How to register your business with the CAC in Nigeria
How to register your business with the CAC in Nigeria
Without doubt, Nigeria is one of the best places to invest in Africa. Despite the setback associated with the recession that recently hit the West African nation, it is still one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Aside the fact that Nigeria is blessed with abundance of mineral resources, the government has played a major role by formulating policies that are investment friendly. Registering your business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria is a major step towards legally running your firm in Nigeria because there are rules and regulations guiding the business community for effective operation.
The Companies and Allied Matters Act promulgated in 1990 established the Corporate Affairs Commission to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. Perceived inefficiency and ineffectiveness on the part of the Company Registry, a department within the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism which was hitherto charged with the responsibility of registration and administration of the repealed Companies Act of 1968 led to the introduction of the CAC. Being a world class company’s registry providing excellent registration and regulatory services is the core vision of the commission.
With core values as courtesy, integrity, dedication, and efficiency, part of the functions of the Corporate Affairs Commission include;
- Regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, management and winding up of companies.
- Establishing and maintaining companies’ registry and offices in all the states of the Federation suitably and adequately equipped to discharge its functions under the Act or any law in respect of which it is charged with responsibility.
- Arrange and conduct an investigation into the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholder and the public so demand.
- To undertake such other activities as are necessary or expedient for giving full effect to the provisions of the Act
- Registration of Business Names, and Incorporated Trustees as well as provides a wide range of ancillary services.
The following steps are necessary for registering your business with the CAC.
Availability of Proposed Names
The first step towards registering your business is submitting names you have proposed to the CAC for verification. Usually, an applicant is required to submit two names, after this is done, an availability check will be conducted on the CAC online portal to see if the name is available and not already in use by another group or private enterprise. Selecting the name of your business might prove to be a difficult task because it will surely turn out to be the trademark of your company; an entrepreneur is best advised to carefully do this. Your business name should be equally related to your products or services for marketing purposes. In Nigeria today, many businesses are registered and have their websites, so it is easy to research on available names but it is needful to note the fact that there are already registered companies that have not commenced operation. To be on the safer side, CAC is best to tell you about names already in use or not.
Another major step towards registering with CAC is preparation of required documents. These documents include;
-Statutory Form (FORM BN 1)
-Proficiency Certificate (where applicable)
-Means of identification
– Memorandum and Article of Association (MEMART)
Note: The following documents would be given back to the applicants by the CAC after the registration of the business name,
-Original Certificate of registration of the business name
-Cost To Company of the Application for the Registration of the business name
Your business’s structure is another major requirement for registering your business in Nigeria. The commission requires the particulars of a minimum of two (2) Directors for your establishment. A copy of their means of identification such as voter’s card, national ID, drivers’ license or international passport are also necessary. At this stage, you need the services of a lawyer who will request for the names of the two directors who equally are initial subscribers of the establishment; shareholders are equally not left out in this process. Needful to note is the fact that your directors must be above the age of 18 and not have been convicted of crimes in the past, they must be of sound mind, mentally stable.
Submission of documents
Submitting your documents to the CAC is extremely important as it is proof that you meet requirements for legally registering your business. Visiting the office of the commission for submission is a necessary step to take. You do your business registration at the office in person, though you are required to submit some documents online during the initial stage of application. At the office, you will be presented another form known as the Registration of Business Name (Form 001). While filling this form, it is advised you seek guidance for spaces you do not know what to fill to avoid mistakes that might turn out to affect the business in future. Also, proper clarification is done during your visit to the office of the commission as you can have one-on-one discussion with staff so you can effectively make use of opportunities available due to registering with CAC.
After filing the Registration of Business Name form, you will be required to pay for it (link for information on payment and fees will be attached below at the end of this write up). To avoid the stress attached to the process, you can hire the services of a lawyer to do this for you. Once you are done with the payment of the business registration fee, you will be given an affidavit/attestation form. The applicant will have to proceed to a magistrate court in his/her vicinity to get endorsement from the court’s magistrate.
Collection of Business Name Certificate
Collecting your business name certificate of registration is the last step involved in the process of registering your business with the CAC. When you have completed the business registration form, made all the necessary payments, and submitted court affidavit, the next step is for you to wait for a couple of weeks (maybe six to seven weeks) before checking back at the Corporate Affairs Commission’s office for your business name certification. After getting the certification, you are free to run your business, incorporating your business into LTD or PLC should not take more than few months, then you will have a fully registered business or company.
For further information, you can visit the official website of the CAC at http://new.cac.gov.ng
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