Companies are not the only business organization in Nigeria. There are others like sole proprietorship and partnership, which are covered as business names under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). Business name, also known as an enterprise is covered under Part B of the CAMA.
A business name is a fastest and most convenient form of doing business by a sole proprietor or partnership in a more recognizable form. The registration of a business name can be done by a sole proprietor or partners.
Section 574(1) CAMA makes it mandatory for every firm, individual or corporation required to be registered under Part B, to be registered within Twenty-Eight (28) days from the date of the commencement of the business for which registration is required.
It is important to note that the requirements for registration of an enterprise differ from that of a limited liability company, which has been fully explained here.
• PROCEDURE FOR THE REGISTRATION OF BUSINESS NAME IN NIGERIA
The first important thing to do before proceeding with a registration of the business name is to gather the necessary requirements or documents to b used for the registration. The requirements for registration of business name are minimal and simply involve names and identification of the partners or proprietors of the business, where more than one person is to register the business name. The requirements may also include a partnership deed where necessary.
The procedure for how to register a business name in Nigeria or how to register a business enterprise in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) includes few steps, which must be adhered to strictly in getting the desired results. These steps include:
• First, an applicant should apply for availability check and reservation of the proposed business name through the CAC Portal.
• Applicant should now proceed to fill all necessary columns rightly in the Statutory Form (FORM BN1) and submit it appropriately. After the successful filling of the form, the applicant is to proceed with the payment of the necessary fees
• Subsequently, the applicant must print Business Name FORM BN and sign and date the required aspects of the form.
Applicant must now submit or upload the duly completed statutory form together with two sized passport photographs
Below are the documents to be uploaded:
– Availability Printout —– (It is the same as the Approval Note).
– Statutory Form (FORM BN 1)
– Proficiency Certificate (where applicable)
– Means of identification
– Payment Receipt.
Finally, after the registration of the business name, the following documents would be given back to the proprietors by the CAC:
– Original Certificate of registration of the business name
– CTC of the Application for the Registration of the business name
Meanwhile, a business name of more than one proprietor may choose to file a partnership deed with CAC after completing the registration process.
Business name registration is indeed a convenient and fastest means of setting up a small business in Nigeria. The procedure for how to register a business name is less tasking compared to the procedure for a company registration in Nigeria. The advantages of registering a business name include simplicity in registration, and affordability, as there is no need to pay stamp duty.
An individual can register a business name online himself or herself at the CAC’s portal because of its less formality and a lawyer may also be hired to carry out the registration, especially where the business involves more than one proprietor and a partnership deed stipulating the agreements between partners or proprietors required to be drafted and duly filed with the CAC.
It is however important for individuals registering a business name to be aware that registration of a business name does not entail a separate legal personality like a limited liability company, and any liability incurred in the cause of doing such business maybe personally extended to the owner or the proprietor of the business.
Finally, it worthy of note that a foreigner intending to participate in Nigeria business cannot do so through a registration of an enterprise, as foreign participation in Nigeria’s business entails different legal requirements, which does not give a room for a foreigner to use a business name as a mode of business set up in Nigeria.
By Corporate & Commercial Law Firm at Resolution Law Firm. Resolution Law Firm is a CAC’s accredited agent, assisting individuals and entities for Enterprise and Company’s registration in Nigeria. The Firm can be contacted through the below contact details.