For you run a business in Nigeria you need to register it especially if it is a legitimate one. You can actually register it with or without a lawyer (if you can handle the headache). The Section 659 of the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 saddles the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the responsibility of doing just that.

You can actually register the following with CAC:

  • Business Name
  • Private Limited Company
  • Public Limited Company
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Unlimited Company
  • Incorporated Trustee

Business registration is good for your business because it confers the ownership of the name and business to you – the business and its name becomes your sole property.


Here are the steps you can take to register your company.


Step 1- Go to the Corporate Affairs Commission Office:

At the CAC office request for the CAC Form 1. Complete the form appropriately with your name, address, business names and category of business you intend registering. Put down two names for the company in case your first choice had already been taken by another person. Keep a copy of the form with you and submit the original. Return in three days to check if the name is available. If your choice name is not available then you will have to choose another and repeat the step until you get an available one. Just ensure you use a unique and uncommon name to save you the trouble of going and coming.


Step 2 – Obtain the Business Name Registration Form:

After you have completed Step 1 i.e. you were able to secure a Business Name, then you obtain and fill the Business Name Registration Form. To register a Limited Company, you will buy the Company Incorporation forms. There are detailed requirement for other businesses available at the CAC office just walk in and request for them. Complete the form you are given for any type of company registration you are doing but if you need help as to filling the form do not hesitate to ask for it there.


Step 3 – Go to the Federal High Court or State High Court for attestation:

After duly completing the form, take same to the above mentioned court in Nigeria. Be careful not to get swindled at the court – the court fee is not more than N250. When you get there ask for where you can do attestation. After that return to CAC office and submit the completed forms together with the attestation forms. The first officer will view the forms and pass it to the next key it into the system. You will be given a printed copy for proof reading. Ensure you read it carefully to so that you do not start your company with a wrong name. Then proceed to make the remaining payments at the designated bank. After making all payments, then you are good to go. If you are only registering company name, visit the CAC after 8 working days to collect your certificate but for Limited Company, the certificate will be sent to you.


(Click here to download the CAC Summary of Fees and Forms required)

(Copy of the business name form)

As you can see registering a company is easier than you thought. It is better you do it because it helps you secure your company name before someone else hijacks it, it gives your company the seriousness it deserves and with a registered company name you can open a corporate account.