Why you need to register your business and how

Benefits of registering your business and a step-by-step process on how to

How to register your business:

The first step you need to take after coming up with your new business name and figuring out whether it will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or Limited Liability Company is to submit two name options to the CAC to check if they are available. If it is, follow the steps to register each type of business.

1. Registering a sole proprietorship

A sole proprietor or trader is a business owner that is not legally separate from the business. Essentially, the profits or losses of the business can be absorbed by its owner. Setting up a sole proprietorship is easy and can be done both online and offline at the Corporate Affairs Commission office. Sole Proprietorships are suitable for micro-small, small businesses, and professional businesses (law, accountancy, photography, etc) owned by one person.

How to register online

  • Visit the CAC website and navigate to the online registration portal
  • In the portal, search to see if the business name is available
  • Register for an account
  • Do an availability check and name reservation
  • Choose the business name and an alternative one in the event that it is not approved.
  • Fill in the rest of the form with the required information: Approved name, General nature of the business, Full address of the principal, place of business, Proposed date of commencement of the business, Passport size photographs of the owners; and Proficiency certificate (If required)
  • Click on ‘Submit’

How to register offline

To register for a business name offline, you do not require the services of a lawyer. You simply need to go to the nearest Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria (CAC) office, fill in the registration form with other required documentation, and pay a registration fee.

  • Business Name Registration Form — N250
  • Fee for Registration of Business Name — N10,000

2. How to register a Limited Liability company

First, you would need to list all the potential company names you intend to use. They will be checked for availability and your preferred available one can be chosen. Next, find a reputable legal practitioner and chartered accountant that will aid and guide you in filling the forms and getting all the documents required in registering a business.

  • Statement of Share Capital
  • Return of Allotment to each Shareholder
  • Details of the first Director
  • Details of the Business
  • Details of the Company Secretary (not necessary)
  • Memorandum and Article of Association
  • Evidence of payment to CAC

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