is still in the registration process. In such instances, you don’t get to see the company’s RC Number. Instead, you will see an “Undergoing Registration message.
Please note that you do not need the services of a legal practitioner, chartered secretaries, or any other third party to register your business. The business registration process has been simplified to encourage participation from prospective investors and entrepreneurs.