The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is a federal government agency charged with the duties of registering companies or business names in Nigeria. CAC rigorous registration process has been simplified with the introduction of the CAC registration portal.
Prior to the recent changes to the company name registration process in Nigeria, the process could be compared to assigning an elderly woman the task of running 100 kilometers. This was because the registration process was left in the hands of some professional bodies that took a very long time to do the job.
How To Apply For CAC Business Name Registration
One of the positive outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic is the acceleration of business registration online as well as electronically. Just about everything required by law to register your own business can now be done from anywhere in the world, straight from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
The Federal government, through the CAC, has made this feasible by developing a dedicated gateway on the CAC’s website to handle all of this. To register your own business online, all you need is a laptop or desktop computer with an internet connection, a scanner, and knowledge of any important information that the registration portal may demand of you.
The process of registering your business is separated into three primary parts, each of which can be accomplished without the assistance of any specialists such as Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, or Legal Practitioners.
Is there CAC Free Registration?
The fact remains that there is no absolutely free CAC registration process in Nigeria. In the course of the registration process, you will definitely come across certain charges. Below are the major CAC registration processes:
- Sign up on the CAC e-registration portal
- Look for an available business/company name
- Reserve the business or company name
- Go through the company registration process proper
Steps for CAC Business Name Registration Online
Like we previously stated, there are 3 steps in registering CAC business name online. Below are the required steps one must go through:
Step One: CAC Registration Portal Login
Below are the quick steps to successfully logging in to the CAC portal:
- Visit the CAC business registration portal or click here
- Click on Goto Corporate Affairs Commission under, then you will be redirected to the main CAC website
- Click on ‘Online Registration’ on the website
- Complete the form provided on the page
- After filling in the form, click on the ‘Register tab’
You will receive a verification email. This shows that you have successfully completed your registration process. Open the mail on your email to verify your email account with the website.
Stage Two: Reserve a Business Name
This is the second stage in the CAC business name registration. Below are the required steps to follow in order to have a business name reserved on CAC:
- Access the CAC portal or click here
- Input your user name and password
- Scroll to the ‘New Name Reservation tab’ to access the next stage
- On the section of ‘Name and Type,’ select the type of business you wish to register (for example partnership or a sole proprietorship)
- An option will be presented in the proposed name section to register two proposed names for your business. Fill in the names you wish your business to be called in the provided spaces and tap the ‘Save and Continue’ section
- Move over to the objective section, and select ‘New Incorporation’ from the menu section to be your reason to reserve a business name. Select the nature of the business category and also the ‘Specific Nature of Business.’ You can also add additional comments in the appropriate spaces, and you can view a preview of your inputs by tapping on the ‘Save and Continue’ section.
- Select the payment method, or tap Pay via Remita to be redirected to the payment page
- You have been redirected to the Remita page, and tap the Submit tab section. This will provide options to help you make payments on the page. Immediately after the payment is made, you will be re-directed back to your dashboard. At this time, your business name reservation will be moved to the pending section.
This stage is subdivided into three sections. As we go ahead to explain the stage three process, we will go through the three sections for proper understanding.
Section 1: Business Name Registration
The following are the required steps in this section, starting with step three:
- On your dashboard on the CAC website, tap the ‘Reserve panel.’ This will give you access to the approval history page
- Select the ‘Start Registration’ section on the page next to the business name which you submitted.
- Move over to the business details, and input all the required details of your business, then tap the ‘Save and Continue’ section to move over to the next process
- Move over to the page for ‘Particulars of Proprietor.’ You will be given the option of choosing an Individual Proprietor or a Corporate Proprietor. Once you select the option that applies to you, input the following information (Gender, Name, Contact Address, Nationality, etc.). Then tap the ‘Save and Continue button’ to move over to the next stage.
- This is the stage where you explain the nature of your business. Select ‘Add Nature of Business’ from the ‘Nature of Business’ section. Select the appropriate option that suits the nature of your business from the drop-down menu provided on the page. Tap Save and Continue to move over to the next process
- You will be directed to the upload section. You will be required to scan and upload some necessary documents. Some of them include valid means of identification, passport photographs, signatures of proprietors, etc. After the document upload process, click on the Save and Continue button to have a preview of all your information
- After the proper verification of all the provided information and documents, tap the ‘Proceed to Payment’ section. To make payments, generate a Remita and make the payment. Then go back to your dashboard to print out your payment receipt.
- When the payment details are finally confirmed, a copy of your Certificate of Business Registration will be available for download on the CAC registration panel
Section 2: CAC Company Name Registration
This section helps one to register for a company name on CAC. This process is started by reserving a business name. Below are the required steps to register a company on the CAC portal:
- Fill in the details of the company you wish to register with and tap the ‘Save and Continue’ section
- Scroll to the ‘Objects of Memorandum section’ and add the objectives of the company, then tap ‘Save and Continue’
- Scroll to the Articles of Association section. The page enables you to edit the default Articles of Association in order to have one that best suits your company objectives. Then click on the ‘Save and Continue’ section
- Scroll to the ‘Directors Section,’ then click on ‘Add Director.’ This will allow you to add at least one of the business director’s details. You can keep the residential address of the director hidden by clicking on the check box right under the section with the residential address. Tap the ‘Save and Continue’ section to move to the next step.
- Scroll to the Secretary section, which has an option to skip or add a company secretary. To add a company secretary, click on the ‘Add Individual Secretary’ section. You will be required to add all the required details of the secretary. Then tap the ‘Save and Continue’ section to proceed with the next step.
