Registering my Business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is one of the easiest thing I have done in Nigeria. I have to commend every member of staff of the CAC in Abeokuta, Ogun State; that is where I applied and registered for my Business name and the experience was smooth and fantastic.
UPDATE: Now all payments are being made at designated banks. In this article, I mentioned that payments are made at their offices, this has since changed since the introduction of TSA.
I don’t think I have even been attended to in such a courteous manner at any Government establishment before. Away from giving credit now.
What is the CAC all about and what do they really do?
The CAC (website at http://new.cac.gov.ng, http://cacnigeria.org) regulates the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. It is empowered by the Nigerian law to handle all issues associated with company registration, business names, and incorporated trustees in Nigeria.
Why do you need to register your Business Name?
Well, I believe many people that searched for this already know why it is very important to have your business name registered.
- I believe it gives you that reputation of an organized establishment
- It boosts the trust clients have in you. When it comes to monetary transactions, they can trust you easily because they know you are registered and can easily be found if need be
- Without this, you cannot open a Business account at any Bank in Nigeria. Opening a business bank account is important because people feel safe paying into an account bearing a business name than that bearing the name of an individual
- You cannot apply for your Tax identification Number (TIN) and hence cannot pay tax.
There are more but this are just some of the few that came to mind.
How Do I Go About The Registration at CAC?
This is the main purpose of this article. To register a Business name in Nigeria, go to the office of the Corporate Affairs Commission in your state. They are usually located in the state capitals.
ALSO SEE: Addresses of all CAC Offices in all States in Nigeria
Let me warn you that you should avoid using any lawyer to do this for you. I am not trying to discredit anyone here but they charge you exorbitant fees that may be in multiple folds of what you would pay when you do it yourself. But if time is a challenge for you, then go ahead and hire their services to get it for you.
Note, however, that there are Agents accredited by the Commission. We will compile their list if we can access it and link to it here.
When you get to the office of the CAC, just ask that you would like to register a name for your business. Make it clear that you want to register for a business name, the requirements are different for a company.
You will be asked to buy a form for just N500 to check if the name you want to register is available i.e. not previously registered by another person. They call it ‘Availability Check and Reservation of Name Form’. The commission claims it is now possible to do this online by going to this link http://services.cac.gov.ng/. I have not tried that myself.
There are some rules guiding the names you can use:
- The names must not contain words like “National”, “Government”, “State”, “Co-operative” etc
- The names must not be similar to any business or trade mark already registered in Nigeria
- If you use such terms as “consulting”, “medical”, “engineering”, and terms like that in your name, you will need a certificate to back it up that you are qualified to actually do those things.
You can supply two names in the form. They will check the two names and tell you if they are available. You will be contacted latest two weeks after to come and complete your registration. If the two names are not available, you will buy another availability form and supply another two names, so, find a unique name to save you this stress.
If the Business names you applied for are approved, you will be provided with a registration form to use in registering the approved business name. The form costs N250. You will also be asked to pay N10,000 to complete the registration of your business. I paid that when I registered my business but this may change in the future. The following is what the form looks like (they may change it anytime):
Fill the following important information on it and provide as follows;
a) the approved business name,
b) the business address,
c) the name of the sole proprietor or partners,
d) the address of the owner(s)
e) two passport photographs of the business proprietor(s) or owner(s).
f) general nature of the business. There is a list they will provide to you whew you can check under which category your business falls.
Someone at the CAC office should guide you in filling the form out.
You will be interviewed at some point during registration to verify some facts about your business from you. They may also come to visit the address you claim to be your business address. Hence, provide accurate information.
How much is Business name registration at CAC?
In total, I spent N10,750 to register my business name. The breakdown is as follows:
- Availability Check and Reservation of Name Form – N500.00
- Business name registration form – N250.00
- Registration and Incorporation of Business – N10,000.00
That is all I think you need to register your Business name. I want to get someone that has registered a company name to write the steps he followed in doing it for me. I am going to publish that as soon as I get the article.