How I Registered Business Name with CAC Nigeria for Less than N5000


2015 Update: It now costs N10,500 for name search and business registration.  You can now also register your business online.

If you don't know, the business name: JidBiz International belongs to me and it was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Nigeria in 2011. I used the business name to open a current account with First Bank Nigeria and am currently using it for my online business. If you are a small business owner, please go and register your business name with CAC. The earlier, the better.

The CAC (http://www.cac.gov.ng, http://cacnigeria.org) regulates the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. It is empowered by the Nigerian law to handle all issues associated with company registration, business names, and incorporated trustees in Nigeria. If you want to register your business name in Nigeria without involving a third party ( eg laywer, agent etc), you will have to go directly to any of the CAC branches all across the country. CAC offices are mostly found in most of the state capitals in Nigeria.

Why Register a Business Name? 

Registering your business name is highly encouraged. It gives you the legality to use the name to do business. It will make so many people to have confidence in doing business with you. In fact, without a registered business name, you will not be able to do business with government parastatals and go into partnership with some big companies. If you run a business without registering it and you get involved in a legal battle, you will

The first time I tried registering my business name, I went to the CAC office in Lagos. I met an agent who discouraged me from doing it by myself, claiming it will take several months for me to even know if my business name is available or not. She sweet-mouth me so she can do it for me for a fee. I agreed and I paid her some of the money she demanded so she can get started asap.

Unfortunately, I couldn't follow up on the process because I moved down to Benue few days after paying her, to resume to my dream job. On getting to Benue, I visited the CAC office in Makurdi and I was able to register my business name by myself with less than N5, 000.

Business Registeration in Nigeria: The Steps

==> Walk in to any CAC office. Most are located in the state capitals. You can get the contact info of the CAC state offices at http://cacnigeria.org/jm/

==> Make sure you have at least three different unique names at hand before going to the CAC office

  • The names must not contain words like "National", "Government", "State", "Co-operative" etc
  • The names must not be similar to any business or trade mark already registered in Nigeria
  • The use of the word "Consulting" and registration of some professional services will require that you provide evidence of the relevant professional qualifications and/or registrations.  Please try avoiding such if you do not have such professional qualifications.

==> Tell the CAC staff you want to register your business name. You will be told to pay for the ‘Availability Check and Reservation of Name Form’ and file. Both costs  approximately N500. You can also download the form from http://cacnigeria.org/jm/.

Below is a screenshot of the form. Note that this might change with time.



==> Fill the form and submit. The CAC staff will guide you in filling it. You will be told to check back, after a week or two to know the fate of the business names submitted. In my own case, the CAC staff called my phone number after a week, to come to the office to finalize my registration.

This is the most challenging stage of the whole process because you can’t proceed to the next stage if your business name has not been approved. If CAC disapproves both names submitted, you have to buy another ‘Availability Form’ and go though the process again.

==> If any of the submitted names is approved, you will be told to pay N4,000 for the proper registration of the business name. You can check out the CAC fee here: http://www.cac.gov.ng/Pages/fee.htm

==> You will be provided with a registration form to use in registering the approved business name

Below are the requirements for the business name registration form:

a) the approved business name,
b) the business address,
c) the name of the sole proprietor or partners,
d) the address of the owner/s,
e) two passport photographs of the owner/s.
 f) general nature of the business. Mine falls under internet services and general merchandise/trading. The CAC staff might present a document to you containing the categories of business names. From the list, you will choose the categories that matches your kind of business

On completion of the form, you will need to submit the form with the receipt of payment of the N4, 000. You will be asked to come for your certificate in 2-4 weeks time. The commission will register the name after satisfying that the necessary documents and information are in place. Once you collect your certificate of registration of business name, you can boast anywhere of running a legal business.

I hope this helps.

In my future posts, I will share with you how to open a corporate bank account with your certificate of registration of business name. If you do not want to miss this, SUBSCRIBE here.

If you have contributions or questions to ask, kindly relay them via comments.

You can read about company registration in Nigeria here




Comments

James said…
This is a masterpiece. Quite informative but can one search for the business names on CAC website? Possible?
Jide Ogunsanya said…
It would have been a lot easier if we can do it online but for now we can't.
ahmsta said…
Great article.. I knew for sure there will be a more and better way to register a business name with out been ripped off of some extra cash.

Thanks for putting a light to this.
Derek said…
Hi Jide.
As a blogger that i am, do i need a bussiness name.
P.s Still a small time blogger
Jide Ogunsanya said…
You welcome bro.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
If you can afford it, go for it. At least, you will be selling some info products on your blog and will also be offering some services in return for cash.
OtigaInspires said…
Jide,
A lawyer friend asked me to bring about 25-30k for just a business name and about 80-100k for a limited name.(if the business name ends with ''limited'').
Do you know if there are differences between these two?
Btw, nice post, its an eye opener.
To be lawyer con dey hungry me ;-)
otobong said…
well explained! I never knew one could register a business name with such amount
jack jonson said…
Great!!.thanks for sharing it...!!!
It's really very informatic but I need some more information about CAC because my business Legal Advisor suggest me to register my company in CAC quickly.

