The short/Simple guide to registering Your Business Name in Nigeria

The current procedure and steps for the registration of business names and company registrations reflect the government commitment to ease the means of doing business in Nigeria as registration can be done online in the comfort of your home. Therefore 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.

Section 861 of the Company and Allied Matters Act makes it illegal for a Company, Business name or Incorporated Trustee to commence operation without first being registered. However, there is an exception on the part of a business name, as the Act allows a business name to operate for a period of 28 days before registration.

The first important thing to do before proceeding with a registration of the business name is to gather the necessary requirements or documents to be used for the registration.

Requirements for Registering a Business Name  include :

Registering an individual account in the CAC Portal.

Passport Photograph

A government Identity card such as Drivers Licence, International Passport, Permanent Voters Card, NIN/ National ID card.

Partnership Deed ( Where necessary)

Proficiency certificate(Where necessary)


 First, an applicant should apply for an availability check and reservation of the proposed business name through the CAC Portal.

In the selection of a name, make sure you use a unique name to avoid being rejected. Doing a public search on the site can assist you in selecting the right name.

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.


When the name has been approved, go on to register the Business Name by clicking on the continue button o simply start a new registration with the Approval number.

Applicant must fill Statutory application form on the site and thereafter submit or upload the required documents in the upload section.

Finally, after the registration of the business name, the following documents would be made available for download by the CAC:

– Original Certificate of registration of the business name with the BN Number

– CTC of the Application for the Registration of the business name.


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 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.


Foreigners willing to do business in Nigeria cannot do so through business name registration, as foreign participation in Nigeria’s business entails different legal requirements.

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 may be personally extended to the owner or the proprietor of the business.

If you have questions and need assistance in any area of law, please call: 0803 572 8635


Ajukwaeke Sandra, LLB, BL, AICMC

A seasoned legal practitioner with keen efforts specialized in Corporate / Commercial Services, Intellectual Property, and Property Law/Management Services.


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