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On October 2, 2018, the Vice President disclosed a special window of 90 days for businesses to be registered at NGN5,000 instead of the usual NGN10,000. That window started on 1st of October 2018 and will end on the 31st day of December 2018.

The window is a landmark in the campaign for ease of doing business in Nigeria. Entrepreneurs should tap into the opportunity so they can operate bank accounts in their business name and access other opportunities open to registered entities.

This article summarises:

  • The FG’s directive;
  • Practical insights into how entrepreneurs can enjoy the arrangement; and
  • How to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  1. The FG’s Directive and Effect on Businesses

As explained by the Vice President, a lot of MSMEs find it difficult to register their business as a result of cost. Before the initiative, an Applicant pays NGN10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) as filing fee. By the initiative, you may now be able to register your business name registration with a little above NGN5,000. Although that sum does not include the cost of name reservation and other expenses. The incentive does not cover incorporated company registration. See my article Amazing Differences between Business Name and Limited Liability Company Registration. Neither does it apply to the registration of not-for-profit organisations. You can view my article How to Register your NGO, Church, Mosque and other Associations with CAC.

  1. How can you enjoy the Incentive?

Get your business registered before 31st of December, 2018. It is safer to do it now as waiting until around the close of the incentive period may be risky. If you delay, you may end up trying to get your name reserved and then the window closes. So, a stitch in time saves nine!

  1. How to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission

First thing first, you need to get your business name reserved. Below is a step by step guide on how to reserve your business name:

  1. Visit CAC’s registration portal: https://services.cac.gov.ng
  2. At the top right corner of the page, click on REGISTER to create an account. Fill the boxes and click REGISTER
  3. You will receive a link in your email. Click on the link to activate your account.
  4. Once you activate account, click on LOGIN and enter your login details
  5. Click the link under “reserve a name”
  6. Fill in relevant information (under “classification” and “specific type” choose BUSINESS NAME)
  7. Do the following preliminary things before starting the registration process:

– Please check my article 6 Practical Hints to Create a Registrable Business Name. It would help you adjust your choice name to become more suitable.

– Do a preliminary check at http://publicsearch.cac.gov.ng. The site documents all existing names in the archive of the CAC. If your choice name is similar to any, then you have to review. Once done, click on “save and continue” to go to the next page.

  1. Fill the business name you have in mind at the CAC portal, then click “save and continue”.
  2. Click NEW INCORPORATION under the heading “reason for availability search”. Check for the nature of business that resembles what you have in mind. There may be no need for additional remarks but if you have one you can fill and then move to the next page.
  3. Next is the “Presenter Details” page. Please fill your details in the boxes and then move to the next page. On the next page (“Preview”) you get to review the information you supplied and then make payment.
  4. Once payment is successful, the CAC will revert with an approval or denial of the application.

 

Let us assume that the CAC approved your business name. The next steps will guide you on how to register the approved business name:

  1. Login to the CAC portal and download approval note and payment receipt. Click “Reserved” under “Name Reservation”
  2. Go to “Dashboard”, scroll down to locate “Register a Company” and then click the link there.
  3. Copy your availability code from the downloaded approval note to begin registration
  4. Fill relevant details into the boxes, then choose certificate collection point. Prefer the CAC office nearest to your location. You do not have to fill spots for “certified true copies” but if you want extra copies, please go ahead. In that case, you may have to pay more than NGN5,000.00 (Five Thousand Naira).
  5. Preview your application and then make payment. Once your payment goes through you will be able to generate your business name form.
  6. Download the form and payment receipt, print in either coloured or black and white. Attach two passport photos on the photo spot, then sign and date the spot under your personal details. In the spot for “Attestation”, sign one of the spaces for PROPRIETOR. If there are two partners, you can sign one while your partner signs the other spot. Where there are more partners, two among the partners may sign the two spots.
  7. Scan the following documents (pdf):
  8. Completed registration form
  9. Payment receipts
  10. Means of Identification (International passport, driving licence, national ID card or voter card).
  11. Availability report.
  12. Visit http://docupload.cac.gov.ng to upload the documents.

Peculiar situations may call for extra steps. E.g. where the sole proprietor or partner is under 18years. Another is where an incorporated company is the sole proprietor or involved as a partner, etc.

Should you have difficulty at any point, you may reach the CAC customer care lines below: 09087401598, 08182298833, 08082824188, 08182298971, 08182299016, 09087401598, 09087401599/. Otherwise, you can mail cservice@cac.gov.ng


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