Jide Ogunsanya said…
Your lawyer will be acting as an agent/consultant. So, the 25k includes his own fee.

If you operate under a business name and you go broke then your creditors can claim your personal assets. If you operate under a company, and go broke your personal assets are (generally) safe and only the assets of the company are at risk.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
Now that you know, I hope you will register yours asap.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
If you need more info about CAC, check out their sites: http://www.cac.gov.ng, http://cacnigeria.org
Okaztle said…
Wow!! Indeed a great post, i think I'll make a move. Good write up bro.
ANGELOVETH said…
Waoooo. Dat's really g8t. Fink i'm gonna do mine 2.
GistNaija said…
Nice info Jide. I have already registered a business name last year. It was just exactly as you said. The only thing is that one has to creative to choose a business name that has not being registered before to avoid CAC rejecting your application.
Great article, would register my coy asap
Samuel said…
I agree with Jide, the CAC registration should be done online. The reason why they aren't is probably because the person at the head is still leaving in the stone age and lacks ideas. Not only that other people all over the world can verify a registered business name by checking the database before engaging in any business dealings
osho said…
Thanks for the info.But plz,how much does it cost to register an NGO and the procedures?I can be reached on oshoademola1@yahoo.com.

Thanks again
Kome ltoje said…
This is great information, Jide. Thanks a lot!
Abdulkadiri said…
Good work and Thumbs up Jide.
I really appreciate this so much. A big relief for me now as I was able to see this information on your blog. You are always on point. Just as you have been on Google's GNBO services. Very insightful.

Please, how do I open an account with the Business Name I have just registered. You can update me via my email: aotconnectme@gmail.com.

Thank you.
CHIGOZIE OBIOHA said…
Good work bro!!!
Do u hav d list of categories of biz names,so I can select mine now not to waste much time @ the lagos office of CAC.
Thanks man!!!
Anonymous said…
Please i want to know if sea trade maritime academy@ell in delta state,nigeria.registered under c.a.c.?
Jide Ogunsanya said…
You will have to go to CAC office to verify that. I can't do that for you.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
Yes, you are right. That can be so challenging atimes
Jide Ogunsanya said…
I know someone that told that NGO can be registered for N98, 000 for both Official Government Fees and his Service fee.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
Thanks for the appreciation. Well, just walk in to your bank with your business name papers and the guys at the bank will put you through.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
I don't have it for now.
Anonymous said…
a professional's advice may prove to be so invaluable in the long run.
Anonymous said…
Pls I want 2 knw if the fee has been reviewed upward recently this 2013, this is bcs sb close 2 me said one of the lawyers @ CAC was asking for N10,250 for registration besides N500 for name search.Thanks for ur helpful response.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
The N10,250 includes the agent fee bro. if you do it by yourself, following the steps above, you won't have to pay any agent or lawyer.
Anonymous said…
kindly explain the difference between a business name and an incorporated company. Thanks in advance
Anonymous said…
Hi Jide,can i register my news blog? If yes,wat address will i enter when filling the registration form. Can i also register wit nigerian copywrite commission?
Anonymous said…
Hello, Please, i will like to know how to confirm my company`s certificate of registration under the corporate affairs commission. Please, do reply me to my email at holymission_house@yahoo.com............Thanks
Anonymous said…
Hello Mr Jide, I love the way you put the steps, straight forward. It's almost too easy. Thank you for the enlightenment.

However, after taking notes meticulously, I marched into the CAC head quarters in Abuja today to Register my Business name, only to be told that the former fee of N4k no longer applied and effective from 1st January, 2013, all fees had been reviewed to outrageous amounts with the lowest fee I could peg @ N17k, some of those I met even as high as N25k.

One funny thing is that it's still stated on their website that the registration form fee is N4k. One lawyer even vowed to show me the registration form receipt of N10,000. I left the CAC disappointed.

The question now is, has there really been any review or you still think its the same price and it's all as per lawyer commission, ...

Two, do you think it(this high price) is an Abuja thing because i won't mind going to Nasarawa or Minna to get this done.

Three, apart from these lawyers who are every where around the CAC premises, who specifically can we ask for to assist us on the searches and reg. form in case, we want to do it ourselves and totally avoid these lawyers.

Thank you very much. This is indeed the one way out for the unemployed.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
The lawyer has added his fee. You can go to another state to get it done by yourself without involving any lawyer. You don't need a lawyer to register a business name since it's not as cumbersome as registering a company or incorporated trustees
Kome said…
Thanks a lot Jide for this invaluable information. Now I know how to register my various internet businesses under one "umbrella" business name.

Great info and kudos to you.

