How to Register a Business in Nigeria Online – (Simplified)

The new CAC registration portal now allows you to register your business online using the Corporate Affairs Commission’s site. In this article, our team will show you how to register a business in Nigeria online from beginning to end.

The new portal of the Nigeria Corporate Affairs Commission has end-to-end functionality. It allows you to print your certificate of registration from anywhere worldwide without the need to go to any CAC office.

Now you can sign electronically online. You can also submit your document and verification data. This new solution to business registration provides an inclusive platform for every entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur to register their presence with the federal government of Nigeria.

What is Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) ?

The Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission is the body that oversees business registration in Nigeria. Before your business becomes identified as an authentic business in Nigeria, you need to get your business registered with CAC. In the past, you needed to visit a physical office of the corporate affairs commission if you wanted to register your business. But now, you can register via their website and print your certificate.

How to register a business online in Nigeria

On the CAC Website, the registration process happens in 3 stages.

  1. The first phase is account creation,
  2. The second phase is the name reservation
  3. The third phase is business registration.

Because of the innovation by CAC, an applicant can execute all three stages of CAC registration online without a need to visit any physical office of the Corporate Affairs Commission.

To register your business on the Nigeria Corporate Affairs Commission portal, you need to set up an account with CAC. The account you set up on their portal would serve as your dashboard from where you can carry out all the activities you want to perform with the corporate affairs commission.

How to set up an account on the corporate affairs commission website

To set up an account, you need a valid means of identification and a working Email address. The accepted means of identification include an Age declaration, driver’s license, birth certificate, international passport, national ID card, and Permanent voter’s card. (Warning; you need to be patient with the site Because it might be slow).

Steps to follow

  • Visit CAC website
  • Once the page loads, you will see a form requesting you to file detailed information about yourself.
  • Leave the toggle buttons at the top. You don’t need it.
  • Go straight and fill up all the information required in the form
  • Choose your means of identification
  • Hit the register button
  • Login to your email and open the confirmation email sent to you
  • Click the confirmation link provided in your email
  • it would bring you to the verification page.
  • Once you are verified, log in to the CAC portal
  • It will take you to your dashboard
  • you are in
  • Once you have your account set up, you can now go through your business name registration process. The first step is to conduct a name search.

How to Conduct a Name Search on Website

Frequently, you may have a name in mind for your company and not know that someone else already owns a company with that name. Imagine you own a company by the name of Great Marketing Company. Now, you travel to Abuja, and close to the hotel you lodged, you find an office complex named Great Marketing Company, which is not a branch of your own company.

What would you do? To avoid this situation, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) ensures that every company has a unique name that no other company can use. In compliance with CAC requirements, you need to conduct a name search using the public search tool available on their website to find a unique name for your business.

cac name search
Name search

Steps to follow

  • Log in to search.cac.gov.ng
  • On this page, you find four links
  • The first link to your left is labelled Public Search
  • Click on public search
  • It would open a page with a field where you can enter the name you want to search
  • Enter your prospective company name in the search bar
  • Click on search and wait for two seconds. It will return a list of names if the name you searched for is already in use. If your chosen name is available, it will not return any list. You can try other names until you find the name that works best for you; if the name you have in mind is not available.
    However, if the name you choose is available, you proceed to the second stage which is to reserve a name

Steps to follow to Reserve the Name

Once you are sure your business name is available: you will pay to make your chosen name unavailable to other people because it’s the unique name you want to use for your business. If you don’t conduct the name reservation, someone else may register the name, and it would be impossible for you to register the name when you are ready. It is best to reserve the name you find; to ensure that it is available when you are ready.

Step 1

  • Log in to your account and go to your dashboard. On your dashboard, you will see the option to reserve a name.  
  • Click on the reserve name button in your dash. It would load a page where you.
  • Will fill in all required information. The form has 4 phases.
  • Fill in all the required information
  • Choose a business name in the classification option and choose a business name in the special type

Fill in your first name option in option one and fill in your second name option in option 2

Click save and continue

Step 2

  • Click on the button that says apply for reservation code
  • Click the add articles button and enter information in the text box provided. Or you can fill in the default. In the second phase in the reason option, choose new incorporation. Select what your business is all about.
  • you can fill in additional remarks or click Save and continue

Step 3

  • Most of the fields would be auto-filled with the information you provided during account setup. Correct any information that is not correct and change any information you wish to update. Remember that the address right here is your business address and not your home address. However, if your business operates from home, fill in your home address.
  • Choose your identity type and fill in the required identity information: the identity types are the same as the ones provided during account setup
  • Click save and continue

Step 4

  • You would see a page where all the information you provided above will show on your screen to verify and make necessary changes. It is crucial to provide accurate information for the sake of the future.
  • Click on proceed to payment.

