Registering your business in Nigeria

According to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), there are over 39 million SME businesses in Nigeria. Entrepreneurs can easily make their companies stand out by registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) (  

By registering a business, an entrepreneur makes his business legal. This has several benefits for the company such as easier access to grants and capital, customers, and suppliers trusting and seeing the company as more credible. This can help entrepreneurs boost their business reputation and future growth potential. 

Steps to Registering a Business in Nigeria 

1. Decide on the type of company you want to register. The common types include Private Limited Company (Ltd), Public Limited Company (PLC), Company limited by guarantee, Sole proprietorship, and Partnership. 

2. Conduct a name availability search on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal to ensure your desired business name is unique and not already registered. 

3. Prepare the necessary documents for registration, including: 

  • Memorandum and Articles of Association 
  • Identification documents (passport, national ID, or driver’s license) of directors and shareholders 
  • Completed CAC forms 

4. Submit your application online via the CAC’s Company Registration Portal (CRP). You will need to create an account, fill in the required details, and upload the required documents.

Fig 1: Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) sample form 

5. Pay the registration fee online through the CAC portal. The cost varies depending on the type of  Company being registered. 

6. Upon approval, the CAC will issue a Certificate of Incorporation, which signifies the official registration of your company. This document includes your company’s registration number and serves as proof of legal status. 

Key Requirements for Company Registration 

 1. Minimum Share Capital: Different business types have varying minimum share capital requirements. For instance, a Private Limited Company typically requires a minimum share capital of N10,000. 

 2. Directors and Shareholders: You need at least two directors and shareholders to register a company. Directors must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. 

3. Registered Address: A physical address in Nigeria is required as the official location for your business. 

4. Compliance with Regulatory Bodies: It is important to ensure compliance with all relevant regulatory bodies specific to your industry, such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for food and drug-related businesses. 

Benefits of Registering with CAC 

1. Nationwide Recognition: A registered business is recognized nationwide, providing credibility and trustworthiness to your business operations. 

2. Legal Protections: Registration protects your business name from being used by others. 

 3. Ease of Doing Business: Registered businesses can open corporate bank accounts, apply for government contracts, and partake in various business opportunities that require legal documentation. 


Registering a company in Nigeria is crucial for entrepreneurs planning to establish a formal business presence. It ensures businesses operate within a legal framework, enhancing credibility and access to numerous opportunities. Following the steps in this article, you can successfully navigate the registration process and set your business on the path to growth and success! 

Communications and PR Analyst at Leonine Investment Services Limited | + posts

Abdulsamod Balogun leads Communications and Public Relations at Leonine Investment Services Limited. He's excited about new media, technology and public policy. When he's not working, he's catching up on movies and books.

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