Registering your business is always a step that shows you are now serious with your business or business idea. But I have noticed that some people don’t always know how to go about this.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the body charged with the responsibility of registering businesses in Nigeria. It is not always easy to some people, getting their business registered with them, because of the rigorous processes and protocols that may be involved.
However, a recent advancement has really reduced the stress of business name registration in Nigeria, as you can now stay at your comfort and register your business with CAC, using your phone or computer, without having to visit any office or agent.
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What Is Business Name Registration?
Business Name registration is a legal process that certifies the owner or operation of a business to the public. It helps to tell the public about the owner of a business and how the business operates.
Agency Responsible For Business Name Registration In Nigeria
Business registration is run in many countries, and each has their own agency in charge of the registration, likewise here in Nigeria.
So here in Nigeria, the agency responsible for business name registration is known as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
CAC was established in 1990 and is an autonomous body that is entrusted with the responsibility of regulating the formation and management of businesses or companies in Nigeria.
CAC Affiliated Bodies
For CAC to carry out its responsibilities, there are affiliated bodies and members that helps them to achieve their tasks legally. So CAC caries out its function through accredited members of:👇
- Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
- Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN).
- The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
CAC Offices in Nigeria
CAC has branches in all the 36 States in Nigeria, so if you want to visit their office for any reason; just seek for their office in that particular State you are.
What Are The Benefits Of Registering Your Business With CAC?
Getting your business registered with CAC really has a lot of advantages to your business career. You are registering your business not just because your friends or other people did, there are actually reasons, importance or advantages that surrounds a registered business:
- Business name registration with CAC gives you the legal right as the true owner of your business, both the brand name and operational methods.
- Customers always have special and great trust for any registered business.
- Business name registration with CAC would really give you the opportunity for loans. With your registered business, you can easily source for loans or grants if need be, and can as well stand a chance to get help or support from the government if need be.
- You can easily get investors to invest in your business.
How Much Does Business Name Registration Cost In Nigeria?
If you want to register your business online without involving any agent, the average cost of registering a business ranges from N12,000 for business name registration, and may be higher for company or incorporated trustees.
Note that this cost may be higher if you are registering through an agent or agents.
Important Things You Should Know Before Choosing A Business Name
One of the best strength of a business is having a good brand name. Even naturally, name is very important in our lives, in the sense that the kind of name we bear has the power to affect our lives.
Many business starters always make mistakes here, thinking that choosing a business name is the easiest step in starting up a business. But this is actually a step that demands your time and your mind, in thinking out the best name that would give out the best in your business.
So while choosing a business name, you can look out for the following guides:
- Choose a name that would live beyond you, not the one that would die when you are no more.
- Make your business name to be very simple and easy for other people to remember.
- Choose a name that will last long.
- Choose a business name that can be used as a domain name.
- Your business name should reflect to what your business does.
Different Classes Of Business Registration With CAC
In registering your business with CAC, there are about 3 classes under which they can be registered; all depending on the nature and type of your business you want to establish.
So, during the registration, you are to choose any of the three categories below; all depending on the nature of your business. And also note that the cost of business registration may vary in each category.
- Business Name.
- Incorporated trustees.
Business name registrateration is majorly for Sole proprietorship and partnership businesses.
A Business Name means the name and style under which a business is carried on.
A Sole Proprietorship is a business that is owned and run by only one person, while a Partnership business is one that is run by a minimum of 2 and maximum of 20 persons. Partnership is a business that is owned and run by two or more Individuals or Corporate Bodies or a combination of Individuals and Corporate Bodies.
A Business Name does not enjoy legal personality and never separate from the owners.
A Company is a business arrangement which enjoys legal personality; it is a corporate body and separate from its members (owners).
A Company may be public or private. The name of a Company must end with the word “Limited” or “Limited by Guarantee” or “Unlimited” or their abbreviations (“Ltd or PLC” or “Unltd” or “Ltd/Gte”)
An Incorporated Trustees is the registered trustees of a Not-for-Profit Association.
The objects of the Association must be religious, educational, literary, scientific, social, developmental, cultural, sporting or charitable.
The Trustees are the legal representatives of the Association and can acquire property, sue and be sued in the name of the Association.
Documents Needed For Business Name Registration
Whether you want to register your business online or offline, there are always some documents that you are required to submit or upload.
These documents are:
- Valid means of Identify (this could be National ID Card, Driver’s license, National Passport, Voter’s Card, and son on).
