How To Register a Company or Business Name on CAC (2021): Step-By-Step Procedure; FAQs

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The Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, announced the registration of businesses and corporates via their new robust portal on January 12th 2021. End-to-end, everything will now be done online via the Company Registration Portal (CRP). This means individuals and businesses can now complete the entire process of registering their companies online using the new e-registration portal recently launched by CAC. 

This is an immense upgrade from what this process used to be, the upgrade is brought about by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA Act), August 2020. This article will give a step-by-step guide to registering your businesses and corporates seamlessly in 2021.

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The functions of this agency falls into 3 broad categories such as:

Category A: Registration of Business Name
Category B: Registration of Limited Liability Company
Category C: Registration of Incorporated Trustees

As explained by the CAC Registrar-General, Mr. Garba Abubakar on the day of introduction of the portal, the portal handles pre-registration entries and also post-registration changes, should they be filed by existing entities.

Step-by-Step guide on how to register a company/business on the recently launched CAC e-registration portal.

Here is a 3-step procedure on how to register a company with CAC online:

  1. Check for availability of the Business Name
  2. Complete pre-registration form
  3. Pay fees

To explain further:

1. Create an account on the CAC e-registration portal

To start, you must create an account (username and password) to be able to proceed to the page where you can enter the vital details of the proposed company/business. Make sure to fill the columns appropriately and truthfully. Thereafter, you can login here. Go to the e-registration portal to begin the process after successfully creating an account.

2. Conduct a name availability search for the proposed company name

Your company/business name must be unique and distinct, for obvious reasons. This is to ensure that no two companies/businesses have the same names. When using the ‘Search Now’ button to do a search on the name, the applicant must find an unallocated name to reserve. Providing that a proposed company name is already taken, the applicant will have to do another search, using another name. However, if a name is available, go on to the next stage.

You can click here to search.

3. Make a reservation of the company name

Once you have a preferred unavailable company name, the next step is to enter the required details for the company. Here, you will be required to fill in the location, company type, sector, etc in the correct columns. After submission, the applicant will be required to pay N500.

CAC Review Team will notify the applicant on the status of the application within 24 hours of submission. If successful, an ‘Availability Code’ is generated and sent to the applicant to continue.

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4. Complete a pre-registration form and upload required documents

After the applicant gets the code, s/he can log on to the Company Registration Portal (CRP) and enter the Availability Code where necessary. The site verifies the code and asks the applicant to continue. The pre-registration process will request for the following details

  1. Sector of the business
  2. Contact details of the company
  3. Contact details of the directors and shareholders
  4. Directors and shareholders personal information
  5. Means of identification of the directors and shareholders
  6. Shareholders percentages
  7. Nature of business, etc.
5. Pay filing and Stamp duty fees

After filling the pre-registration form, the applicant will be required to pay the stamp duty and filing fee to continue.

All the fees for the services rendered by CAC can be viewed HERE.

6. Complete the registration steps

Scan and upload the proof of payment, government-issued ID cards of the directors and shareholders, work permits of expatriates (if any), stamp duty certificate, and Memorandum and Articles of Association (MeMart).

7. Download the necessary documents
register-cac-procedure-faq

Upon successful review and completion of the registration process, the uploads will be endorsed. Then, the applicant can login in and download the company’s Certificate of Incorporation and other useful documents.

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FAQs on Company/Business name registration

How can I convert a private company to a Public company?

Login to the Company Registration Portal (CRP), choose the ‘Convert Private to Public’ category and submit the following: 

  1. Special resolution signed by at least two directors
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association as required under CAMA for public companies
  3. Written statement by the Directors in respect of share capital
  4. Balance sheet as at the date of the resolution or the preceding six months, whichever is later
  5. Statement must show that the paid-up capital of the company as at the date of the application is not less than 25 percent of the authorized share capital
  6. Copy of any prospectus or statement in lieu of prospectus delivered within 12 months to Commission
  7. Payment of filing fees
  8. Annual Returns to be filed up to date
  9. Evidence of S.636 (in case of banks etc)

How can I change a company/business name?

Login to the Company Registration Portal (CRP), choose the ‘Change Company Name’ category and submit the following: 

  1. Availability and Reservation of new Name
  2. Application giving reasons for the change of name signed by two directors
  3. Special Resolution stating the change desired duly signed by two directors of the company
  4. Surrender of the original Certificate of Incorporation for cancellation
  5. Payment of filing fees
  6. Up to date Annual Returns
  7. Stamped memo and articles bearing the new name
  8. S.636 in case of Banks, Financial Institutions etc

Can a company increase the share capital of its shareholders post-registration?

Yes, a company can decide to raise its share capital as the shareholders wish. The applicant just needs to gather the following by documents and upload to the portal.

  1. Notice of increase in share capital in the prescribed form
  2. Statement of increase in the prescribed form
  3. Payment of Stamp Duty to Federal Board of Inland Revenue
  4. Notice of increase to be signed by the company’s two directors or the secretary
  5. Payment of filing fees
  6. Evidence of compliance with S.636 where applicable
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