This post is about how you can register your company in Nigeria and rest assured that your business is a legal entity, and that way, you can focus on building your business into a successful registered company in Nigeria while making money.
Do you want to take your business to the next level and you feel it’s high time you registered your business here in Nigeria where you operate?
This post will explain how you can easily register your company in Nigeria in just a few short steps.
At the end of the post, I will share some 53 simple business ideas that you can start in Nigeria with very little. That will be my little bonus for you.
Now, let’s get to our main business of helping you to register your company in Nigeria.
Let me, first of all, assure you that registering a company in Nigeria in recent times has become very much simplified.
This is unlike what was obtainable years ago when it used to be a little cumbersome to register a business in Nigeria – thanks to the internet and advance in technology.
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How to register a company in Nigeria – step by step
All companies operating in Nigeria must be registered in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which is the principal law that regulates companies in Nigeria.
The requirements for registering a company in Nigeria as I said are very simple and easy.
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the commission in charge of the regulation and supervision of the registration of companies in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the commission was established pursuant to the provisions of Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA.
There are 2 types of companies that a person may want to register – private and public companies.
In most cases, a private company is owned by the company’s founder/s, management, or a group of private investors.
A public company, on the other hand, is a company that has sold all or a portion of itself to the public via an initial public offering.
In this article, I will take you through register a private company because most businesses belong to this category in Nigeria, especially, initially.
Talking about private companies, there are 3 types of private companies- a company limited by shares; a company limited by guarantee, and an unlimited company.
Again, most businesses in Nigeria are private companies limited by shares.
So, in this article, I will focus on registering private companies in Nigeria limited by shares.
How to register a company in Nigeria – get a business name
The first step you need to take to set up your business in Nigeria as a legal entity is to choose an appropriate business name for your business.
No business can be registered without a name so you should choose at least three names so that if one name is not available, then you could pick the second or third name you’ve chosen.
After choosing a suitable name for your company, you will submit it to the CAC website to check for its availability.
Like I said, usually, you should submit two or three names so that if one is taken, the other might be available.
Reasons a name may be rejected range from names that already exist with the CAC; names that are confusing, or includes prohibited words such as ‘National’, ‘Federal’, ‘Government’ or ‘Holdings’.
If you want to register your business with these sorts of names, you would need special permission. It normally takes up to a week to complete the process of business name registration in Nigeria.
How to register a company in Nigeria – prepare the MOA (Memorandum of Association)
The second step you need to take when you are registering your business is to prepare an MOA.
Preparing an MOA and other related documents based on the goals of your new company is the responsibility of your lawyer. So, a lawyer is in the best position to help you handle this step.
The lawyer would request the names of the initial subscribers, directors as well as the shareholders of your business.
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.
You may want to enlist the service of a lawyer that you know to help you with this.
How to register your Company in Nigeria – fill your pre-registration form
The next step you would take after the documents have been duly prepared is to fill a form by the CAC.
You will mention all the necessary details inquired from you about your business and then submit it to the CAC together with all the required documents.
Your lawyer or an accountant can be completely responsible for filing the documentation with the CAC after the company is registered.
Below is the process of documentation to be followed:
- All directors must fill the Particulars of Director form [Form CAC 7]
- One director must fill the Statement of Share Capital and Return of Allotment form [Form CAC 2]
- One director and the Company Secretary have to fill the Notice of Situation/Change of Registered Address form [Form CAC 3]
- 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]
- At least 2 directors have to fill the form appointing a Company Secretary for the company.
How to register your company in Nigeria – Pay for Stamp duty and filing fee
The next step you need to take after filling all the necessary registration forms and the preparation of the MOA is the payment of stamp duty.
Stamp duty is usually paid at a designated bank in Nigeria into the account of the Federal Inland Revenue Services.
After the payment has been successfully made, you can proceed to the Stamp Duty Commission.
There, 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.
How to register your company in Nigeria – Upload scanned copies of documents
You are almost done registering your company in Nigeria but you have to take the next simple step which is to you get the signed scan copy of your pre-registration documents uploaded.
These are the documents we talked about in step 3 above. You can simply follow the instructions and upload them.
Once you have uploaded these documents, the next and final step is to submit all the originals of the documents which were scanned above:
Memorandum and Articles of Association
Recognized form of identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
Evidence of payment to CAC.
There are other questions you may have about how to register a business in Nigeria. The answers below will greatly help.
What is the cost of registering a company in Nigeria?
The cost of registering a company in Nigeria depends on the type of company. The fee for reserving the name of your company is 500 Naira.
If you try more than once, you may pay times two of that amount, depending on
how many times you try registering a business name.
That’s why you need to choose a very unique name in the first place so you don’t incur unnecessary costs.
For registering a private company limited by shares – the one we discussed in this article, it will cost you N10,000.
So altogether, you may budget about N15,000 to get a business name and register your company.
Which organization registers business in Nigeria?
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
Established in 1990, the CAC is the government agency that registers and maintains the registry of business names and companies in Nigeria.
Do well to visit their website to find out more about them.
Any other organization that registers business in Nigeria is not recognized! Don’t be deceived.
Can a foreigner own a company in Nigeria?
To register a subsidiary or a foreign-owned company in Nigeria is similar to the process to register a local business entity, with a few exceptions.
This process is governed by the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 (“CAMA”) in Nigeria as amended.
A foreign company can be established in Nigeria for business as a secondary establishment, for instance as an office, agency, branch, or subsidiary.
Such a company must fulfill certain legal requirements to obtain local incorporation of the Nigerian branch or subsidiary as a separate legal entity.
Foreign company registration in Nigeria is the only means a foreign entity can acquire a separate legal entity in Nigeria and legitimately carry on business.
Every foreign individual seeking to engage in any form of business in Nigeria must also incorporate a company.
They must also meet other requirements to set up a business in Nigeria as stipulated by requisite laws.
Also, a foreign company or foreign national would normally not be permitted to carry on business in Nigeria or exercise any of the powers of a registered company until it is incorporated.
Benefits of registering a business in Nigeria
The benefits of registering your business in Nigeria are numerous. In fact, registering your business gives you peace of mind.
It gives you the confidence that your business is authorized and you can grow your business as much as possible.
Also registering your business in Nigeria gives you:
- Opportunity to apply for loans and grants. These opportunities will be difficult to access by businesses that are not registered.
- It becomes easy for you to hire team members. You can even recruit from NYSC camp and pay a limited amount of salary compared to if you employed them directly.
- You can open an account in your company name
- You have the opportunity to enter incubation and accelerator programmes for entrepreneurs
- Your customers take your business seriously and can trust you.
- You also get legal liability protection, etc.
So, like I did promise at the beginning of the post, I will share with you 53 profitable business ideas that you can start in Nigeria with N100k or less. So here we go below:
- Production and sales of hand sanitizers
- Mini importation business
- Daycare Services
- Laundry Services
- Car wash business
- Computer repair
- Phone repairs
- Interior Décor
- Raw Foodstuff sale
- Raw Fruits sal
- Cooking and delivery
- Weight loss consultancy
- Frozen Food Sales
- Production & Sales of bedsheets & pillowcase
- Production & sales of skincare products
- Production & sales of organic drink
- Production of hand wash
Here are the other 36 profitable business you can do with N100,00k in Nigeria.
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