Business Registration In Nigeria

How to register your business online in Nigeria with ease and by yourself

A business name may also be referred to as a “Trade Name” and it is the name or title by which an individual, firm or company carries on business operations.

The process of registering a Business Name or Enterprises as most people like to call it in Nigeria is now fairly friendly, and business owners, startups, or entrepreneurs can now set up their business enterprises by themselves without the help of any professional.

Please note it is a MUST for you to register your Business Name in Nigeria otherwise you will be violating the provisions of the Company and Allied Matters Act, (CAMA) 2020 except your Business Name falls within the permitted exceptions. Read … to know if your Business Name falls within the category of Business Names that are permitted to operate without registration in Nigeria.

A business name or enterprises MUST be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, popularly known as CAC, which was established by the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) as the Body saddled with the responsibility of registering business entities in Nigeria.

In this guide, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to register a business name or enterprises with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.

Step-By-Step Process on How to Register a Business Name or Enterprises by Yourself

The entire process of registration can be done online from the comfort of your home or office without needing a printer or the services of a cyber cafe if you have access to your own internet supply; and depending on the prevailing circumstances, the entire process can be completed in one day.

The following documents are required to complete the registration of your Business Name in Nigeria:

1. Any government-approved ID card for the proprietor(s),
2. Passport photograph,
3. Signature specimen you will, however,
4. Internet Connection; and
5. A payment card to process payment via the Commission website using REMITA.

To register your Business Name or enterprise yourself, follow the guide below one after the order while bearing in mind the attached NOTES.

Step 1. Conduct a Name Search

Conduct a comprehensive name search via the FREE search tools to weigh the probabilities of the availabilities of the names you desire for your business enterprise using this link – Public Search.

NOTE: This search is important to confirm that your desired names are not already registered or similar to one already registered by a different entity, and this will save you from wasting time and money to apply for an already registered name or one similar to a registered name as that will lead to a denial of your application to have your desired name registered.

Once you are convinced that your desired names are not already registered or similar to an already registered name then proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Login or Create a User Account

Login to your user account to access your dashboard on the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Portal using your “User Name” and “Password” via Login or create an account if you do not have an account yet using the Register link.

NOTE: Ensure no word appears twice in the address you supply while creating your user account to avoid having your applications much after you have commenced registration.

Step 3: Apply for a Name Reservation

Apply to have your proposed names reserved using the Application link.

NOTE: You will be required to supply 2 proposed names, however only one will be approved for reservation. It is important to ensure your desired names does not fall under the categories of restricted or prohibited names. It is equally important to make the appropriate selections from the options available e.g., whether the reservation is for new incorporation, or it is a sole proprietorship or partnership. You should note that if your application for a name reservation is denied then you will have to repeat the process by submitting another 2 proposed names and pay another reservation fee to reserve a name.

Step 4: Fill In the Registration Details

Upon reservation of the proposed names by the Corporate Affairs Commission, proceed to your user dashboard to complete the registration process.

To proceed with the registration, you can click on the “Start Registration” button if the button shows in front of the reserved name under the Approved Names tab, and just proceed accordingly to complete your registration.

If there is no “Start Registration” button showing across the reserved name under the Approved Names tab then click on the availability note, copy the availability code, proceed to your dashboard, locate the button for starting a new company registration and click on it, then paste the availability code you have just copied into the name bar at the top, the reserved name will pop up and you can click on it and proceed with your registration accordingly.

NOTE: Ensure to select the right category for your business and do not repeat any word while typing in the needed addresses to avoid possible query on your applications. Be sure to also enter the appropriate nature of your business as well as the current personal details and that of your co-proprietor in the case of a partnership.

Step 5: Upload Necessary Documents

Upload all the necessary documents. A regular registration will only require the ID card, passport photographs and signature specimens of the proprietors.

NOTE: If your line of business is one that requires special documentation such as proficiency certificate, license to operate in that line of business or some form of approvals, it is advisable that you secure such documents from the appropriate Bodies or have them secured or drafted by a competent corporate lawyer as the case may be.

Step 6: Make Payment

Pay the required registration fee upon completing filling in all necessary details and uploading all necessary documents.

NOTE: The requirement to download your incorporation documents, affix passport photograph and sign, and login to a separate Documents-Upload portal to upload signed documents, ID cards and other accompanying documents have been abolished.

Step 7: Download and Print Your Business Name Registration Certificate 

If your application is in order, the Corporate Affairs Commission will approve the application and you can proceed to download your Certificates and incorporation documents from your dashboard and print it at your convenience.

NOTE: The requirement to physically visit the Corporate Affairs Commission and submit printed copies of incorporation documents in exchange for incorporation certificate has been dispensed with.

It is important to mention that a registered Business Name can be operated nationally; it is not state-bound therefore it does not have to be registered in each state where the proprietor(s) plan to carry on their business endeavours.

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