- Your passport.
- Memorandum and Article of Association
How To Register Your Business With CAC Offline
Just as already pointed out, there are two methods on how to register a business name in Nigeria: these are Online and Offline.
However, in this section, I will be showing you how to do the registration offline.
- Choose your business or company name.
- Meet or connect with a reliable practitioner. It could be a legal practitioner, a chattered accountant or both.
- Visit any CAC authorized or accredited registration agency close to you.
- Collect the business registration form from the agency, fill it and submit with the required fee.
- Prepare a memorandum and article of association.
- Provide evidence of payment to the commission, and upload scanned documents for processing.
- Submit original uploaded documents in exchange for your certificate.
How To Register Your Business With CAC Online
In this section, we shall be discussing how to register business with CAC in Nigeria, without visiting any office. This can be done exclusively online using your phone or computer.
Having chosen a nice name for your your business or company, you can definitely get your business registered at your comfort, using your phone or computer, without visiting any office or agent.
Note: if you are using your mobile phone, you will have to turn your Web browser to “Desktop Mode, because some features of CAC website may not be displayed without the desktop mode.
1. Visit CAC gov ng New Portal
Due to the recent upgrade on CAC, there may be some challenges trying to access their old website:👇 https://www.cac.gov.ng
So because of this, you can now use the new functional website here 👇
Create Account On The New CAC gov ng portal
Before you would be able to do anything on the CAC gov ng portal, you must first have to create an account on the portal.
2. Search For Name Availability on the CAC gov ng portal.
Having created your account on the CAC gov ng portal, the next thing you should do is to search for name availability. This is also known as CAC public search. CAC public search is a process of searching on CAC website to know if a business or company has been registered.
Since there are a large number of people registering businesses almost on daily basis, there are always chances that the business name you chose may have been registered by another person.
Meanwhile the money you paid for the name reservation is not always refundable if the name you chose was not available, which means you will have to pay for another name reservation.
So to avoid this waste of time and money, there is always need to conduct CAC public search to know if the business name you chose has been registered already by another person. If it has been registered, then you will have to choose another name or better modify the name.
3. Log in And Pay For Name Reservation
Once you have searched and made sure that your chosen business name is free and has not been registered by any person, then the next thing you have to do is to proceed and pay for your business name reservation.
Normally, as long as you are applying directly through their official website, name reservation usually costs N500 to N600 only, which you may pay using your ATM or any other payment means.
After paying for name reservation, it usually takes up to 2 days for it to be approved or rejected.
But if unfortunately your application is denied for any reason, then you will have to fix the reason and apply and pay again for the name reservation.
Once your application is approved, your proposed business name will be reserved for you, and a reservation code will be issued to you which you will use during the main registrateration.
NB: Once your business name has been reserved, the name reservation would be cancelled after 60 days if you fail to proceed to the main registrateration.
4. Proceed To The Main Registration
Once your name has been reserved, you can now proceed to apply for the main registration of your business. In this, you will be expected to upload your Identity Card (any valid one), your passport, and any other relevant document.
The cost of the main business name registrateration is usually N10,000, which you may pay through your ATM Card or any other payment means. After which you will have to wait for approval, before your certificate would be available for printing.
After completing the application and payment for your business name registration, CAC would have to review your application to know if it is free from error. During this time, CAC would always issue you querry and tell you the particular errors you need to fix in your application before they would finally approve your business name registration.
Once CAC has approved your business name registration, your certificate will automatically be available on your CAC profile. You may not really need to visit any CAC office before you could access your CAC certificate.
All you need to do is to access the CAC gov ng login, and download the CAC certificate there. The interesting thing about this is that your certificate is always available there and you download it as many times as possible.
Incase you don’t know how to go about downloading your CAC certificate, you can follow the guide below:
Though the advantages of registering your business are always enormous, the processes and protocols involved in the process may be hectic sometimes. Even when you have the money to pay for the registration, yet the stress is never easy.
But this stress can actually be reduced by deciding to do the registration yourself, using your phone or computer; in this you may not have to visit any CAC office or agent.
Many people always ask if registering a business online and registering a business offline are the same. But the truth is that both of them are the same. Even if you choose to register through an agent or CAC office, each of them would still have to go through the same procedure of online registration in order to register the business for you.
We hope this article helps; do let us know if you face any challenge in the course of the registration.