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HOW TO REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME WITH CAC IN A WEEK



Business name registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) confers legal protection and credibility on a business. CAC is saddled with the responsibilities of regulation and supervision of the formation, incorporation, registration, management and winding up of companies among others. Once a business name is registered it becomes actual and legitimate. The owner of the business can do business with Government, organizations (local or international) or individuals without any doubt or fear. It is one of the steps to successful business launching. Before proceeding with your business registration, it is important to determine the legal structure for your business, the ownership structure that’s right for your business—a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation—depends on how many people will own the business and what type of services or products it will provide, for instance, if you know that you will be the only owner, then a partnership is obviously not your thing. (A partnership has more than one owner) and if your business will engage in risky activities (e.g. trading stocks), you’ll want not only to buy insurance, but also to consider forming an entity that provides personal liability protection (a corporation or a limited liability company), which can shield your personal assets from business debts and claims, if you plan to raise capital by selling stock to the public or want to give your employees stock options, then you should form a corporation. To register your business with CAC, the following steps are important to consider;
1.         Business Name: This is the first step in registering a business with CAC. You’ve got to be creative in picking a name for your business. A business owner must choose a name that is unique, catchy, professional and not too similar to a competitor’s name or else you could find yourself accused of violating the competitor’s trademark and you could be forced to change your business name and possibly pay money damages.
2.         Name Search Availability: Having to change a business name can be a serious blow to a business that has worked hard to build name recognition among its customers—not to mention the cost of changing signs, stationery, pre-printed invoices, and the like however, it is important to conduct a name search availability and be approved to continue business registration. If the name is similar to any competitors or business, it will not be approved, you will need to conduct another search. Name search can simply be conducted online without going to CAC office and you could get result in 3 days. To conduct a name search, you need to submit 2 business name options in case one is declined, the other can be approved of. Log on to CAC website; create a CAC-CRP portal account access by clicking 'Create Account' button; fill in the form, submit and your account details would be sent to the email address you entered. You need a form of identification such as National ID Number (NIN) to successfully create account. Each name search cost N500, the payment can be done online with debit/credit and you can still make the payment inside any bank branch in Nigeria. You will need to fill in some information about the business during the search. Status of name search will be sent to the registered email address.
3.         Registration of Business Name: After the business name has been approved, print out ‘Notice of Approval’ and ‘Payment Receipt’. The business name will be reserved for 60 days but if the business name is not registered in 60 days, it can be claimed by another person.  Download ‘Application for Registration of Business Name’ and fill in the form with 2 passport affixed at right hand side of the application form. Last portion of the form need attestation of Magistrate, Legal Practitioner or Police Officer of the rank of ASP and above. If attestation is done at State High Court, you may need to pay a sum of N200 at revenue collection centre. The next stage is to proceed with the registration of the business name at CAC office. Check at the nearest office in your state. Ensure you go to the office with printed approval, receipt and your application. You will open a file at CAC office with a sum of N200, you will also pay a sum of N10,000 for Sole proprietorship, N40,000 for Partnership while NGO takes longer process and the amount is up to N60,000, business having a branch office attract additional N1,000.
4.         Collect your Certificatee: The certificate of registration of business name will processed and be made available for collection in 3 - 4 days after the filing. 


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