How to register a small business in Nigeria using these 5 steps

We originally posted this blog in September last year, since then a lot has changed, most especially, the links to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website are different.

What we know remains important is getting your business registered properly so your investment is legally covered by law.

So, here is an updated version of how to register a small business in Nigeria in 5 steps.


1. Choose your business name

Choose a name that will embody both your values and your company’s distinguishing characteristics. In other words, your name should convey the expertise, value and uniqueness of the product or service you intend to sell.

Choose your business name wisely and try as much as possible to make sure it’s different from every other name out there. Try choosing at least two set of names that’ll be submitted for the availability test at the CAC.

2. Check for the availability status of your business name on the CAC website

Initially, you’ll need to create an account on the portal first. Now, you can first search if the name you intend to use is available by searching using it’s public search tool. This search tool helps you confirm if your chosen business name isn’t already been used by another business owner.

If the name you wish to use is available, then you’ll reserve, after which you will complete the pre-registration form. You can complete the form online or download and fill.

3. Make payments

There are a couple of payments to be made. First, you pay a filing fee to CAC, then you also pay a stamp duty fee to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

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These payments can be made online on the COMPANY REGISTRATION PORTAL (CRP)

Apart from searching the availability of your chosen business names on the CAC website, you can also visit their office to physically complete the routine. Check here for the address of the branch closest to you

4. Prepare and upload scanned documents

You will need to prepare signed and scanned copies of your pre-registration documents for upload. The documents required are as follows:

  • Form CAC1.1
  • Memorandum and Article of Association (MEMART)
  • Proficiency certificate (where applicable)
  • Recognized form of identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
  • Stamp duty receipt
  • Evidence of payment to CAC

After doing this, you can simply upload the scanned documents for processing online by clicking here


5. Collect your business certificate

Submit the original copies of the documents uploaded  (Form CAC1.1, MEMART, etc) to the CAC office you have selected in exchange for your certificate and the Certified True copies of the documents.

Once you get your certificate, you can officially start your business and be confident you are running a legitimate business in Nigeria.


Check here to find the address of a CAC branch closest to you. Also check here for the summary of fees. Here are some of the information on the form you’ll have to provide:

1: Approved business name

2: Business address

3: Name(s) of the business owner(s)

4: Address of the business owner(s)

5: Two passport photographs of the business owner(s)

6: Nature of the business.

Did we leave anything out? Kindly tell us in the comments box below.

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Comments ( 2 )
  1. ify
    November 10, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Please what if I have not registered with CAC. Can’t my business be on vconnect??

    • Vconnect
      November 13, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Hello Ify,
      Your business does not have to be registered with CAC to be on Vconnect. Go to now and you could get 20 free leads worth up to N10,000.

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