Nigeria is one of the best countries in Africa for investment. This is because it is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Besides, the country is rich in mineral resources and therefore the flow of money is much greater compared to most other African countries. The Nigerian government has also formulated friendly investment policies to attract both local and foreign investors.
If you have a business that you intend to register with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission, you will soon find out how you can register a business in this great country. One thing you need to know before proceeding to start the process of registration is that you do not have to use the services of an attorney. However, it may be of future benefit should your business run into legal trouble. Here is how to register a business in Nigeria in the shortest time possible and without mistakes.
Step 1: Pick a Business Name
Choosing a name for your business is vital and can be quite difficult. This is because it has to be unique, catchy and salesy. You also have to ensure that the name you pick is related to the products/service your business will be dealing in. This means you have to take your time because this could be your brand and trademark. You may need to use the services of an investment expert.
Currently, most existing businesses in Nigeria have websites and therefore are available online. This makes it easy to carry out your personal research to find out if the business name you have been thinking about is unique or has been used by someone else. Nevertheless, you have to remember that may other business have been registered already but have not even started running as yet.
Step 2: Visit the Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C)
This is the body dealing with the registration of new businesses in Nigeria. You will have to visit the CAC to check the availability of your business name. Here, you will be presented with business name form (known as Form 008). You will need to fill in this form as accurately as possible before submitting. In addition, you will have to pay some little fee for the form.
The form doubles as an application for registration of the business name underscoring the importance of getting it right. The CAC will take something like one to two weeks to get back to you although it should not take that long. If the business name is unavailable then you may have to think of another business name and fill another form altogether. If your business name is available then go ahead into the third step.
Step 3: Make a Second Visit to CAC
This second visit to CAC constitutes the actual business registration and only happens after business name has been confirmed to be available. You will be presented with another form referred to as Registration of Business Name (Form 001). This form should also be filled as accurately and neatly as possible as any mistake can have terrible repercussions later in the life of the business after it is started.
If there is anything you do not understand, then do not hesitate to ask workers at CAC for clarification. After completing the form, you will be required to pay N10, 000 only at this time. Alternatively, you can employ the services of a lawyer who you will pay the same amount. The trouble is that you will have to pay him or her N10, 000 every other time you want to register other businesses as part of the chain or brand you originally created which is much costly. The do it yourself method on the other hand may take too long because you may not be well acquainted with the goings on at the CAC.
After paying the business registration fee, you will be presented with affidavit/attestation form and proceed to the any magistrate court in your vicinity or location for endorsement by the court magistrate. During this process, you will be required to pay N250 only as fees to the court’s involvements.
The registration form require you to provide certain personal and business information such as 2 passport photographs, stapler, the details of a partner (you cannot register alone, add someone else), the partner’s photographs, your address (you can use your home address), telephone number (use GSM) and local government area and a few other requirements. Inquire about the requirements from someone who has registered their businesses successfully before visiting CAC offices so as to avoid time wastage.
Step 4: Collect your business name certificate of registration
After completing the form, paying the required fees and submitting the attestation/affidavit form, then you will have to wait a couple of weeks before checking back at the Corporate Affairs Commission for your business name certification. If everything was fine during the application process then you can expect not to wait too long or have your registration nullified.
While most people receive their business name certification in one to two weeks, it is not strange to wait for a month or so with some CAC centers in Nigeria. After getting the certification, you can go ahead and start your business. If you are more ambitious, then you can think of incorporating your business into either LTD or PLC as you desire. The entire process should not take more than just a few months and you will be ready to start a fully registered business or organization.
From the above discussion, you can see just how easy it is to start a business in Nigeria. It is also easy to appreciate the most important step which is picking the business name. Any wrong move will mean that the registration will be delayed because you will have to redo it over and over again until you get it right. Besides, you may pick a wrong business name that will hinder any prospects of your business converting into a great brand. Also remember giving a wrong business name can have later legal repercussions because it may cause problems registering other related business.