You can hire people to register your business name in Nigeria online or you can decide to do it yourself if you have time since the process has been made simple by CAC.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the statutory body charged with the administration of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (the Act) which includes the regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, registration, management, and winding up of companies in Nigeria.
For your business to be recognised and for you to avoid unnecessary harassment, it becomes necessary that you register your business name as soon as you conceive of the idea of a business and you are ready to start.
The post will explain to you the meaning of a business name, how to choose a business name, the benefits of registering your business name and how you can register your business name in Nigeria online. Keep reading to gain insight into all these subtopics.
What is a business name?
A business name is a name you are tagging to your business for it to be recognised. A good business name has an effect on your brand.
How to choose a business name in Nigeria
Choosing a business name is not as easy as it seems that’s why we have provided the tips below to guide you when you want to make your decision.
1. Make it simple
Some people tend to think that having an ambiguous name equals success in business, not knowing that in reality, that is far from the truth. You need to keep in mind that people love simple things.
If they find it difficult to write, pronounce or even remember your business name, it will have a negative effect on your business. This point is proven to be true when you consider the big brands we have in the world today, a large number of them have simple names. For example, Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Alibaba, Uber and Amazon, these are simple and memorable names.
You can learn from them and pick a simple name that will resonate with your target audience.
2. Let it relate to your business
The name of your business should be related to the purpose of your business, don’t pick a name that is vague. Choose a name that has a meaning attached to it. Something that will resonate with them.
3. Check for the domain name availability
It is also important that you choose a name that has a domain name that’s available. The domain name is the address of your website on the internet.
In this age, you will need a website for your business so that you can create a good reputation online. Your business website will display information about your business, and also provide payment options for people to make purchases from your business.
A striking advantage of having this type of creating your business website is that it will operate 24/7 and you can sell your products at any time of the day. Unlike your physical shop where you must have a closing time, the online store doesn’t have a closing time. It is always active.
Therefore, you need to check if the business name you are picking will also be available for your website.
4. Use AI tools
There are AI tools that can help you in choosing a business name in Nigeria, it will help you to suggest names that can fit your business.
Who needs to register a business name in Nigeria?
Everyone that wants to start a business and has the vision to expand it and make it big ought to register his or her business name in Nigeria. And considering that there are a lot of benefits to registering your business, you shouldn’t miss out.
Benefits of choosing a business name in Nigeria
1. You will have the right to the name
The business name you are registering will be owned by only you, which makes any other business using that same name a counterfeit or fake.
Let’s say, Mr John starts a laundry business and names it Sparkles enterprise in 2010 without registering the business. And then Miss Victory also starts her laundry shop 13 years later (2023) and named it Sparkles enterprise too, but she registered her business name with CAC.
Who among them has a right to the business name?
Miss Victory right? Of course, and that is because she registered the business name immediately after she started. So she has the right to sue Mr John and make him change his business name or shut down his business.
You now see why it’s very important that you register your business name in Nigeria.
2. Your business will have a good reputation
When you register your business name, people will see your business as legit. With many fraudsters around today, it’s important that you register your business to show its authenticity.
You won’t be afraid of harassment from another business or the authorities.
3. You will be given a certificate
The certificate given to you will serve as proof that your business name has been registered. You can show it to anyone who dares to challenge you concerning your business.
4. Your business becomes a separate legal entity
You will have an identity that is separate from your business. This means you can’t be sued in court in the event that any eventuality occurs. Your business will bear the cost without it directly affecting you.
5. You can raise capital easily
Your business will be able to raise capital for its business easier since it is recognised by CAC.
6. You can get access to grant
When grant opportunities present themselves, you will be prepared to apply and also confidently put your best foot out since your business is recognised.
7. Your business can gain loans
Loan companies will give your business a loan easily without many hitches because they can trust it.
What you need to choose a business name in Nigeria online
For you to register your business name, you will need to meet the requirements listed below:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years of age. There can be an exception to this rule if 2 or more persons are shareholders in the business.
- The applicant must have 2 proposed names for the business. The second name will serve as an alternative should in case the first one is not available.
- The applicant must briefly state the business objectives.
- The applicant must clarify the nature of the business. It can be a company limited by guarantee, a private limited company or a private unlimited.
- You cannot use a name that’s already used by another business in Nigeria
- The business must have a location.
- The applicant must have a valid means of identification. This can be a NIN, driver’s license, international passport or voter’s card.
- Each shareholder/partner must be stated and the shares held by each of them.
You will also be required to fill in the following information;
- Surname/First Name/Other Name
- Date of Birth
- Post Code
- House Number/Building Name
- Street Name
- Permanent voter’s card
- National ID card
- International passport
- Driver’s License
- Birth Certificate/Age Declaration
How to register a business name in Nigeria online
1. Create an account with CAC
For you to register your business in Nigeria online with CAC you will be required to create an account with them. When you fill in your business NIN or phone number, your details will appear.
2. Check for the availability of the Business Name
After creating your account, you will need to search the record of the business names in Nigeria, if you discover that the name is available, you will then proceed to the next step, however, if it is not available, you will have to select another name.
3. Complete the pre-registration form
If the name is available, you will need to reserve the name of your business. You will do so by filling out the pre-registration form. After which you will pay Five hundred naira ( N500 ).
When you are done with the above, you will have to wait for 24 hours to get a response from them. And if your name is available, you will be sent an approval name containing a name availability code.
4. Register your business name
You will need to finally fill in the registration form with the following information to complete your registration
- approved name;
- general nature of the business;
- full address of the principal place of business and every other subsidiary place of business;
- proposed date of commencement of the business;
- passport-size photographs of the owners; and
- Proficiency certificate (If required).
After CAC have cross-checked your documents and is satisfied with them, they will approve it
5. Download your certificates
The following are the documents you will download after the final approval
- Original Certificate of registration of the business name
- CTC of the Application for the Registration of the business name
The fee you will pay depends on the type of business you want to register for. Check the next subtopic to find out the costs.
How much does it cost to register a business name in Nigeria online?
- Registration of a company not having a share capital costs N20,000
- Public company registration for the first 1m share capital or fewer costs N20,000
- Registration of a private company with an authorized share capital of N1m or less, costs N10,000
- Private company registration above N500m authorized share capital costs N7,500 for every 1m shares of the company.
- Registration of a private company with a share capital of more than N1m and up to N500m costs N5,000 for every 1m shares of the company
You now know why you need to register your business in Nigeria online by yourself, the next step is to get started.
However, you need to note that this post is a general overview of the topic. You may have to meet a professional for your specific business if need be.