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

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

46 comments:

  1. This is a masterpiece. Quite informative but can one search for the business names on CAC website? Possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would have been a lot easier if we can do it online but for now we can't.

      Delete
    2. 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

      Delete
  2. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jide.
    As a blogger that i am, do i need a bussiness name.
    P.s Still a small time blogger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 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.

      Delete
  4. 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 ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 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.

      Delete
  5. well explained! I never knew one could register a business name with such amount

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that you know, I hope you will register yours asap.

      Delete
  6. 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you need more info about CAC, check out their sites: http://www.cac.gov.ng, http://cacnigeria.org

      Delete
  7. Wow!! Indeed a great post, i think I'll make a move. Good write up bro.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Waoooo. Dat's really g8t. Fink i'm gonna do mine 2.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are right. That can be so challenging atimes

      Delete
  10. Great article, would register my coy asap

    ReplyDelete
  11. 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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know someone that told that NGO can be registered for N98, 000 for both Official Government Fees and his Service fee.

      Delete
  12. This is great information, Jide. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Abdulkadiri12/20/2012

    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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 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.

      Delete
  14. 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!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous1/11/2013

    Please i want to know if sea trade maritime academy@ell in delta state,nigeria.registered under c.a.c.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will have to go to CAC office to verify that. I can't do that for you.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous2/10/2013

    a professional's advice may prove to be so invaluable in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/11/2014

      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.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous2/13/2013

    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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 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.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous2/15/2013

    kindly explain the difference between a business name and an incorporated company. Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous3/07/2013

    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?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous3/26/2013

    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

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous5/24/2013

    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.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 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

    ReplyDelete
  23. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous7/15/2013

    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.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous7/21/2013

    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.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous7/25/2013

    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.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous7/26/2013

    Please, can you help me register my business name?

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Jide, thanks so much for this info

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12/27/2013

    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

    ReplyDelete
  31. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous5/07/2014

    Hello jide, how can I know if my company is register online or a place online where I can check my name or RC

    ReplyDelete

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