CAC Public Search: Step By Step Guide to Business Name Registration

Last Updated on October 6, 2021

CAC Public Search
Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

Are you an entrepreneur or corporate body ready to take your business to the highest level and stand out? If yes, then let us help you get started the right way. This article is designed to help you with detailed information on CAC Public Search, the official CAC portal for business name registration in Nigeria.

About Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria was established in 1990. It is an autonomous body charged with the responsibility to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. It carries out its functions through accredited members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). It is headed by a Registrar-General.

Services Offered by the CAC

The services offered by the CAC are categorized in parts including:

  • PART A – Registry
  • PART B – Registration of Business Names
  • PART C – Registration of Incorporated Trustees (NGO’s)

These categories include the following services:

  • Incorporation of Companies (Private or Public Company, Limited by guarantee)
  • Registration of Business Name
  • Registration of Incorporated Trustees
  • Same Day Incorporation Services under which companies are registered within one day
  • Conducting searches
  • Issuance of Certified True Copies of filed documents
  • Registration of share capital increases, mortgages, etc
  • Processing the statutory filings of Annual Returns, increase, changes in the memo and articles, addresses, etc
  • Arrange or conduct investigations into the affairs of any company where the interests of the shareholders and the public so demand.
  • Management and winding-up of companies.
  • Monitoring Compliance with the CAMA by companies.
  • Sale of all statutory forms and publications of the Commission
  • Responding to inquiries and complaints in respect of the services of the Commission.
  • Handling the preliminary process of accreditation of Lawyers, Chartered Accountants and Chartered Secretaries who are recognized professionals and direct users of the Companies Registry.

Under the CAC, the four types of business ventures recognized by the body include Private Limited Company (LTD), Public Limited Company (PLC), Companies limited by guarantee, and Unlimited Companies.

  • What are the Requirements for Business Registration?
  • How to Search and Register a Business Name With the CAC
  • How to Check Company Registration Status with CAC

These questions will be answered here on this page, and everything you need to know for a smooth business name registration.

CAC Public Search: Step By Step Guide to Business Name Registration

1. Get a company name

The first step for any individual to start a company is to get its name registered with the authorities. In the case of Nigeria, after choosing a suitable name for your company it should be promptly submitted to the CAC website to check for its availability. Usually, you should submit two names so that if one is taken, the other might be available. A name can be rejected if it already exists, is confusing, or includes prohibited words such as ‘National’, ‘Federal’, ‘Government’ or ‘Holdings’ without special permission. It normally takes up to a week to complete the process of business name registration in Nigeria.

2. Prepare the MOA

This step is best done by a lawyer. He/she is qualified for preparing the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and all the related documents based on the objectives of the company you wish to register. It is the lawyer’s responsibility to request the names of the initial subscribers, directors as well as shareholders. Each director or subscriber must be above the age of 18, of sound mind, and must not have been convicted of any crime. The directors are required to provide a means of identification for inspection by the CAC.

3. Fill the Pre-Registration Form

After the documents have been duly prepared, you are required to fill a form by the CAC, mentioning all the necessary details, and submit it to the CAC again, together with all the required documents. You can also have a company secretary for your business who can act as a lawyer or an accountant and be completely responsible for filing the documentation with the CAC after the company is registered.

The process of documentation is as follows:

  1. All directors must fill the Particulars of Director form [Form CAC 7]
  2. One director must fill the Statement of Share Capital and Return of Allotment form [Form CAC 2]
  3. One director and the Company Secretary have to fill the Notice of Situation/Change of Registered Address form [Form CAC 3]
  4. An individual or firm accredited by the CAC can fill the Declaration of Compliance with the requirements of the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) form [Form CAC 4]
  5. At least 2 directors have to fill the form appointing a Company Secretary for the company

4. Pay the Stamp Duty and Filling Fee

After filling the registration form together with the preparation of the MOA, the next stage is the payment of stamp duty done at an arm of the Federal Inland Revenue Services. The stamp duty is usually paid at a designated bank into the account of the Federal Inland Revenue Services. After the payment, the applicant proceeds to the Stamp Duty Commission, where the Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA) with some of the incorporation forms are stamped.

After this, the filled forms and accompanying stamped documents are submitted to the CAC. The Certificate of Incorporation will likely be returned after about six weeks from the date of submission.

5. Prepare the Scanned Copy of Your Documents

The next step is to prepare the signed scan copy of your pre-registration documents mentioned in step 3. It must be further uploaded online as follows:

  • Form CAC1.1
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Recognized form of identification for Director(s)/Subscriber(s) and Secretary
  • Evidence of payment to CAC

You can upload all these documents for processing

6. Submit the Original Documents

The final step is to submit all the originals of the documents which were scanned in step 5.

Documents Required for Company Registration

  • A notice of the registered address of your business
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MAA)
  • Receipt of payment of your stamp duties
  • Particulars, list, and consent of the first directors of your company
  • Statement of compliance by a legal practitioner

Essential Requirements to Register a Company in Nigeria

  • Your company can have 2 to 50 members
  • The members of your company must be at least 18 years old
  • You can’t register a company if any of the members are of unsound mind, disqualified by the CAMA, or bankrupt
  • The minimum limit of share capital required for company registration in Nigeria is NGN 10,000

“Also, just as a precautionary measure, make sure to check with the authority for the fee once again as you wouldn’t want your money to be wasted. Registering a company in Nigeria can be a complicated process for a foreigner not aware of the regional corporate laws, but with proper research and support, one can start his/her company in a jiffy” –

Explore and enjoy every service rendered on the CAC Public Search.

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