by Shikenan Staff Writer: Abimbola Kuti   on Fri, August 19, 2011  - 2 COMMENTS


As we know too well, Nigeria is a country where anything and everything goes.  Anybody can start a business just like that in Nigeria anytime without permits, registration and license. However, it is always better and safe to be on the side of the so called convenient Nigerian laws. It might save you from future harassment and just in case you never know what might happen in the future and you will need some documents to show you are legal.

So if you are thinking of starting a business in Nigeria, it is probably best to register it first. There are due procedures that must be followed, because of these procedures, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was established as a government agency with the responsibilities of company registrations in Nigeria, securing business names, and incorporate trustees, following the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990 (CAMA).

Although, all companies and businesses are required to register at some point, one can start a company first before applying to the CAC for registration.


Under the CAMA Act through which the CAC was established, there are certain accredited professionals who are given the right to conduct business on behalf of the general public. These professionals include:


  • Lawyers
    Chartered accountants
    Chartered secretaries
    Members of the Nigerian Institute of Management

    Entrepreneurs looking to register their company can reserve and register their chosen company name at the CAC office. However, when the time comes for proper registration of your company, you might still need professional advice in order to submit the right documents. You should also make sure that any professional that assists you is accredited by the CAC by asking them for their accreditation number.



Registration of companies comes in various forms, each with a precise procedure that must be followed to the letter.



Registration of Business Name (VENTURE):


This is the cheapest form of registration in Nigeria today.

Checking of preferred name availability

Submission of duly completed application with two passport photographs

Generation of online form

Verification and assessment of online form

Payment of filing fees

Duration: The CAC generally takes up to 30 days to confirm the availability of your desired company name.

Name Reservation: After you have been informed that your name is available, you will then have 90 days to pay for the name to reserve it. However, if you fail to do so within the stipulated time, you will have to purchase the re-validation form so the CAC can re-verify the name availability.

Registration of Public Companies (LTD): These are companies that are owned by an individual or group of people. It could be in any one of these four formats:

Private Limited Company (LTD)

Public Limited Company (PLC)

Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE)
Unlimited Company (ULTD)


To register in any of the four formats above, one must do the following:

Assure availability of and reserve name.
Complete the registration form.
Provide stamp duty payment to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
Submit stamped Memorandum and Articles of Association with the registration forms for verification and assessment.

There are additional steps to be taken when converting from a private limited company to any other type of company, including:

    • Registration of Incorporated Trustees (INCORPORATION)
      Insuring availability and reservation of name
      Procurement and completion of application
      Publication of notices in three daily newspapers, two national dailies and one local newspaper widely circulated in the area where the association is based. The publication should state the name of the association, its trustees and the calling for objections to the registration of the association.
      Submission of duly completed typed application

You will need to go to the CAC if you want to do any of the following:

Converge or re-register a private company as a public company
Re-register a company limited by shares as an unlimited company
Re-register a public company as a private company
Change the business’ name
Re-register an unlimited company as limited by share
Change the trustees
Register associations and unions

If you hire a professional to file on your behalf – Charges varies based on the person
To register for a business name ---N15, 000 - N20, 000.
To register as a LTD or Inc., the charges will be based on how much the company is worth. For instance, If it is worth a million naira, the fee will be between N80, 000 and N100,000.
You are required to pay a specific amount of money annually depending on the type of registration you choose. The professional you hire will be more knowledgeable on the fees.

Hopefully this article will help you in navigating registering a company in Nigeria.

We want to hear from you!
Have you registered your company in Nigeria? What other advice do you have for our readers? What other questions do you have about registering your company in Nigeria? Please comment below!



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