How to register a Business Name in Nigeria

How to register a Business Name in Nigeria

This article will walk us through how to register a Business Name in Nigeria. Gone are the days when getting registered was a hassle but not anymore. Anyone can now successfully register their Business Name in few easy steps.

What is the Corporate Affairs Commission

According to Corporate Affairs Commission’s official website https://www.cac.gov.ng, says the Corporate Affairs Commission was established by the Companies and Allied Matters Act, which was promulgated in 1990 to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria.

The establishment of the Corporate Affairs Commission as an autonomous body was a result of the perceived inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the erstwhile Company Registry, a department within the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism which was then responsible for the registration and administration of the repealed Companies Act of 1968.
It carries out its functions through accredited members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The organization is headed by a Registrar-General. Prior to the enactment of CAMA, these activities were carried on under the Companies Act 1968. (CA 1948)

CAC logo featured on how to  successfully register a business in Nigeria

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Functions of the Corporate Affairs Commission

The below lists are some of the functions of the Commission as set out in section 7 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, under the article on how to register a Business Name in Nigeria

  • To administer the Act, including the regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, management and winding up of companies
  • Also to establish and maintain 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 the responsibility
  • Another well-known function is that the commission arrange and conduct an investigation into the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholders and the public so demand
  • It also undertakes such other activity Brand which is necessary or expedient for giving full effect to the provisions of the Act.
  • The Commission also registers Business Names, and Incorporated Trustees as well as provides a wide range of ancillary services

Requirements to register a Business Name in Nigeria

  • Proposed Business Name
  • Means of identification (Driver’s license, National ID card or others)
  • Debit card for your payments
  • Passport Photograph

Why you should register a Business Name in Nigeria

Here are the reasons why you need to register your brand name as featured on the post how to successfully register a Business Name in Nigeria is below.

  1. Registering your business will help you secure your business name before it is taken by someone else. Once you have successfully registered with the CAC the name of your company, no other organization can legally use the same name to function in Nigeria. This name is reserved for you and you alone.
  2. Only if your business name is licensed will you be able to open a corporate account, and of course you know the importance of having a corporate current account-it makes people feel more comfortable when interacting with you.
  3. Your company registration adds to your business value and credibility. This makes you feel more involved in setting up the company and work harder. Business partners are going to take you more seriously. If you have not registered your company, a good majority of large firms or individuals will be unwilling to work with you.
  4. It saves you from personal responsibility: this is probably the biggest reason that a lot of people have to register their company. You could lose your business and personal property without the legal protection of limited liability if something goes wrong (say someone sues you for heavy damages).
  5. Receiving bank credit and investment from investors is simpler. For banks, there are essentially two loan categories; personal and business loans. They are completely different from each other and one can not be used to represent the other. As a result, most banks will gladly provide you with money to buy a new car or house, but none will give you money to fund a non-registered business. The Number 1 and non-negotiable condition to apply for a business loan is that the company must be registered.
  6. Save yourself from abuse, embarrassment, humiliation and threat, POLICE, SARS, EFCC, or any other force.

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Steps involved in registering a business name in Nigeria

The steps to register your business name is kinda easy and anyone can get it done as soon as possible. Let us use the below step by step guide on how to register a Business Name in Nigeria

Step1. Visit the website on http://new.cac.gov.ng/home/registration-steps/ and register on the website with your email.

Step2. After successful registration, click on your dashboard section. From your dashboard, you will be able to know if your name has been taken or not. Write your proposed business name in the Search section. From there you will be able to know if your proposed name is available or not.
If your proposed name is not available for use then you have to choose another business name. However, if your proposed business name is available(I.e If you can use the name) then you can proceed to the next step.

Step3. Go back to your dashboard and click on the reservation and go-ahead to fill the form and submit.
After submission, you will have to pay #500 (five hundred Naira) which can be done with your debit card. After the payment, your business name will be reviewed for approval. Name approval doesn’t take ages.

Step4. You will receive an email from the commission confirming your business name. At this point, your business name has been reserved for only you but the reservation elapses after 60 days.
The mail with also come with availability code which you can use to proceed with your registration. Finally, log in to your CAC account and click on the reservation, there you will see your business name has been reserved for you.

Step5. After that, you will then click on incorporation where you will be provided a form to fill. Fill all the necessary parts carefully. What you need here includes means of identification, your business category and so on.

When you get to Number of people to issue the certificate, choose 0 in the two boxes, after that, preview.

After previewing, you will have to pay a certain amount of which can be done with your debit card as well.

After payment, click on the dashboard and it will display “pending” click on pending and in front of your name you will see “Download Document for Signature and date”.

Step6. The document you just download will come in a PDF format. Input the date, signature and Passport photographs and then upload back with this page “docupload.cac.gov.ng/docUpload” on getting to this page, in this first box, input your “availability code” which was previously sent to your mail. Furthermore, choose your state just the same as your choice during registration, confirm you’re not a robot and click on begin.

Step7. Here, you will see your business name, then click on UPLOAD.
However, attach your form which is already in PDF format, choose a category, “business name from CAC and click done. BUT you’re not actually done. There is a section on that page where you can see the documents you add. Furthermore, that section should include four different documents which are Form, means of identification, receipt of payment and name availability approval note.

Choose one of the boxes and upload your means of identification which should be in PDF format. You can take a picture of your means of identification and convert the image you have to a PDF file. After making your ID in PDF click on attach and it will be uploaded immediately making you have two documents altogether.

The third document to attach is the receipt you got when you obtain your business name. This document is in PDF file already, all you need do is just to click on attach. You can find the receipt in your mail.
Finally, get your name availability approval note in your account.

Click on the dashboard, then click on the reservation, you will see ” approval note” download it on your computer and upload it and choose availability printout.

Step8. After successfully attached the four documents, click on submit. You will receive approval mail as soon as possible. Though it can take hours.

Once you’re approved you will receive another mail in a few days asking you to come to pick up your certificate.
If anything goes wrong along the line, they will always message you for possible solutions.

Image of cac certificate on the post how to register a company name in Nigeria

Those are the steps involved in getting a business name registered successfully.

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Conclusion on How to register Business Name in Nigeria

I think this is all you need for now to get your business name to yourself. Do get the name register as soon as possible cause there are lots of people who have the same ideas as you and might probably want to use the same name as yours. But as soon as you own the name first then you have an edge above all of them.


If you think this is too stressful or you don't have time to go through the above-listed steps, you can check on me to do it for you for a small fee.


Also, if you have anything we didn’t include in the writeup or you want us to know kindly let’s know through the comment section or on other platforms.
If you also have questions relating to this topic, kindly let’s know also.

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