BUSINESS REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
HOW TO REGISTER A COMPANY IN LAGOS
The first step required from every person or entity doing business in Nigeria is registering a company in Nigeria. Nowadays, the business registration process can be carried out online via the CAC company online registration portal.
An individual seeking to engage in a little business venture may also register a Business Name in Nigeria. However, it is important to note that a Business Name cannot acquire a separate legal personality, and the risks and liabilities of any failed venture registered as a Business Name in Nigeria may also be extended to its owner.
A Business Name is not considered as a company under Nigeria Law. An individual seeking to register a small business in Nigeria different from a business name may register a limited liability company. Although Corporate Affairs Commission has made good attempts to simplify all the business registration processes through the commission’s online portal, it is still advisable that individuals seeking to register a company engage the services of an accredited agent for a smoother incorporation process.
The best means of doing business in Nigeria is through a company’s registration since a company automatically acquires a separate legal personality immediately after its formation. Meanwhile, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the government agency responsible for registering companies in Nigeria.
PRIVATE COMPANY LIMITED BY SHARES
Although there are different types of corporations that can be formed in Nigeria, the most used one among them is a private company limited by shares.
The private company limited by shares is most sought after because it is the most suitable and appropriate form of a company by which a business can be formed by more than two persons with limited risk. The simplicity of forming a private company limited by shares also couples to its efficiency as a purpose vehicle for business within Nigeria and every other part of the world.
Subject to the provisions of the Nigerian Companies And Allied Matters Act 2020(CAMA), every private company must be comprised of a minimum of one member (shareholder) and one director. The director of a private company can also be the shareholder. An infant or a bankrupt person is not qualified to be a director of a company in Nigeria.
Under Nigerian law, foreigners can fully own a company 100% in Nigeria. In our previous article, we explained the procedure for setting up a business in Nigeria by a foreigner or a foreign-owned company.
- A GUIDE TO NIGERIAN BUSINESS FORMATION
In considering how to register a company in Nigeria, the following are the requirements needed for the incorporation of a company in Nigeria:
- Proposed Name of the Company (2Names)
- Nature of Principal business the company will be engaged in
- The Registered Office Address of the Company
- Type of Company to be incorporated : (Private or Public Company)
- Particulars of the Director(s): (Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Phone Number, Email Address, Forms of Identification and signature on plain paper).
- Particulars of Shareholder(s): (Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Phone Number, Email Address, Forms of Identification- either Driver’s license or Voter’s Card or International Passport and signature on a plain paper),
- Percentage of shares to be held by each shareholder in case the company will have more than one shareholder.
- Particulars of the Company Secretary (Company Secretary is no longer mandatory for a small company).
For registration of a business name, the requirements are also the same as the one stated above, however, the cost for registration differs.
In closing, business registration in Nigeria can now be commenced and processed online, from the availability search to the completion stage, through the online medium. The CAC has made serious efforts to make the process easier for the public to carry out. However, the incorporation of a company by a person not very familiar with the process is better done through an accredited agent. Besides, an accredited agent may give advice on ancillary matters such as the suitable type of incorporation, share capital requirement for a specialized sector or business among others.
Written by Corporate & Commercial Law Team at Resolution Law Firm. The firm is an accredited CAC agent.
If you wish to learn more about company registration in Nigeria, you can listen to our podcast on company registration here