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How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria

How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria
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Are you a Nigerian business man/woman who is about to setup a business (small or large medium enterprise)? Or do you already own an existing business but yet to register it legally? Do you wish to learn how to register a business name in Nigeria?

What if I told you that registering a business name in Nigeria is not as hard as some might tell you? In fact, it requires only a few simple steps? Is that hard to believe; I mean for this naija sha (lolz)

Truth is:

This is entirely real as in today’s article I will explain to you every detail you’ll need to register a business name in Nigeria without any form of difficulty.

Registering a business name in Nigeria is done by a body referred to as corporate affairs commission (CAC) and their offices can be found in all 36 states of  the nation including the federal capital territory(Abuja).

Why you need to register a business name

Before we examine the steps required for business name registration, it’s important we know the importance of registering a business name for our business.

  • Creation of a business bank account

Without you properly registering a business name, opening a business bank account will be almost impossible, as your business registration is one of the primary requirements required by banks before you are eligible to open a bank account.

Also, It is more serious looking and professional to give to a client your business name for payment than payment in full name.

  • Getting great loans

To apply for a business loan, evidence of a business name registration will be required. Investors and lenders will ask to see the registration document and other needed requirements before they can approve any form of the loan.

  • Build relationship with customers

Customers will begin to see you as a legitimate dealer and this would build a great relationship with them. They begin to see your business as an industry leader and this in turn increases your reputation.

  • Supplier arrangement

A business that is registered has a higher chance to get a discount compared to an unregistered business during trading. As a registered business, you stand to enjoy the wholesale rate when making a purchase.

  • You can bid for contracts

If own a business and you plan to bid for government contracts, your registered business name is usually one of the first requirements.

Still not seeing the importance of a business name registration?

With registration of a business name, it’s a win-win situation for your business (nothing to lose but everything to gain).  Since we have seen some of its advantages, let’s dive into the steps of registering a business name.


How to register a business name in Nigeria

How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria

Without the right kind of knowledge, registering a business name in Nigeria can be like wanting to fill a huge water tank with water from teaspoons (extremely difficult). However, we have made this post as simple as possible for you to enjoy and avoid any uphill task. In fact the steps explained below will reveal to you the easy and simple steps to getting your business name registered in Nigeria.

Step 1: Choose a business name

To register a business name, you must first choose a name for the business. Be creative by thinking about a name that’s not common but can be easily pronounced and remembered. This is the first step to successful biz name registration.

Most times, a lot of entrepreneurs have been disappointed when their name is rejected at the point of registration because the name has earlier been registered by another.

Once you come up with a perfect business name that’s not too long, short or too common, you save yourself from going through the process of checking the name availability again.

Step 2: Choose another name as an alternative

The CAC (corporate affairs commission) availability form presents you another option to input a second name you might consider should in case the first one is picked.

Step 3: Know the type of business you’re registering

The CAC availability form sells for NGN500 and will require you to include the following after inputting the proposed name:

  • Private limited company
  • Public limited company
  • Unlimited company
  • Change of name
  • Company limited by guarantee
  • Business name
  • Incorporate trustees

Knowing the type of business model you plan to run will make it a whole lot easier to pick from the options presented above in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) availability form.

Step 4: Do a follow-up

The corporate affairs commission name search begins immediately after submitting the CAC availability form. Normally it should be processed in days and you’ll be notified about it.

If after two weeks you have not heard or received a notification from them, I advise you do a follow up before someone gets ahead of you and register the name.

Step 5: Register the business name

After the corporate affairs commission (CAC) name search, you can go right ahead by registering the available name. Depending on the type of the business model, the services of a law firm may be required.

CAC registration fees

The CAC registration fees vary based on the type of business model you intend to do. The business name registration fees change as the body policy change.

So if you’re one that asks the following questions:

How much does it cost to set up a business name?

How much does it cost to register a limited company?

How much does it cost to incorporate your business?

How much would it to cost to register a business?

Then here are the fees from the CAC website:

How to Register a Business Name in Nigeria


What you need to take into consideration when registering a business name in Nigeria

  1. Avoid using tipest(correcting) fluid on the CAC availability form and file.

Mistakes and errors are bound to happen, but using correcting fluid makes the CAC form registration rough looking. So take your time, to fill the form so it can look tidy.

  1. Use business that has no restriction

Avoid registering a business name that requires a certificate as a backup unless you’re a certified person.

Words like consult, expert; guru, technician etc. should be avoided at all cost.

But if you’re left no options than to use such names, you can get a partner that meets the requirements from an approved or certified government institution and their councils.

For instance, when registering a hospital or pharmaceutical company, you’ll need to provide documents to verify that the owners are medical doctors or pharmaceutical practitioners with their proof of registration from the pharmaceutical council or medical association.

Here we go, do you enjoy reading steps on how to register a business name in Nigeria.


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