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Starting a business is not that hard. I mean, that’s probably the reason why we have over 40 million businesses in Nigeria according to a report by PWC. 

However, less than 50% of this number actually start this business the right way, which is by actually naming and registering their business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. 

What Are The Benefits of Registering Your Business With The CAC?

  • Legitimacy: Registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria makes the law recognise you as a legal entity and it will also boost your customers confidence in your business. 

  • Business Name: When you register your business name with the CAC, it means that no one else can use your business name anywhere in this country for another business. It means you can sue if this ever happens.

  • Bank Account: You can open a corporate bank account for your business if you’re registered with the CAC. This makes you professional, instead of being Haven Cakes Ltd but customers pay into Halima Abudu’s personal bank account. 

  • Loans, Grants & Investment: It's 100% easier for a registered business to apply for and receive loans and grants and even investors. In fact, in most cases, you cant apply for most grants or loans without being properly registered. 

  • Special Benefits: If you have a registered business, getting travel approval for business purposes such as visa applications is easier. Also, your business is qualified to receive NYSC personnel amongst many other benefits. 

These are few out of the many other benefits that exist when you register your business with the CAC.

The interesting thing is, you don’t have to visit any CAC office physically to register your business with the CAC. The entire process can be done online and you don’t even need the services of a legal practitioner, chartered accountant, or chartered secretary to get it done. 

At Bumpa, we’re all about helping your business thrive, so we have brought you a simple guide on how to register your business with the CAC all by yourself.

5 Steps to Register Your Business with the CAC

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) recently upgraded its registration portal and now they have a 24 hour online, self-service feature that allows registration to be seamless and easy for the average Nigerian business owner. 

Now, business owners can start and complete the entire process of registering their businesses online. 

Here’s how to register your business with the CAC in five simple steps: 

1.     Choose and reserve a business name

First of all, you need to choose a business name. 

Your business name is the first point of contact people will have with your business. 

It is what will go on all your brand designs, marketing materials like business cards, shopping bags, official documents and even on your business website.

After choosing a name for your business, submit the proposed name to the CAC website to check if it’s available.

If no one else has registered a business using the name you’ve chosen and submitted, the CAC will approve and reserve it for you for 60 days. 

The reservation of a business name usually costs N500 (Five Hundred Naira Only).

Now, I need to mention that a business name can be rejected for certain reasons.

  • If there’s another business registered with the CAC that uses the name you submitted, it will be rejected. 

  • If the name you submitted is confusing or offensive, it will be rejected,

  • A proposed business name can be rejected if it includes words restricted by law because they can be mistaken for governmental bodies such as ‘National’, ‘Federal’, ‘Government’, ‘Regional’, ‘State’, or ‘Holding’ without due permission.

Receiving a rejection doesn’t mean you have to end your journey of registering your business with the CAC.

You can always make another reservation.

Another tip is that when you are making your submission on the CAC portal, you can submit two names for your business so that if one name is taken, you can always use the other.

2.     Fill out the Pre-Registration Form

The next step is to fill out the pre-registration form. This form is called CAC/BN/1. 

You must fill out the form with all the required details and submit it back to the CAC along with other required documents.

The necessary information you need to provide are:

  •  Approved name of the business
  • General nature of the business
  • Address of the business
  •  Address of branches of the business, if any
  • Date of commencement of the business
  • Name, occupation, address, and other important details of the proprietor of the business
  • Signature of the proprietor of the business

3.     Pay the CAC filing fees

After filling out the CAC/BN/1 form, you are to pay the necessary CAC filing fees. 

The official amount required as a filing fee for the registration of a business name is N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only). This payment is to be done online.

4.     Submit the filled-out form

Once the CAC approves your payment, you can then submit the form online. You are to submit or upload the completed pre-registration form together with two coloured passport-sized photographs.

Other documents to be uploaded include:

  • Availability printout (same as the Approval Note)
  • Statutory form (CAC/BN/1)
  • Proficiency certificate, where applicable
  • Any valid means of identification: National ID Card, Driver’s License, Voter’s Card, or International Passport
  •  Payment receipt

5.     Collect the Original Certificate of Registration from the CAC

Once you have uploaded all the required documents, the CAC will review all the information you have provided. 

If all your documents are correct, then the registration of your business name would be approved. 

After this, you can collect the Original Certificate of Registration of your business name and the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Application for the Registration of the business name.

Everything You Need To Know About Registering Your Business With The CAC. 

Is it free to register your business with the CAC?

The short answer is that it is not free. 

However, the Federal Government has provided some support through the MSME Survival Fund and up 250,000 small businesses will get free business name registration with the CAC.

If you want to be one of the businesses that receives this support, the free CAC business name registration has begun through the company registration portal. 

You can visit the CAC website for more information on this.

How long will it take to register your business name with the CAC?

The registration of business names usually takes 1-2 weeks but the CAC has announced that they are committed to completing the process within 48 hours or no later than a week.

Is it difficult to upload pictures, signatures or documents on the CAC portal?

It is easy but sometimes people can have issues with uploading things on the portal. If you have issues uploading any document or file on the CAC portal, the issue might be because you’re not uploading the documents or photos in the correct format. 

The format for pictures and signatures is JPEG/PNG while the format for documents is PDF. Also, you can’t upload files bigger than 5Mb in size.

Can you make corrections if you make mistakes with a reserved business name?

If you make a mistake with your reserved name, you can either wait for the name approval to expire after 60 days or you can proceed with that reserved name and apply for a change of name after registration. 

It usually costs N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only) to change an approved business name.

What should you do if you’ve paid the filing fee but it has not reflected on the portal?

First of all, you need to be sure the payment is not reflecting on the portal. 

Log into the portal and click on ‘Check Payment Status’. If the payment is still not reflected on the portal, please contact [email protected] or your bank.

Can you register a partnership with the CAC?

Yes, you definitely can. 

A partnership business is required to have a minimum of two members and a maximum of twenty members. 

You will have to provide details of your business partner such as photographs, address, phone number, and so on. 

Business partners can come up with a Partnership Agreement or Deeds of Partnership with details on the terms of the Partnership. 

After the submission of all the necessary details, documents, and payment of applicable fees, the Certificate of Registration will then be ready. This process usually takes a couple of weeks to be completed.


As you can now see, registering your business is not that hard. It can be convenient and quite easy to register your business with the CAC.

If you’ve been procrastinating on taking this important step in your entrepreneurial journey, and you’re ready to get it done now, just follow the steps we provided and thank us later.

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