The days when you need an agent to help you register your business name in Nigeria are over. In the past, people preferred to use agents because of the complicated procedures involved and of course, the length of time it would take to get your business registration certificate if you were not greasing the right palms – if you know what I mean.

But now the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the agency in charge of business registration in Nigeria, has revamped its services and set up procedures that now make it easy for anyone to register a business name in Nigeria from the comfort of their homes.

So no more lawyers and chartered accountants who you’ll have to pay sometimes as much as N100,000 to register your business name. This article will show you how you can register a business name for just N10,500 in Nigeria.

How to Successfully Register a Business Name in Nigeria in 7 Steps

Step 1: Select Three (3) Potential Business Names

Nigeria is a very large country with millions of businesses so you can’t be too sure that no one has taken up your proposed business name already. Only one business is allowed to use a name at a time so if your preferred name is already taken, you’ll have to find another name.

But you don’t want to waste too much time brainstorming name ideas so you should just do it once, and come up with three unique names so that if one is taken, you’ll just easily switch to the next one.

Step 2: Gather Other Necessary Documents and Information

Along with your business name, you’ll need other information like:

  1. The nature of business- the type of business that you do. It always helps to add “General Contractors” so that if you decide to expand or diversify your business in the future, you’ll have no problem using the same business registration documents.
  2. Principal Place of Business or Address. If you’re renting a place, it’s best to use your permanent home address or that of a trusted family member or friend so that even if you move from your rented office space to another address, your permanent address will still be valid.
  3. Signature
  4. Name of business proprietor (s)/owners
  5. Passport photographs of the business proprietors (owners)
  6. Residential address of the business proprietors or owners (You can use the address of where you currently live whether its rented or permanent).

Step 3: Create Your Account

The next step is to create a user account on the portal. It is from this account that you’ll manage your registration. To create your account, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to services.cac.gov.ng
  2. Locate “Create Account” button on the page and fill the displayed form correctly.
  3. Enter your accreditation number in full but if you are not yet an accredited user, enter your approved means of ID which could be your permanent voters registration card, international passport or Driver’s license.
  4. Enter Captcha and click on submit.
  5. Go to your email box and get your username and password from the mail sent to you by CAC.
  6. Log in with the details, and accept the terms and conditions displayed.
  7. Change your password to something more personal.
  8. Your account is created and ready for use.

Step 4: Check for Business Name Availability

Now, you have to check to see if any of the three names that you’ve chosen are available before you move on to the next stage. You can easily do this by following these steps:

  1. Click on “home page” from your account.
  2. Type out your proposed names in the boxes provided.
  3. Click on “Proceed” and fill in other details.
  4. Click on “Next” and confirm that the details you provided are correct.
  5. Pay the sum of N500 only for the process. You can pay with your regular bank debit or credit card or with “REMITA”
  6. To confirm that your payment has been received, click on “reservation history”
  7. Click on “Action” on the right hand side of the name you reserved.
  8. Click “Check status” to see if your payment has been received.
  9. After two days, come back to confirm if your proposed name has been approved. Just click on “Check my reservation history” to confirm.
  10. If it has been approved, click on “action button” and download the approval code and note.

It helps to tweak your preferred name and make it as unique as you possibly can. This is because even if the names are not the same, if there are too many similarities that may make it too difficult for people to differentiate between both businesses; your business name may be rejected.

Step 5: Fill Your Application Form

  1. From your portal, click on the “registration button” on the top-left side of the page and select “Business name”
  2. Enter the approval code and click on “continue registration”
  3. Fill the forms correctly.
  4. Select zero when it asks if you need certified true copy. This is only for Limited Liability Company Registration.
  5. Make payment online using your cards or REMITA.
  6. Click on “Action Button” to download and print the registration documents.
  7. Sign the documents along with your partners (if you have any)

Step 6: Upload Signed Documents

Now, you have to upload the documents that you have signed, along with your passports.

  1. Attach passport photographs to the documents.
  2. Scan the following documents, Filled and duly signed; BN/1 form, approval note, copies of approved ID cards, receipt of payment, copies of ID cards, certificate of proficiency for professional practice.
  3. Visit http://docupload.cac.gov.ng
  4. Enter your availability code and choose the nearest CAC office to you. This is where you’ll go to pick your registration certificate.
  5. Enter the Captcha and select “Begin”
  6. Upload and attach all documents.
  7. Click on “List of Documents” to review and confirm that all documents have been attached.
  8. Click on submit.

That’s it, the process is complete, all that is left is for you to wait until you receive an e-mail from CAC informing you that your business name has been registered, and your registration certificate is now ready for collection.
The entire process shouldn’t take more than 6 weeks at best, and would cost you only N10,500.

7 Steps on How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria