There are different forms of company that can be registered by an individual at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). An individual can either register a Business name, a Limited Liability Company or an Incorporated Trustee, however, these different ventures have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The choice of the venture to register will be dependent on various factors surrounding the registration of such by the individual. Below are some of the advantages of a Business name over a Limited Liability Company


This is also known as an “Enterprise”.  It is registered under Part B of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). A business name could be registered as a Sole Proprietorship or as Partnership.


Below are the advantages of a Business name over a Limited Liability Company in Nigeria:

  1. The business name requires little capital
  2. Business name is easy to register
  3. The business name requires fewer formalities
  4. A sole person can register a Business name
  5. The profit of the business is solely owned by the owner
  6. Tax liability in the Business name is minimal
  7. Decision-making is easier with a Business name. ie No need for board resolution or annual meetings.
  8. Level of ownership, shareholding, investment, and interest are not publicly recorded
  9. The easy conversion process. i.e. a business name can be converted to a limited liability company, in the event the business expands rapidly.

One of the benefits of registering a business name is that it can be converted to a limited liability company, whereas a limited liability company cannot be converted to a business name.

 A business name can be converted to a limited liability company in the event the business expands rapidly. The following are the requirements needed for the conversion:

  1. Formal application for conversion made to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission. Attached to the application is the Original Business Name Certificate to the application.
  • Where the application is made on behalf of the proprietor of the business name, an authorization letter from the proprietor will be attached alongside the formal application to the commission.
  • Evidence of up-to-date payment of annual returns for the business name. Payment of Annual Return for each year is N1, 000.00 (One thousand Naira) while the penalty to pay for failure to pay each year is N2, 500.00 (Two Thousand Five Hundred Naira). Note: Business name annual return is due for payment from 1st January to 30th June each year except the year it was registered
  • The consent gotten from the Registrar General of the commission will be used to begin the conversion process.
  • The official filing fee will be paid and the necessary documents will be signed by the directors and shareholders of the company, and all signed documents will be uploaded on the CAC portal for approval.
  • Once the application is approved, it will be registered and a certificate of incorporation of the limited liability company will be issued by the CAC.

For individuals wishing to start up a business with low income or less capital, then business name registration is a suitable option for you. It is easy to set up and has less formality. It can equally be converted to a limited liability company when necessary.

By  Resolution Law Firm