CAC Business Name Registration

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CAC Business Name Registration

Are you interested in registering a business name in Nigeria for your newly established startup? Or maybe you just realized the benefits of registering your business with the Government and wish to do so for your already established business?

In Nigeria, the entity in charge of business registration is the Corporate and Affairs Commission (CAC). This is an independent body established under the Companies and Allied Matters Act in 1990. They are responsible for the regulation and management of companies in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, there are mostly three ways to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC);

Done-For-You by CAC accredited agent.

Do-It-Yourself (Offline at CAC Office)

Do-It-Yourself (Online on CAC Website)

If you involve a third party, registering your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria could be costly.

So, this article will show you how to register your company in Nigeria without the service of an agent or visiting the commission. Your business can be registered at a minimum cost through the online registration portal of the Corporate Affairs Commission.

We will walk you through the process and make your business become a legal entity in 5 simple steps.


There are different types of Business Formations, and the nature of your business and the number of people involved will determine the structure. They are:

1. Sole Proprietorship or Business Name

2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

3. Incorporated trustees

For example, a Sole Proprietorship Business which is commonly known as “Business Name Registration”, since you are only registering and formalizing your Business Name and nothing more, there will only be one Business owner.

As the name suggests, a single business owner manages and operates this type of business all by himself. It does not mean that he or she cannot work with partners and staff, but from a legal perspective, he or she owns the whole company.

While a Limited Liability Company on the other hand must comprise 2 or more people with a Board of Directors and the shares are assigned to the different shareholders of the Company.

These shares represent the power that each person in the company has when it comes to voting in Board meetings and in terms of decision-making in the Company.

Registration of a business name in Nigeria is now very easy as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria has made the process so easy by introducing their website with search tools and online portals which reduces the time spent going to the CAC office and carrying out the process there.

No matter how small your business is, it can be registered with CAC and it is strongly recommended that every sole proprietor of a business or partner (if your business is in partnership), should register with the CAC. Registering your business actually has a lot of benefits which we are going to look at over the course of this article


To register a business name in Nigeria here are the following steps to take:

1. Name Reservation

Taking steps to reserve your preferred name is the most important first step towards registering your business online through the CAC website.

To get started, log into your CAC Account or create one if you don’t have one already. You can visit to sign up. Once you have logged in to your dashboard, you will then click on Name Reservation and then New Name Reservation.

You will apply to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and submit two names for your business. Before taking any actions on these names the CAC will conduct a database search to verify that the name is not already in use or there is no similar name already in use.

After filling out the required columns and making the compulsory payment, CAC will respond within 24 hours and you should be able to print out the approval status and the availability code for your business name.

If the CAC approves the name, then the approved name will be reserved for a period of 60days. During this period, you are expected to complete the registration process for your business name. After 60 days, if nothing is done, someone else can take such a name.

In the event that your name does not get approved, you will need to obtain a new reservation form and submit two more name options and wait for the approval.

2. Complete pre-registration form

This is a crucial step in the registration process and as such you must pay attention to details in order to avoid wasteful expenses.

After the successful reservation and approval of a name, the next phase is to acquire the required forms, complete and submit the duly completed statutory forms. You will need to fill every required column on the form– CAC-BNo1. 

You will be asked to provide certain important information, such as:

a. The approved name of the business

b. Description of principal business activity (Nature of business).

c. The registered office address and head office address, the company’s email address, and the phone number.

d. The Particulars of the company’s secretary if there is one. For small private companies, the appointment of a secretary is optional, however, if you decide to appoint a secretary, you must provide the relevant details. 

e. The details of Directors such as their name, service, home address, gender, date of birth, nationality, occupation, identity type, and phone number. 

f. Particulars of shareholder(s), which shall include the name, address, phone number, and email address. A single person can be a shareholder of a company, but where a company is to have more than one shareholder, the shareholding ratio (percentage of shares to be held by each shareholder).

3. Payment of Filing fees 

After you have gone through and filled out the forms properly, it’s time to make payment. You will be required to pay the applicable fees for registering a business name in Nigeria. The cost of registering a business name depends on the type of company you are trying to register with. Your receipt of payment will be sent once the filing fee has been paid.

The next step is to download and sign the necessary section in the completed electronic form.

