Business registration in Nigeria is a central process done through a Federal Commission. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was established under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to regulate the formation and operations of companies in Nigeria, the commission oversees the registration of companies & and businesses and post-incorporation matters.
The most suitable form of incorporation for an individual seeking to start a business in Nigeria is a private company limited by shares, it is also the most suitable form of business venture recommended for any foreigners seeking to establish a business in Nigeria, either as a foreign direct investment or portfolio investment.
However, a Nigerian citizen can also register a business name(enterprise), which does not possess the characteristic of a separate legal personality, unlike a company. A foreigner or foreign-owned entity cannot register a mere business name, foreigners seeking to commence a business in Nigeria must register a company (LLC), which must not be less than NGN10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) authorized share capital.
There have been various developments concerning business registration in Nigeria. Incorporation certificates downloadable online have been introduced, and the requirements for incorporation have been simplified to an extent since 2021.
Requirements for Registration of Company in Nigeria
Below are the requirements an applicant must provide to commence the registration of a company in Nigeria:
- The registered address of the proposed company
- Email and phone number of the proposed company
- Forms of identification such as International Passports and driver’s licenses of the directors/ shareholders.
- Approval note of name reservation from CAC
- Director(s) & shareholders(s) full names, residential address, occupation and date of birth.
- Objects of the company
- Details of the company secretary (mandatory for only a foreign-owned entity)
- Incorporation certificate and company resolution where another registered company (either local or foreign) will be a shareholder or subscriber to the proposed company.
For registration of the company, the below are the steps required:
- Login to CAC Portal https://www.cac.gov.ng/
- Submission of two desired company names for the search
- Preparation incorporation documents
- Complete the Pre-registration form and statement of share capital
- Payment of the Stamp duty and filing Fee
- Uploading relevant documents
- Submission of registration application online.
- When the registration is approved, the electronic incorporation certificates and other incorporation documents will be issued by CAC.
In addition,local persons seeking to register a business name, the requirements for the registration are similar. A business name does not have shareholders and directors, but rather proprietor(s). The proprietor of a proposed business name must also provide similar requirements listed above for the registration.
Finally, the CAC registration must be carried out strictly in compliance with the authorized share capital required for each business. For instance, a company intending to engage in a shipping business must have a minimum of 25 Million Naira authorized share capital.
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