To be legally recognised to do business in Nigeria, you must register with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC). It is not rocket science to give legal backing to your business via the CAC. You can simply take the following steps to register your business in Nigeria.

Register a Business name

Sure, you already have a name for your business and you will like to be known by that name. What you will do is to submit the name to the CAC website to check and confirm its availability. If the name is not available, you can go ahead to reserve a name. You have to sign up or log in to do this and you will need your National Identity Number to complete the process.

Usually, you should submit two names so that if one is taken, the other might be available. A name can be rejected if it already exists, is confusing, or includes prohibited words such as ‘National’, ‘Federal’, ‘Government’ or ‘Holdings’ without special permission. It normally takes up to a week to complete the process of business name registration in Nigeria. Reserving a name cost N500 + payment gateway charges.

Documents Required for Company Registration

  1. A notice of the registered address of your business
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
  3. Receipt of payment of your stamp duties
  4. Particulars, list, and consent of the first directors of your company
  5. Statement of compliance by a legal practitioner

Prepare the Memorandum of Association

This step is best done by a lawyer. He/she is qualified for preparing the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and all the related documents based on the objectives of the company you wish to register. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to request the names of the initial subscribers, directors as well as shareholders. Each director or subscriber must be above the age of 18, of sound mind, and must not have been convicted of any crime. The directors are required to provide a means of identification for inspection by the CAC.

Fill the Pre-Registration Form

After the documents have been duly prepared, you are required to fill a form by the CAC, mentioning all the necessary details, and submit it to the CAC again, together with all the required documents. You can also have a company secretary for your business who can act as a lawyer or an accountant and be completely responsible for filing the documentation with the CAC after the company is registered.

The process of documentation is as follows:

  1. All directors must fill the Particulars of Director form [Form CAC 7]
  2. One director must fill the Statement of Share Capital and Return of Allotment form [Form CAC 2]
  3. One director and the Company Secretary have to fill the Notice of Situation/Change of Registered Address form [Form CAC 3]
  4. An individual or firm accredited by the CAC can fill the Declaration of Compliance with the Requirements of the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) form [Form CAC 4]
  5. At least 2 directors have to fill the form appointing a Company Secretary for the company

Pay the Stamp Duty and Filling Fee

After filling the registration form together with the preparation of the MOA, the next stage is the payment of stamp duty done at an arm of the Federal Inland Revenue Services. The stamp duty is usually paid at a designated bank into the account of the Federal Inland Revenue Services. After the payment, the applicant proceeds to the Stamp Duty Commission, where the Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) with some of the incorporation forms are stamped.

After this, the filled forms and accompanying stamped documents are submitted to the CAC. The Certificate of Incorporation will likely be returned after about six weeks from the date of submission.

Prepare the Scanned Copy of Your Documents

The next step is to prepare the signed scan copy of your pre-registration documents mentioned in step 3. It must be further uploaded online as follows:

  1. Form CAC1.1
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association
  3. Recognized form of identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
  4. Evidence of payment to CAC
  5. You can upload all these documents for processing

Submit the Original Documents

The final step is to submit all the originals of the documents which were scanned in step 5.

There are CAC accredited agents that can help you with the company registration

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