Corporate Affairs Commission – Company and Business Registration in Nigeria – Name Search
The Corporate Affairs commission in Nigeria (CAC) is an independent body that is responsible for regulating the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. CAC Nigeria was established in 1990 by the Companies and Allied Act.
Before the establishment of CAC Nigeria, the body in charge of registration and formation and regulation of companies in Nigeria was done by the Corporate Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade. Due to inadequacies and shortcomings as a result of lack of funds and other facilities by the Ministry of trade, there was a need for a reform program.
This was why the Commission decided to set up an autonomous body that would be in charge of performing its functions adequately. This is what gave rise to the birth of CAC Nigeria.
CAC Nigeria has its headquarters in Abuja and since it is concerned with the aim of bringing the services of the Commission closer to the people, CAC Nigeria has several branches distributed across the states in Nigeria.
Lagos state has three branches as a result of its commercial climate.
CAC Nigeria membership body includes the following:
1. A Chairman: This is usually appointed by the President based on recommendation of the Minister
2. A Representative of the Business Community: This is appointed by the Minister based on the recommendation of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
3. A Representative of the Law: Appointed by the Minister and recommended by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
4. A representative of accountancy profession which is appointed by the Minister and recommended by the Institute of Chartered Accountant (ICAN).
5. A representative from securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
6. A representative from Federal Ministry of Commerce, Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry of Industry and the Registrar General of the Commission.
Functions of the Corporate Affairs commission (CAC) Nigeria include the following;
• Registration of businesses, regulation, supervision of businesses, registered incorporation and winding up of companies in Nigeria.
• Setting up and managing branches of CAC Nigeria that are suitably and adequately equipped to discharge its functions.
• Investigate the affairs of companies that the interests of the shareholders and public so demands among others.
At the respective zonal offices of CAC Nigeria scattered across the country, the following services are provided.
a. Registration of business names.
b. Statutory filing processing and transfer of such to the Headquarters at Abuja for any other necessary actions.
c. Verifying and processing of applications that come in from company incorporation and then sending them to the Headquarters for final approval and registration.
d. Receiving and providing help and answers to enquiries and complaints relevant to the services of CAC Nigeria.
e. Sale of statutory forms and publications of CAC Nigeria.
f. Starting the process of accreditation of professionals including lawyers, chartered accountants and chartered secretaries.
One important function of CAC Nigeria is registration of business names. A business name(s) is a name under which any business wants to be referred to as or carried on. It could be a partnership, firm or sole proprietorship.
Registration of business names under CAC Nigeria involves submission of an application form along with copies of the following documents.
i. Reservation of Name Form (Form/BN/A1).
ii. The proposed name of your business/ company.
iii. Nature of the business or proposed activities (Form/BN/B2).
iv. Full address of the principal place of business and any other branch (Form/BN/B3)
v. Forenames, surnames, nationality, age, sex occupation, and address of each person who are intending partners of the business if the intending registration is for that of a firm. The corporate name of any corporation that is an intending partner if any is also required.
vi. Proposed date of commencement.
vii. Passport sized photographs of owners of the business.
viii. Proof to show professional qualification to run that business (if the business is of a professional nature).
ix. Evidence of immigration status if one of the owners of the business is a non-Nigerian.
It is important to note that, there are four (4) types of companies that are recognized for business by CAC Nigeria. These include; private limited companies, public limited companies, companies limited by guarantee and unlimited companies.
In 2005, CAC Nigeria started operating an online portal where registration of companies can be done. It also has a public search portal which allows you to search for registered companies on its database.
At least this saves the stress of the former method of filling forms and waiting for about 90 days to find out if the business name you want to register is available or has been used by someone else.
The website for CAC Nigeria is cac.gov.ng. This has been helpful to so many companies as they can now patronize the services of Corporate Affairs Commission Nigeria from any location around the world.