How To Register Your Business Name In Nigeria Without Stress

It is important to stress the fact that every serious minded business owner is expected to register their business with the constituted authorities in their states or countries.

For one, most established corporations will defer doing business with an unregistered firm, especially transactions involving sensitive data or components.

Secondly, customers are more comfortable making payments for services and products into corporate account rather than paying into Individual accounts. Don’t blame customers. It’s much easier to trust & track a registered company.

Beyond customer confidence, your chance of raising capital without registering your business is as close to zero as possible. Banks and other financial institutions, including venture capitalists, will choose to withhold their support until you have followed due process.

So, the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, is in charge of registering businesses in Nigeria. They have offices all over Nigeria, especially the state capitals. And the registration of your business name should not take more than 21 days provided your chosen names aren’t rejected.

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Here is what to do:

1) You can hire a third party to handle the process for you. This is a wise option for those who are busy or not interested in handling the registration on their own.

You can engage the services of a lawyer or approach experienced hands who don’t mind handling the process on your behalf. The downsides to using a third party agent are that you have to pay commissions and they might have to be involved in the subsequent registrations of other businesses you want to register.

2) Do it yourself: Just walk into any branch of CAC closest to you and make your request known.

Here are the steps to follow:

1) Keep at least two Business Names in mind: The CAC will require that you fill in two business names in a form called the “name reservation form”: the preferred name and the alternative name. Ensure you choose two unique names. Never assume that your preferred name doesn’t exist.

The wise option is to enter the names in GOOGLE and search to verify how unique the names are. It takes about 1-2 weeks for the name reservation to come through. If denied, you will have to fill in other names and reapply. So choose wisely.

2) Visit Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC): At the CAC, you will be given the reservation of name form (Form008). This form is used to search for business name availability. Fill in the form appropriately and submit it. Payment of filing fees at the Corporate Affairs Commission is N500 (subject to change by the CAC).

3) Return to CAC after a week or more to confirm name availability: You have to reapply if your preferred business name isn’t available. If successful, you will be given “Registration of business name” form which costs 250 Naira, after which you proceed to pay a sum of 10,000 Naira for the registration proper.

    • Below are the requirements for the business name registration form:
      a) the approved business name,
      b) the business address,
      c) the full name of the business owner or partners,
      d) the address of the owner/s,
      e) two passport photographs of the owner/s.
      f) the nature of the business
    • g) email address & phone numbers

4) On completion of the form, you will need to submit the form with the receipt of payment. The commission will register the business name after satisfying that the necessary documents and information are in place. This usually takes 2-3 weeks.

5) Congratulation. You are done with the registration of your business name. Go get your certificate.

Bonus Facts:

According to the CAC Website, Fees for some other services include:

Change of Name =N=2,000.00

Change of Partnership =N=1,000.00

Change of Address =N=1,000.00

Certified True Copy of a Business Name Certificate =N=1,000.00

Filing of Annual returns =N=300.00