For a company to legally do business in Nigeria, it must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It’s the body responsible for regulating the formation and management of companies in Nigeria.
Doing business with a company not registered with the CAC is unsafe. If you’re swindled or exploited, there’s little the government can do to help you. Therefore, for your own safety, always check if a company is registered before making any transaction.
In this post, you’ll find out how to check if a company is registered in Nigeria.
Checking if a company is registered in Nigeria
Checking if a company is registered in Nigeria is relatively easy. Fortunately, the CAC keeps a record of registered companies on their website. So, you only need to search the database to find out. Here’s how to do it:
- Launch your browser and visit the CAC website – https://search.cac.gov.ng/home
- Enter the name of the company and hit the enter button to search
- Select the company from the result list.
You’ll find details of the company, including the RC number, full company name, address, and people with significant control of the company.
If the company is registered, you’ll find the date of registration, and the status must be active. These are the basic details that are available to the public. You can get more details, but for that, you have to pay.
Is there any other way?
The CAC website is the only verifiable way of checking if a company is registered in Nigeria. However, a registered company is entitled to pay tax and should have tax records. Therefore, you can also check if the company is registered through the FIRS website. Here’s how you can do that:
- Launch your browser and visit the FIRS website for TIN verification – https://apps.firs.gov.ng/tinverification
- Select Search with CAC number and enter the CAC number of the company
- Complete the CAPTCHA and hit the search button
If the company is registered and it pays its taxes, you should find their tax details. Aside from using the CAC number, you can also search by TIN and phone number.
How to Register a Company in Nigeria
Perhaps you have a company name in mind and decided to check if it’s registered. If so, and if the company isn’t registered, you should waste no time in registering it. The process isn’t difficult.
You can carry out the application process yourself or hire an agent. Going with an agent is advised since they are experienced in such matters. Nevertheless, here’s what’s involved in registering a company in Nigeria:
- Prepare your Memorandum of Association
If you have your company name, preparing an MOA is the next thing to do. It’s the official document that informs the authorities what business and activities your company intends to perform. You need to hire a lawyer to prepare your MOA as you must follow the legal format. This is why it’s ideal to hire an agent. Agents usually have affiliations with lawyers and even copies of MOAs they can quickly edit.
- Complete the registration form
With your MOA ready, you’ll collect a registration form from the CAC, which you’ll fill out, sign, and submit. The elements of the form will depend on what type of company you’re registering. Usually, the director fills most of the forms. Notably, you’ll need a firm or individual with CAC accreditation to sign a Declaration of Compliance.
- Pay the filing fee
Before your application is processed, you must pay the filing fee. You’ll also pay for stamp duty. You’ll make payment to the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), usually via the Remita service. The amount you’ll pay depends on the type of company you’re creating. For a private company with a maximum of N1 million in share capital, for example, it costs N10,000 to file.
- Submit your documents for processing
After paying your fees, you can now submit your documents for processing. The documents to be submitted include your MOA and payment receipt. In addition, you’ll have to submit a government-issued identification of the company’s director and secretary.
At the first stage, you’ll upload these documents online. Subsequently, you’ll submit a hard copy – the original documents. That’s all.
If your application is successful, you’ll receive your original documents along with your CAC certificate.
Requirements for a successful application
You’re launching a company and not just any business, so there are requirements you must meet for your CAC application to be successful. First of all, a company can’t have just one member. That’s a sole proprietorship. To operate as a company, you must be at least 2 and at most 50.
Also, company members must be at least 18 years old, which is the standard legal age. Company members must be in good health, without any severe police or court cases.
Finally, you must have funds. It’s one thing to register a company, and it’s another to run a company. Therefore, you must show proof of funds that you can sponsor the company’s day-to-day monetary requirements.
A company must be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in order to lawfully do business in Nigeria. With the information in this post, you’ll be able to check if a company is registered in Nigeria or not, and also how to register a company. The application process is not too complex, and you may do it yourself or engage an agent to help you.