Bello Mahmud, Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission

Registering an enterprise is not as big a deal as a lot of people make it out to be.  First you need to decide if you want to register your enterprise as a company or as a business name.

What’s the difference?

  • One person can register a business name as the sole proprietor of the business but a company requires a minimum of two people at the helm.
  • A company is a business entity with legal personality and as such can sue or be sued. on the other hand a business name has no legal personality hence any law suits will be made for or against the sole proprietor
  • Business ends with the death of the sole proprietor in the case of a business name while a company can outlive its members through transfer of shares.

These are but a few differences. If you chose to register as a company, you should choose a convenient category. The categories include;

Private Limited Company (LTD)

Public Limited Company (PLC)

Unlimited Company (ULTD)

Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE)

Incorporated Trustee

With all these sorted out, it’s time to head to CAC office. The Corporate Affairs Commission is the regulatory body responsible for the registration and control of companies in Nigeria.  For a business name, you simply need to fill form with details such as your name, the trade name, the business location and such. You’ll be expected to pay filing fee and stamp duty fee to FIRS. The CAC will need time to verify the availability of your chosen name. This is why your chosen name has to be unique to you.

Deal book 300 x 250

Registering a company is more complex and would mean meeting the following requirements;

  • the proposed name of the business
  • the proposed (objects) of the business
  • the Business Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Statement of the authorized share capital
  • form CAC-1, reservation and availability of name
  • statutory declaration of compliance by a legal practitioner
  • the name and address of the parties incorporating the company
  • 2 recent passport photographs of each director (including valid means of ID)
  • filings with FIRS for tax purposes
  • the address/location of the business principal office
  • the name and address of the company secretary

Depending on the state where your business is situated, the CAC might require other documents from you. Due to the complexity of registering a company, you should hire the services of a lawyer to smoothen up the process. Registering your enterprise is a huge step towards yo


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