How to register a business name in Nigeria

Register a business name

Are you a Nigerian entrepreneur that’s about to setup a business? Or do you already have an existing business without registration?

What if I tell you that registering a business name in Nigeria can be done in simple steps?

This is entirely true as in this article I will explain all the details you’ll need to register a business name in Nigeria.

Registering a business name in Nigeria is done by the corporate affairs commission and their offices are found in all the states including the federal capital territory.

Why you need to register a business name

Before we go into the steps required to register a business name, it’s important we know the importance of registering a business name.

  • Opening a business bank account

Without registering a business name, opening a business bank account will be impossible, as your business registration is one of the main requirement to opening a bank account.

It is also more professional to give a client your business name for payment than payment in full name.

  • Getting loans

Applying for a business loan will require the evidence registration. Lenders and investors will require seeing the registration and other application requirements before they can approve any form of the loan.

  • Build reputation with customers

Customers will see you as legitimate and build a great reputation with them. They begin to see your business as an industry leader.

  • Supplier arrangement

A registered business has the opportunity to get a discount compared to an unregistered business. As a registered business, you stand to enjoy the wholesale rate when making a purchase.

  • You can bid for contracts

If you plan to bid for a government contract, your registered business name is one of the first requirements.

With business name registration, it’s a win-win situation for your business.  Since we have seen some of the benefits, let’s dive into the steps of registering a business name.

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How to register a business name in Nigeria

Without proper know how, registering a business name in Nigeria can be an uphill task. However, the steps below will show you the simple and easy steps to get your business name registered in Nigeria.

Step 1: Choose a business name

Business name registration begins by choosing a name for the business. Think about a business that’s not common.

Most entrepreneurs have seen their name rejected at the point of registration because they have a common name that’s has been registered already.

Once you have come up with a business name that’s not too common, you’ve to save yourself from going through the process of checking of the name availability again.

Step 2: Choose another name as an alternative

The CAC availability form gives you another option to input the second name should in case the first one did not go through.

Step 3: Know the type of business you’re registering

The CAC availability form goes for 500 naira and will require you to include the following after inputting the proposed name:

Private limited company

Public limited company

Unlimited company

Change of name

Company limited by guarantee

Business name

Incorporate trustees

Knowing the type of business model will make it easier to pick from the list mentioned above in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) availability form.

Step 4: Do a follow-up

The CAC name search begins after submitting the CAC availability form. Normally it should be done in days and you’ll be notified about it.

If after two weeks you have not heard from them, you can do a follow up before someone get ahead of you and register the name.

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Step 5: Register the business name

After the CAC name search, you can go ahead and register the available name. depending on the type of the business model, the services of a law firm may be required.

CAC registration fees

The CAC registration fees vary based on the type of business model you intend to do. The business name registration fees change as the policy change.

So if you’re one that asks the following questions:

How much does it cost to set up a business name?

How much does it cost to register a limited company?

How much does it cost to incorporate your business?

How much is it to register a business?

Then here are the fees from the CAC website:

Register a business name

What you need to take into consideration when registering a business name in Nigeria

  1. Avoid using correcting fluid on the CAC availability form and file.

Mistakes are bound to happen, but using correcting fluid makes the CAC form registration untidy. Taking your time, to fill the form makes it look tidy.

  1. Use business that has no restriction

Avoid registering a business name that require a certificate as a backup unless you’re a certify person.

Words like guru, expert, consult, technician should be avoided at all cost.

But if you’re to use such names, you can find a partner that meets the requirements from an approve or certify government institution and their councils.

For instance, when registering a pharmaceutical or a hospital, you’ll need to provide that owners are pharmaceutical or medical doctors with their proof of registration from the pharmaceutical council or medical association.

Here we go, the steps to register a business name in Nigeria.


Bako Yila

Bako Yila is an entrepreneur and loves working with aspiring entrepreneurs the right way. His blog offers business idea and resources to build a successful business.

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