The most important step to owning a company, is registering it with the regulatory body; that in Nigeria, is the corporate affairs commission (CAC) and here is how to use their website.
This process has evolved over the years and because we’re in the digital age, the days of multiple visits to the corporate affairs commission offices have been replaced by the efficiencies of the online platform.
The process is quite monotonous but straightforward nonetheless, and regarding online registrations in Nigeria, this is about the most efficient there is.
More so, one is unlikely to encounter any serious challenges if this article is followed carefully.
To start with, an easy way to go about it is to hire an accredited agent to process the registration; these are individuals who have been certified by the C.A.C to process this registration on behalf of the business owner(s).
These agents are actually available on the internet, some even advertise this on different online platforms and may charge as low as twenty thousand naira for this.
They also offer consultancy services to those who want to register their business names themselves but encounter any difficulty.
On the contrary, doing it by oneself doesn’t require any special skill, and studying this article well enough might help one go through the process without any challenges.
The process will be explained step by step and it is recommended that the reader goes through the article – or the related portion of it- whenever he or she intends to embark on a new step
Business Name Registration on CAC Website
This is easily done online; you’ll first have to come up with a business name of course (better with two names in case one is rejected, or unavailable).
At this stage, try to avoid words like ‘federal’, ‘national’, ‘commission’, ‘authority’ etc. and are likely to lead to the non-approval of one’s request.
1.) Create an Account
The next step is create an account with the www.cac.gov.ng which is pretty much a requirement to do about anything on the website.
Creation of account can be done by members of the general public or accredited individuals (or firms) but the latter group are expected to have their accreditation numbers ready.
The account creation isn’t different from account creation on other online platforms; just fill in your name, email address etc. and choose a username and password for the process.
2.) Login and Apply for a Reservation
Once this account is created, one can return to the website and login then proceed to click on the name reservation menu, and then the ‘New Name Reservation’.
The rest of the page is straightforward and there are two option fields for name, although only one is compulsory, but try to fill both, to be on the safe side; click on ‘save and continue’. The next is to fill in the reason for name reservation; e.g. new incorporation.
There is also a field for additional remarks though not compulsory; then ‘save and continue’. This leads to another field for the details of the presenter, which is also straightforward; name; address, date of birth etc., and ‘save and continue’.
The next page is a preview page, which presents all the previously filled details in a compact for confirmation, allowing corrections and adjustments to the filled data to be made, otherwise, the applicant is expected to click on the ‘proceed to payment’ option.
Once payment has been made, no further changes can be made; so please be sure at this point.
The cost of payment of reservation is five hundred naira, minus the bank charges
3.) Payment for the Reservation
Payment is via Remita, and is pretty straightforward, for those who are conversant with the Remita.
For those who aren’t, the process is just straightforward and all you have to do is choose a payment option; preferably a debit or credit card and enter the details of the card.
Once the payment is done, a receipt is generated; ensure to make note of the Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) and then click on the ‘view name reservation’, ‘Name reservation’ and the ‘My reservation’ options in that order across the pages.
Once the payment has been received, there’s going to be a ‘download payment receipt’ option on the right side of the page; download it for keeping.
4.) Wait for Approval and Get Approval Code
Subsequently, the applicant should visit this page often to see if the name has been approved or is still pending approval; once approved, the ‘download payment receipt’ button is replaced by a ‘download approval note’ button.
Once you click on that, it displays the Approval code, which should be copied by the applicant as that is required for pre-incorporation.
At this point, congratulations on getting your business name reserved; the business name reservation prevents other applicants from using the same company name for a period of sixty days, after which it becomes available again. It’s an easy process really.
Company Registration with C.A.C
These are the steps to follow to register your company with the corporate affairs commission.
1.) Begin the Registration
This follows a similar pattern; login, then click on ‘company registration’ menu and the ‘New registration’ submenu.
2.)Presenter’s and Company’s Details
Then fill in the availability code as was saved when reserving the business name, and then the applicant’s personal details in the necessary fields (as usual, biodata), the ‘save and continue’.
The next step, is that of the company’s details, it is also pretty straightforward, includes; name, address, capital etc. of the company. And at the end of all that, ‘save and continue’.
3.) Director’s Details
The next step of the registration is that of the First directors of the company and at least two (can be more) of those are required to proceed.
The personal information of these directors, including a means of identification (National ID, Driver’s license etc.) are the data needed for this.
To do this, click on the ‘Add Director’ button and then fill the form as required, when done with one, click on the ‘save and continue’ then, ‘Add Director’ to add another director, repeating the process as many directors as there are.
Afterwards, ‘continue’ by clicking the so labelled button.
4.) Secretary’s and Shareholder’s Details
Next stop, is the detail of the secretary of the company, including means of identification, ‘save and continue’.
Then the field for the shareholders of the company and their means of identification, including how much shares each of them have, ‘save and continue’.
Note that shareholders can either be individual or corporate, in which case the company details and RC number are to be filled.
At least, two major shareholders and twenty-five percent of the total share capital must be allotted.
And the ‘Add shareholder’ button should be clicked on with each shareholder the applicant wishes to add, then ‘continue’.
This step is optional, though skipping it attracts an additional fee of five hundred naira.
The next step is Declaration of compliance, and this step requires a lawyer and his or her details are to be filled in this column, then ‘save and continue’.
The next step is that of ‘object of memorandum’ which has the ‘add object’ button which allows one to type in the nature of business or objects for which the company is registered, then ‘continue’.
The next step is the Article of Association, in which one clicks ‘add article’ to add as many articles as possible, then ‘continue’.
Subsequently, the applicant selects the branch of C.A.C he wished to obtain the Certified True Copy (CTC), the number Memorandum and Article of Association and Application of Registration; the cost of each of the copies are stated on the website.
6.) Submit and Make Payments
The next step previews the summary of the forms as have been filled form the start and the applicant should take note for any correction, in the absence of any; ‘proceed to payment’.
The payment is also via Remita and is similar to what has been explained for the business name reservation above (remember to save the RRR for reference purpose).
7.) Process for Stamp Duty
After the payment, a receipt is generated, below which is the option to ‘view company registration’, click on it and then the ‘company registration’ menu and ‘my company’ submenu.
At this stage, one has to pay a stamp duty fee, by clicking on the ‘stamp duty assessment’ to the right side of the screen.
This displays a page which shows the status to be unsuccessful, hence the applicant has to ‘request new assessment’ by clicking on button so labelled.
This then brings up options to select lead director and method of payment (Remita being the more preferable still).
The applicant should then proceed to payment and follow the same process for Remita payment as the two previous times.
8.) Download, Print, Sign and Upload Documents
Subsequently, return to the ‘stamp duty assessment page to check the status again which should be successful, bringing forth the ‘document’ option which the applicant should print.
The documents; memorandum and articles of association and the Application for Registration should be printed, signed and uploaded on the option that says ‘Document upload service’.
There you have it; your company registration is now complete.
To sum it up, new company registration is quite a straightforward process and can be done from the comfort of one’s home or any other part of world; save for the need of a legal practitioner.
While hiring an accredited agent seems to be the easier way out, the CAC does not take responsibilities for their mistakes, hence the safest way remains to do it by one’s self on their website.