Step 5

  • You will pay a token of #500 for name reservation (remember that remit CAC uses Remita for their payment. (Remember that Remita adds their charges to the fee. The total amount is about 660)
  • fill in all the payment information on the page provided
  • Next, fill up the payment information and click pay. You will receive an email telling you that you just reserved a business name via the CAC website, and they will provide a receipt. Check your dashboard on CAC; you will see a sign that says the name reservation is pending. Please note that if you choose a name that is not available, CAC would turn down your reservation, and the money you paid is non-refunded. You must perform an appropriate public search for the name before you go for a reservation.

Registering a business name online through the corporate affairs commission website

Now that you have reserved your business name, it is time to ensure that CAC recognizes the name belongs to your business. During name reservation, CAC only knows that you wish to make use of the name. But they don’t know how you intend to use it. Registration of business name is the process where you append the reserved name to a functioning or prospective business. How do you do this? Let’s dive in.

Steps to follow

You need to log in to your account. Once you log in, you will land on your dashboard. In your dashboard, locate the business name you just reserved. Check to see if the name is reserved. If the name is reserved, click on it to load the information about the name.

The page labelled approval history would load on your screen. Click on Start registration. A page would load up on your screen requesting you to enter some information. This registration would take you through four phases.

Step 1

  • Enter the required information. Note that all fields tagged with red asterisks are important, and you must fill them
  • Click on save and continue.

Step 2

  • You would add any other person you want to add as cofounder (participant)
  • They provide options for the type of proprietors you wish to add. However, if
  • You are starting alone; you should leave it as it is.
  • Click on Save and continue

Step 3

  • In this phase, you are to select the nature of your business, i.e., what your business is all about.
  • Click the drop-down menu and choose the business you want to run
  • If your business category is not on the list, select the one closest to it and
  • explain better in the space below
  • Click on Save and continue

Step 4

  • In this phase, you would upload your means of identification, your signature signed on a white piece of paper, upload a passport photograph, other documents like a patent, etc. Once you are through with that, click on save and continue.

Step 5

  • You will see the preview of the registration. Verify to see if there is a need to adjust anything.
  • Click on proceed to payment to make payment for your registration. Registration cost, as of at the time of writing, is ₦10000. Prepare to pay some minor charges for Remita.

Step 6

  • You would see information about the amount you would pay from your registration
  • Click on Remita and provide all necessary information and payment information similar to the explanation above.
  • Make payment

You will receive confirmation of your payment, and it will automatically redirect you to your dashboard to view and download your payment receipt, and information about your next steps will be provided on your dashboard. After CAC approves your business name registration, you will have your certificate on your panel, where you can download it from any part of the world.  

Conclusion

You can see that how to register a business name in Nigeria online is quite easy. If you follow the steps outlined above, you should be able to register your business within a shorter time, less than one week, depending on how tech-savvy you are. However, this is as easy as it could be. Anyone who could use a smartphone should be able to handle this. If you get stuck at any point, read the description in the article and try again.

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Frequently asked questions

How do I register my small business in Nigeria?

You can register with CAC if you have all the required documents and fees. Otherwise, register with SMEDAN if your business is really small.

Can I register my business with CAC online?

Yes, It is quite easy. Start by visiting their official website

How do I register my business by myself?

Go to the CAC website >> Make a Public Search >> Reserve the name >> Pay the fee>> Finalize your registration

How long does it take to register a business name in Nigeria

It depends on the CAC’s workload and other factors. In most cases, the complete process of registering a business name online takes between one to two weeks.

How much does it cost to register a business name in Nigeria?

The Business name registration cost ₦1000. There are other costs covered in the CAC schedules of fees you might like to know.

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