Register Your Business With CAC: A simple Guide

Register Your Business With CAC: A simple Guide

Congratulations on starting your own business! As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, one crucial aspect of establishing your business’s legitimacy and unlocking its full potential is registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

CAC registration not only provides legal recognition to your business but also protects your brand and opens doors to various opportunities. Unfortunately, many businesses in Nigeria remain unregistered, missing out on the benefits that come with proper registration.

In this guide, we will take you through a step-by-step walkthrough of CAC registration, empowering you to turbocharge your business and set it on the path to success.

Step 1: Name Search and Reservation

The first step in CAC registration is conducting a name search and reservation. Your business name is its identity, so it’s essential to choose a unique and memorable name. To check if your desired business name is available, visit the CAC website and utilize the public search function. The website address is

By entering your preferred business name, you can verify its availability. If the name is available, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Apply for a Name Reservation

Once you have confirmed the availability of your chosen business name, it’s time to apply for a name reservation. This ensures that no one else can register a business with the same name during a specific period. To apply for a name reservation, you need to create an account on the CAC website or log in to your existing user account. The website address for account creation or login is

Access your dashboard and check the availability of your chosen name. You will be required to provide two proposed names, but only one will be approved for reservation. It’s crucial to make the appropriate selection for the options available, such as indicating whether it’s a new incorporation or sole proprietorship.

The application for name reservation comes with a fee of ₦700. If your application is disapproved, you will need to submit two new name options and pay another reservation fee.

Step 3: Complete Your Pre-Registration Form

After securing the reservation of your business name, it’s time to complete the pre-registration form. Depending on your chosen business structure, you will need to prepare the necessary registration documents. These include:

Completed CAC Form CAC1.1: This form captures vital information about your business, such as the business type, address, share capital, and details of the directors and shareholders. Ensure that all the information provided is accurate and up to date.

Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA): The MAA is a crucial document that outlines the rules and regulations governing your business. It includes information about the objectives of your business, shareholder rights, and decision-making processes. To ensure compliance with legal requirements, it is advisable to seek professional assistance in drafting this document.

Means of Identification: You will need to provide valid means of identification, such as a national identity card, international passport, or driver’s license, for the directors and shareholders of your business.

Passport Photographs: Include passport-sized photographs of the directors and shareholders as part of the documentation.

Utility Bill: Submit a recent utility bill that serves as proof of address for your business.

Consent Forms: If any individual or entity is appointed as a director or secretary of your business, make sure you have their written consent.

Gather all the necessary documents and ensure they are complete and accurate.

Step 4: Pay for Filing Fees

Before submitting your documents, you will need to pay the required registration fees. The fees vary depending on the type of business structure you choose, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company. The CAC website provides a fee schedule that outlines the costs for different types of registrations. 

Make sure you have the necessary funds available and follow the payment instructions provided on the CAC website. The official filing fee for the registration of a business name in Nigeria is ₦10,500, with an additional ₦1,500 for bank charges, making a total of ₦12,000. 

Once you have made the payment, remember to print out the documentation, attach relevant passport photographs, and sign them.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

With all the required documents and payment receipts in hand, it’s time to submit your application to the CAC. You have two options for submission: online or physical submission at the nearest CAC office. Online submission is convenient and time-saving, allowing you to complete the process from the comfort of your home or office. 

The CAC website provides a user-friendly portal where you can create an account, fill in the necessary details, and upload the required documents. Make sure to follow the instructions provided on the website and double-check all the information you enter. 

If you prefer physical submission, ensure that you have all the documents neatly organized and visit the CAC office during working hours. Submitting your application signals the beginning of the review and approval process.

Step 6: Review and Approval

After submitting your application, the CAC will review your documents for accuracy and compliance with the registration requirements. This process typically takes a few weeks, and during this time, the CAC may request additional information or clarification if needed. 

It’s crucial to promptly respond to any inquiries from the CAC to avoid unnecessary delays in the approval process. Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation or Business Name Registration Certificate, depending on the type of registration you pursued. This certificate is a vital document that officially recognizes your business and provides legal protection.

Step 7: Post-Registration Obligations

Congratulations! Your business is now officially registered with the CAC. However, registration is just the beginning of your legal obligations as a business owner. To ensure compliance and maximize the benefits of CAC registration, there are a few post-registration obligations to keep in mind:

Tax Registration: Register your business for tax purposes with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This is essential for fulfilling your tax obligations and avoiding penalties.

Open a Bank Account: With your registration certificate and TIN, open a business bank account in your business name. This separation of personal and business finances is crucial for accurate bookkeeping, streamlining transactions, and enhancing your credibility with clients and suppliers.

Obtain Other Required Permits/Licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need additional permits or licenses from relevant regulatory bodies. Research and identify the specific permits or licenses required for your industry and comply with the necessary procedures. This ensures that you operate your business within the legal framework and avoid potential setbacks.

Annual Returns: As a registered business, you are required to file annual returns with the CAC. Failure to do so may result in penalties or the deregistration of your business. Maintain proper financial records and ensure that you file your annual returns within the specified timeframe.

Also Read: Vital Licenses Every Nigerian Business Must Have


CAC registration is an important step in establishing and growing your business in Nigeria. It not only provides legal recognition and protection for your brand but also unlocks numerous opportunities for growth and expansion. 

By following this step-by-step walkthrough, you can navigate the CAC registration process with ease and turbocharge your business toward success.

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