New Update: All business name or company registration process is now done ONLINE, there is no need to submit any document again at the CAC office for filing. The new rules started in early 2021.
I have decided to share this because I never expect it to be so simple and stress-free. Before I proceed, I will like to share a funny story, between me and my lawyer. I called him to make an inquiry on how to open a legitimate business name for my consultancy service. He said it will cost me 100k. I was speechless for about 20seconds because the fee was too expensive. The lawyer told me to think of two business names I wish to use and forward it to him so that he can start work. He then asked me to send an initial fee of 10,000 Naira to search for availability of the business names; I told him no problem.
Fast forward to how I eventually open a legitimate business name for my consultancy service.
Based on my experience, I can buoyantly tell you that you don’t need a lawyer, a Chartered Accountant, or an agent. All that you need is your ATM Master Card and a good internet connection. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has an online portal; this has really made life easier for all potential entrepreneurs and Businessmen in Nigeria.
Step by Step on how to register a company
The first step is to visit the CAC website
As a new customer, all that you need to do is to sign up,
NOTE: This is not a dating site or social media whereby fill fake information, therefore, kindly provide all necessary details accurately.
Search for the availability of Name
Click on ‘Name availability Search’ type in two names that are unique to your proposed business name and try to avoid cliché names.
While filling the form, use an active Email address and Phone number, after which you will then submit the form.
This process (Search for availability of Name) would cost you N500 and can be paid using your master card, visa card, verve card, online banking etc.
Mine took less than two working days before it was approved.
Note: if your proposed business name is not unique or already exists, it will be disapproved. If disapproved try again with a different and more unique name with another N500
STEP 3: Register the Business name. Once the business name is approved, all that you need to do is to proceed and register the business name. In order to do this, Login to your CAC account via their website, before then, an email will be sent to you. It contains “Your availability code for starting registration”
Log in to your account with CAC and once logged in click on ‘action’ and download the letter of approval from the CAC portal, open it and take note of the approval number.
Go back to the website, Click on ‘Registration’ on the top left of the webpage select business name and paste the number from the approval document in the space provided click on enter. Under the “Proprietors of business” Ensure you know the nature of the business, proprietors of the business and all other relevant information accurately.
NOTE: filling of the form has been made flexible in such a way that you can even ‘save and exit’ whenever you have difficulties.
Another important step to take note is the “NATURE OF BUSINESS” section
When it comes to the nature of the business ensure that you type in three (3) nature of the business and it is always a good idea to add General contracts so you do not need to get another business name in the future as General contracts encompass everything.
If you make any mistakes, it means that you will pay an additional cost of N6000 to get it changed and it was a stressful process.
Now one important thing is when asked if you need additional copies of Certified true copy and documents, select Zero as this is applicable to only those who are registering a limited liability company.
Submit the form and Pay N10, 000 for the business name using your ATM card. You would be given a form to submit to the CAC office in your selection.
After submission, the application will be reviewed, and if there are no mistakes, the application will be approved.
NOTE: There is no more physical submission or filing at the CAC office again, as everything is now online (including downloading of the CAC certificate).