- In the ‘Statement of Issued Share Capital’ section, enter the information about the company’s directors and their allotted share capital.This helps in making the process go faster. Then click on the section with ‘Save and Continue’ to proceed.
- Scroll to the section of ‘Persons with Significant Control (PSC). Input the required section for the person with significant control over the company, then tap the section with ‘Save and Continue’
- Move over to the section with a ‘Statement of Compliance.’ This section is optional, but you can go ahead and fill in the required fields.
- Scroll to the section for ‘Document Upload.’ You will be required to scan and upload documents on the website. Upload the documents in the sections with ‘Yes’ under the fields with ‘Is required’.
- Scroll to the ‘Proceed to Payment’ section and make the required payment on the Remita page. If the payment is confirmed on the CAC website, you will be redirected back to your dashboard in your account. Then your application will be queued up in the ‘Pendind Approval’ section in the registration section.
- On the approval of the request, a company registration certificate will be made available on the registration dashboard.
CAC Registration Form
In the course of registering a business and company name with CAC, there are several forms available to aid the registration process. Below is a list of all the CAC registration forms:
- CAC 1 Name Reservation and Availability Check
- CAC 1 Change of Name Availability Check and Reservation Form
- CAC 1.1 Application for Registration Form
- CAC 1.1 Continuation Page for First Directors
- CAC 2.1 Appointment/Change of Company Secretary
- CAC 2.4 Notice of Change of Authorized Share Capital
- CAC 2A Return of Allotment (Post Incorporation)
- CAC 2.7 Application for the Re-registration and Conversion of a Company
- CAC 3 Notice of Situation and Changes in the Registered Address
- CAC 7A Notice of Change of any of the Directors, or in the Name, Residential Address, or Postal Address of Directors
- CAC 8 Particulars of Charge
- CAC 9 Declaration Verifying Memorandum of Satisfaction of Charge
- CAC 10 Annual Return for a Small Businesses and Companies
- CAC 10A Annual Return for a Company Having Shares Other than a Small Business
- CAC 10B Annual Return for a Limited Liability Company
- CAC 10C Annual Report of Exempted Foreign Company
- CAC/BN/1 Application for Registration of Business Name
- CAC/BN/2 Notice of Change in Business Name
- CAC/BN/6 Notice of Cessation of Business
- CAC/BN/7 Annual Returns for Business Name
- CAC/IT 1 Incorporated Trustees Application Form
- CAC/IT 2 Change of Incorporated Trustee Name
- CAC/IT 3 Change of Trustees
- CAC/IT 4 Annual Returns (Incorporated Trustees)
What are the CAC Registration Fees in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, the real cost of creating a corporate organization comprises both of the expenses indicated on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website/registration portal. You may be required to pay a fee to your consultant who is assisting you with the procedure.
It should be noted that charges from consultants or specialists are not recognized by the commission and hence have no business with CAC. The following are the CAC-recognized fees for registering a company entity in Nigeria:
CAC Business Name registration Fees:
- Name Reservation fee is N500
- Name Reservation for Restricted words is N5,000
- Registration and Certified True Copy of Registration Documents fee is N10,000
Fees for Limited Partnership Registration:
- Name Reservation fee is N500
- Name Reservation for Restricted words fees is N5,000
- Registration and Certified True Copy of Registration Documents fee is N15,000
Fees for Limited Liability Partnership:
- Name Reservation fee is N500
- Name Reservation for Restricted words fees is N5,000
- Incorporation and Certified True Copy of Registration Documents fee is N20,000
Fees For Company Registration:
- The fee to Reserve Company Name is N500
- The fee for Company Name Reservation with restricted words is N5,000
- The fee for Incorporation of Private Companies Limited by Shares of 1 million and below is N10,000
- The fee for Incorporation of Public Companies Limited by Shares of 1 million and below is N20,000
- The fee for Incorporation of Private Companies Limited by Shares of 1 million and less than 500 million shares is N5,000 for every N1 million shares
- The fee for Incorporation of Public Companies Limited by shares 1 million and less than 500 million is N10,000 for every N1 million shares
- The fee for Incorporation of Private Companies Limited by Shares 1 million and less than 500 million is N15,000 for every N1 million shares
Fees for Incorporated Trustees:
- The fee for Name Reservation is N5,000
- The fee for Registration and Certified True Copy of Registration Documents N35,000
Fees for foreign Companies:
- The fee for Notice of Exception of Foreign Companies is N50,000
How Long Does It Take to Get CAC Certificates?
The timing of your CAC business name registration process is largely dependent on the type of business entity you intend to register. The government has done a lot to speed up the registration process, with multiple departments working together to cut a portion of the procedure down to 72 hours.
The following is a list of turnaround times for each of your registration processes as specified by CAC:
Reservation of a Business Name
- Availability of Business/Company Name -Takes 48 hours
- If the selected name is taken, it takes 24 hours to effect changes to the new name
- Having a consent for restricted names, on companies limited by guarantee and the incorporated trustee takes 5 days
- All the applied business names before registration take 5 days
New Registration Process Time Duration
All stages of business name registrations, from business names to companies and incorporated trustees, are expected to be completed and verified by the commission within 48 hours of successfully uploading all necessary documentation on the CAC’s corporate registration portal and responding to any questions posed on your submission.
Physical Post Registration of Businesses and Companies
- To fully get a Certified True Copies of all certificates takes 5 days
- The means of changing authorized share capital and corrections on the memorandum of the association take up to 5 days
- A Deed of Release and a Change of Company Name take up to 7 days.