How to Register a Company in Nigeria: 5 Step GuideAbbakin
You are looking for detailed information on how to register a company in Nigeria right? New business owners and startup entrepreneurs are also asking the different between business name registration and company incorporation.
Many business owners usually find themselves fixed when it comes to decisions about the business registration processes and how they can get started. They are not just sure which type of business structure would work best for them too.
Regardless of your place of business or jurisdiction, we have discussed the basic Types of Business Organisations for your understanding; each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Your ability to choose the best business options will also depends on whether your business is going to be a non-profit making venture or profit oriented kind of business.
This article will look at the important steps on how to register a company in Nigeria, such as a limited liability company, a public company, a religious organisations or associations.
For small business enterprises, you can read more on how to register a business name in Nigeria.
Now let get started;
How to Register a Company in Nigeria with Corporate Affairs Commission
The Nigeria Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the regulatory body responsible for the formation, registration, control and overall monitoring of the affairs of companies in Nigeria.
The Commission is established under Section1: (1) and (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA 1990); a legal framework for the control of the activities of companies in Nigeria.
The Commission has its corporate headquarter at Abuja (the Federal Capital Territory), with branches in various state capitals in Nigeria such as: Lagos, Kano, Benin, Owerri, Jos, Enugu, etc.
With regards to corporate matters (according to the CAC), only accredited legal practitioners, chartered accountants and chartered secretaries who are duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission are the professionals allowed to transact business with the commission.
However, business individuals or partners may also start out their business registration processes if they think this is the best way to go.
You can start your business pre-registration processes online by visiting the CAC official website and entering your preferred names in the search features. Though, the post-registration process is still manual.
The CAC is said to have created an enabling environment to allow customers register their businesses within 24 hours to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Nevertheless, what you need to understand is that the requirements to register your Company and the duration will depend on the business type.
For example, if your chosen business name is not already in use, it will be reserved for 60 days within which you are expected to finish your registration process.
Apart from the CAC also, some of such other relevant agencies that may influence your decisions about starting a business in Nigerian includes:
- The Nigeria Custom Service,
- The Nigeria Immigration Service,
- The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),
- The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and
- The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
How to Register a Limited Liability Company in Nigeria
What is a Limited Liability Company?
The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most important unit of business organisations in Nigeria. It is a legal entity separate from its members or owners.
Here the liability of its owners is restricted only to the amount of unpaid share capital contributed to the business.
In Nigeria, a limited company can be formed by at least two (2) persons who are not less than 18 years old, and who are not bankrupt, not insane among other things.
Such registration also must be in line with the provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, (CAMA 1990), as amended.
The process of setting up this kind of company is referred to as registering or incorporating a company – which is usually costly and involves more documentation and time than other types of business structures like sole proprietorship or partnership.
Now, below are the steps on how to register a company in Nigeria and proceeds one step at a time.
How to Register a Company in Nigeria
Step One: Prepare your Documents
If you’re incorporating a Limited Liability Company in Nigeria, one of the first steps you must take is to prepare some specific documents, which must meet strict requirements.
Some businesses (e.g those Limited by Guarantee) also require you to file an operating agreement, which is similar to a partnership agreement (detailing how the corporation will run, including the responsibilities of the shareholders, directors and officers).
In the other hand, partnership is the relationship that exists between persons with a common goal of carrying out a business. If you’re thinking of towing this path, safeguard your investment by having a written and duly registered partnership agreement with your partners.
There is another type of company that is under the part B of CAMA known as Incorporated Trustee which is a little bit complex. Under this incorporated trustee also you can equally decide to register churches, associations, clubs and other Non Government Organizations (NGOs) if that is what you want.
If it’s a school, firm, hospital or a professional training firm, there should be a proficiency certificate as required by CAC to process the certificate of incorporation.
Additional, if you want to register a Public Limited Company (PLC), this will mean a higher legal, accounting, tax service costs and enough paper works. You may be required to hold directors meetings and annual shareholders’ meetings, etc. as stated in the company formation and filling documents.
If you are not familiar with how to prepare some of your business registration documents, we advise that you seek the guidance from reliable legal professionals to help you.
Step Two: Conduct a Business Name Check
To register LLC in Nigeria, visit the CAC office nearest your state of residence and request for name reservation or name availability check.
You can start your business name registration process online also. If you want to check for availability of the proposed company name on the CAC website now (click here).
Step Three: Pay the Filing Fees
Once you have completed the name search and registration processes, you are to pay the filing fees at the Corporate Affairs Commission or online.
Please ensure that your application forms clearly stating the business name and other derails before making payments.
You will also pay the statuary Stamp Duty fee to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). To pay the company filing fees to CAC now Check the Fees for Services here
Note: You can actually complete most of these steps on the CAC’s Company Registration Portal
Step Four: Upload Pre-Registration Documents
Prepare the signed, scanned copies of your pre-registration documents for upload as follows:
- Form CAC1.1
- Memorandum and Article of Association (MEMART)
- Proficiency certificate (where applicable)
- Recognized form of Identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
- Stamp duty certificate
- Evidence of payment to CAC
To upload the scanned documents for processing now: (click here)
Step Five: File Your Supporting Documents
You must file a memorandum of association, articles of organization and some other supporting documents at the CAC office or the state where you intend to do the business.
Since it’s a Limited Liability Company, you will submit a copy of the identity cards of the directors also.
This is the time to submit all the original copies of the documents uploaded at step 4 to the CAC office you had selected.
Once you have completed the company registration processes, you will be issued your Certificate of Incorporation and the Certified True copies of the documents.
If everything goes well, this company registration process is not expected to go beyond 14 business days.
Wrapping Up: How to Register a Company in Nigeria
We hope these tips have helped most entrepreneurs and foreign investors who are thinking of doing business in Nigeria or stating a business with these steps on how to register a Company in Nigeria.
Registering your business as a limited liability company in Nigeria or so makes your business gain customers trust, and business funding opportunities when necessary.
It also protects your personal assets against liabilities and claims due to failures and business debts.
With the CAC portal, your intending business partners may check if your Company is legitimately Registered in Nigeria or Not.
So, when do you pan to register your company in Nigeria?
The limited liability company (LLC) is the popular and preferred legal structure to choose in carrying on most businesses in Nigeria.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend that you run your business for some time before formalizing the business structure. This is because you business idea may change after some time and this will definitely affect your registered name at the long run.
But, if you have registered as a sole proprietorship business and wish to migrate to private limited company or vice versa, this is still allowed by law.
Abbakin provides Business Development Services for startup entrepreneurs and businesses that have investment interests in Nigerian economy.
Our services include niche market research and business plan services, office supplies and business registrations with relevant authorities such as the CAC, NAFDAC, and SON.
Contact us now if you need help growing your business in Nigeria.
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