I will certainly bookmark this site for frequent visits as time permits.
Uba Babs said…
Please I want to know if the fee has been reviewed upward or downward recently in this year,because a friend of mine told me one of the lawyers with CAC was asking him for N10,250 for registration besides N500 for name search,thank you for such a wonderful information.I will keep visiting this site.
Anonymous said…
Hi jide, is it true the to register a company in the agro-allied sector needs at least 10 million share capital? I will like to know the cost thanks.
Anonymous said…
Mr Jide, Please i will like to know the difference between enterprises and limited, Please i need more info about it because a friend of mine told me to bring 75k naira to register a limited company. Please email me here easy2324@yahoo.com Thanks.
Anonymous said…
Hi Jide, I read through your post and i must say you did a good job in breaking down the topic. It was well written and very informative. However, a few questions still linger. (1)I would like to know what kind of document is needed to include consulting to a company name.(2)Do i have to go through the process personally? i.e can anybody do it on my behalf? Looking at registering a company but i am out of the country at the moment.
Anonymous said…
Please, can you help me register my business name?

Regards.
Gloria Terry said…
Hi Jide, thanks so much for this info
Anonymous said…
Pls I ll like to register my business name but I don't have to time to go to CAC. I need some reliable to help. Tnx
Hi Jide,
Nice info you have here. However, I think you need to update the post because what it actually takes to register a business name now in Nigeria is N10,500.00

The info is all in the CAC official website.

Once again thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
A professional's advice can never be invaluable.We must be careful when making some decisions as some get into avoidable troubles. When you consider your business serious you will understand the real need for professional be it Legal, Financial, Structural etc. Goodluck.
Anonymous said…
Hello jide, how can I know if my company is register online or a place online where I can check my name or RC
Please is there any future payment after registration like renewal...

Thanks www.nairastar.com
Akin Akin said…
Good info Mr. Jide. I want to agree with one of the people that commented here that you have to update the post in the interest of the numerous visitors. It now costs N10, 500 including the name searching fee and the good news now is that it can be done online.
Zheedz said…
This one blog that makes so much sense, highly informative and educating, the agents makes it look so tedious and time consuming process, thanks for the enlightenment
Anonymous said…
i think this info provided here should be updated as much as the CAC has increased its fees. and lawyers should not be painted in bad light as taking advantage of people. not only lawyers are accredited for this.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
Nothing to update about the post considering the title. Right at the top of the post, you should have noticed the update about the new fee.
Anonymous said…
Thank for the post Jide. Is it possible to use a business name you registered in one state e.g oyo for a business in another state like Lagos?
Anonymous said…
GREAT JOB YOU ARE DOING! KUDOS!
Tina said…
Mr Jide, Please I will like to know how much it cost to register a limited company. I have already registered a business name 6months ago with N10,500. which I would like to change to limited. Is there a due process to follow? Please email your reply. Thanks ourevent411@gmail.com



Anonymous said…
Site name please.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the heads up, but the form available for download might not be useful since it wasn't stamped with the CAC official price crest.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
Seems it's no more possible to upgrade it. You will likely have to start a fresh limited company registration. A new policy though. You can confirm from a nearby CAC office.
Jide Ogunsanya said…
which stamp in this internet era? The notice of approval form you will download online contains unique serial number that can be used to track your registration..
Nancy charles said…
Please where can I get a lawyer that would help me get my company name registrred
Thumb up, this guideline has helped me to register business name for my export business clients at www.topbusinessreality.com
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the info. Would like to ask if one's business name must be the same has one's trading name. For instance,If I intend to start an online fashion retail business named " Afriquisite Clothing"; and a fashion training school business with another name say "The City Fashion School" then I register my business as "Inditex". Will it work? Or do I have to register the two sections separately? Hope you understand my question? Thanks
Jide Ogunsanya said…
No. Not compulsory
Anonymous said…
This is my first of registering a business and i dont need a partner is it a most i bring a lawyer and how will i contact f people incharge thtough a phone call thanks
Unknown said…
Hello Mr Jide, am a Nigerian in diaspora trying to register a business name. Is there a possibility I could register a "limited company" straight away in Nigeria please? Someone told me to start with "ventures" and has just come back to me with a certificate bearing two numbers: BN and CRBN but am slightly confused cos I thought it should be an RC. Is this right pls?
Goodluck Ayadi said…
This post is epic! Got some of the questions bothering my mind about business name and company registration answered. One last question is how long does it take for a company to be registered (not business name)
Pls what is the differense btw a company name and a business name
pls wats dis NIN dat dey are askin about ? or is it the national id card no,pls help me out,thanks.
Anonymous said…
National identity number if you don't have Id card, drivers license or international passport go to their office
made my own findings, everything about verification and aquiring a business can be done on the NEW CAC website....with 10500.00
simi said…
Hi jide , i have paid for the N500 reservation of namee fee aftercreating an ccount with cac portal. i went with the remita receipt to cac but was told everything is now being done online. Please can you give me a detailed info on how to do the name reservation online witj going to cac office
Helen said…
Hi Jide,thanks for this information. I just finished online business name registration,i wsa congratulated and told to download the form,but it's not opening, it's frustrating, I don't know what to do next. Is it possible to get everything done online without going to CAC office including payment?
Also on shares dividend, I bought some from zenith bank around 2005,I was getting my warrant up until 2011 when I relocated, before then I wrote through one of their branches to pay to my bank(current) since then till date I've got nothing.
What do you mean by the word business name verses company name.