4. Prepare and upload documents

It is vital that you can and upload all of the documents that you have filled out, dated, and signed in PDF format to the portal along with the necessary requirements, which include:

  • Valid identification of the director/shareholder & Witness;
    • Their signatures on a plain sheet of papers;
    • The Approval NOTE or printout
    • The CAC 1.1 Registration form
    • Receipt of Payment to CAC
    • Memorandum / Article of Incorporation

5. Submission for registration

If you have completed all the requirements without missing any, you can submit your application. The CAC will review the documentation you have sent in and if all is in order, the CAC will notify you that your application was approved. Registration of your business by the commission usually takes 48 hours or more.

Once you receive notification, you can then go to the CAC Office in your state with the original copy of the documents you used to pick up your certification.

Finally, after registering the business name, the following documents will be given back to you as the proprietor by the CAC:

  • Original Certificate of registration of the business name
  • Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Application for the Registration of the business name

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Business Name

There is a variation in the cost to register a business name in Nigeria depending on the agent. Involving an agent can make you spend more than the official fees required by the commission.

If you can register a business name yourself, you can easily control how much the registration in Nigeria will cost, and you won’t have to pay any extra fees.

According to the official website of the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, here are the official charges associated with registering a business name in Nigeria.

  • Fees for application forms; before registration, you need to get an application form which costs ₦500.00.
  • The CAC official filing fee for registering a business name in Nigeria is N10, 000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only). However, in the case where an accredited agent is engaged the agent will also charge a professional fee for the services to be rendered.

Requirements for registering a business name in Nigeria

With the amendment of the Company Allied and Matters Act (CAMA) in 2020, the principal law guiding the formation of a business and company in Nigeria, there has been a lot of new developments in the requirements to register a business name.

So, with the following requirements, registering a business could be as easy as possible for you and young entrepreneurs in the country.

  • You must be as old as 18 years except where there are two or more adults having shares in the business.
  • You must suggest two names for the registration.
  • You can’t register a name that is already in use by another company or one that is related to a government agency.
  • Your business must have objectives that must be well stated.
  • It is important that you indicate the type of business you wish to register – be it a private limited company, private unlimited company, or company limited by guarantee.
  • The business must have a verifiable physical address.
  • If you have partners, the share capital of each shareholder must be stated.
  • You must have a means of identification such as a voter’s card, national ID, driver’s license, or international passport.

Previously, there was the requirement of a minimum of two people to register a company. But now, with the provision of single-member or shareholder companies in the 2020 CAMA, registering a business is possible without entering into an unnecessary partnership.

This is to encourage small business owners in Nigeria and provide them with an environment that allows them to thrive.

Benefits of registering your business name

Like we pointed out earlier registration of your business name with CAC has several benefits. And this includes: 

  • Your registered business name is protected from parallel registration of the name either as a corporate name, business name, or trademark. That is you have priority over the name and no other individual, firm, company, or organization in Nigeria may register their business with that name.
  • Additionally, when you register your business name, you are ensuring that your business is legally recognized and that you have the appropriate license to operate it.
  • Additionally, it gives your business credibility. You will gain more trust from your clients and customers. Customers will feel at ease knowing that they can trace you with their RC number, and be relieved of any fears they may have.
  • It makes it easier to get loans, grants and attract investors as the registration will prove that you are really serious about the business and gives you the assurance of growth and expansion. 
  • In addition to the benefits of registering your business name with CAC in Nigeria, it also guarantees that the business outlives its owner. Regardless of what happens to you, whether you are ill or dead, your business can be sustained if it is registered with the CAC before the incident.

How Long Does it Take to Register a Business Name in Nigeria?

It usually takes approximately 1 – 2 Weeks to process all your applications, though in most cases if your names do not scale quickly, it may take much longer.


As someone who wishes to register a business name with CAC in Nigeria, I hope that this guide will come in handy for you.

If you followed the procedures listed above, then you’ve successfully registered your company with CAC. To confirm this, you can log into the website of CAC and type the name of your business.

The registration status of your business will be indicated here. If your business is registered, the name and registration number will show but if it is not, it will come back empty.

Getting a business name registered does not require the services of a lawyer, but registering a company does require the services of a lawyer or another accredited agent.

It is indeed convenient and fast to register a business name in Nigeria after a small business has been established In Nigeria, the process for registering a business name is easier than the process for registering a company. A business name registration has the advantages of being simple to register, and affordable, as there is no stamp duty required.

It is possible to register a business name online yourself, via CAC’s portal, to avoid unnecessary delays. However, if you do not understand the rules and regulations guiding company registration in Nigeria, you are advised to contact any CAC accredited agent.

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