Free Business Name Registration for MSMEs by FGN

What is Business Name Registration?

Business name registration is the official process of choosing a name for your business , submitting the choice of the business name and getting the name approved and subsequently receiving  approval of your business name( for example business name registration certificate) from the government agency in charge of it as proof that the business name is on the state registry of legal business names.

Which state agency is in charge of business name registration  in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, the state agency in charge of registering all business names is the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC).

How do I start a business name in Nigeria?

Choose a business name.

Submit your chosen business name to the CAC for name reservation.

Register your business name.

Pay for a filing fee.

Prepare your documents for upload.

Submit the original copies of your documents.

How To Choose a business name?

Choose a name that is easy to remember and spell, preferably a name that has cues that link it to your line of business and will not limit your business as your business grows.
Your business name is the first thing that gives you an official identity and you can use it to tell people what you want them to think of your business brand. This is known as brand positioning and choosing a name is the first step.

For a start, you can ask people around you to suggest business names to you or jot down names or symbols that are popularly associated with the business sector you will be operating in or just do a quick random search on the internet on the business names choices you have or use digital tools such as namelix,
(Namelix uses artificial intelligence to create a short, brand-able business name and you can use namelix for choosing your domain names too), remove those already being used and registered and narrow down the choices to just 4 business names(one extra plus the common 3 usually requested just in case your first top 3 business names don’t get approved).

How To Submit Your Chosen Business Name To The CAC For Name Reservation

Submit your choice of name through the CAC business name reservation portal.

Barring any glitch or error in the submission process,within same day, you get your business name reserved for you. This process cost a fee which for now is Five hundred naira.

How To Register Your Business Name

On the completion of your business name reservation, proceed to the registration of your business name online too through the CAC online registration portal by completing a CAC pre-registration form (CAC-BNo1). 

How To Pay For a Business Name Registration Fee.

The first step is to understand the payment system under the Treasury Single Account system of the Federal Government of Nigeria(FGN)

How To Generate  Remita RRR Number To Pay Government Fees

There are two steps;
1. Generate the Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) number as invoice.

2. Pay with your RRR number To generate your payment receipt for the invoice.

Steps for paying your business name registration fee to CAC:
1.Go to

2. Click ” pay FGN and  State TSA”

3. Select pay Federal Government of Nigeria.

4.On the field where you type the name of Federal government MDA, type Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in the field.

5.Then select “the name of the service /purpose” that relates to business name registration filing fee.

6. Enter the amount to pay
The cost of business name registration depends on the type of company you are trying to register.

7.Payer’s name: Type in your name

8. Payer’s phone number: Type in your active phone number

9.Payer’s e-mail address: Type in your official email address

10.How do you want to pay: Select your preferred method of payment
Please note that you can pay directly using your details on your bank debit card but where you prefer to make payment in the bank to have a bank teller reference, select bank payment option then copy your RRR and proceed to the bank to make payment. Your bank will issue you a payment teller.

11. Click submit

12. Type in your bank debit card details to make payment to conclude the business name registration payment process.

After you concluded the payment of the CAC business name registration filing fee, you will receive a receipt of payment. If all goes well and your submitted information are authentic and satisfy all the criteria for business name registration, you will be issued a certificate of approval as Certificate of registration of business name like this one below.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Business Name in Nigeria?

Registration of a private company with an authorized share capital of N1m or less costs N10,000

Registration of a private company with a share capital of more than N1m and up to N500m costs N5,000 for every 1m shares of the company.

Private company registration above N500m authorized share capital costs N7,500 for every 1m shares of the company.

Public company registration for the first 1m share capital or fewer costs N20,000

Registration of company not having a share capital costs N20,000

In the new law for business name registration, you no longer need the services of a legal practitioner, chartered secretaries, or any other third party to register your business name in Nigeria.

Registration of Registered Business Name For Tax.

Once you complete your business name registration, visit the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to read guidelines for new taxable entities and then to your nearest Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office to get your unique tax identification number (TIN).

Therefore, your TIN registration will help you enjoy special tax incentives such as on Value-added Tax (VAT) as stated in the new Finace Act that sets a new threshold for taxable persons, exempts taxable persons with taxable supplies of less than Twenty five Million Naira (N25m) from accounting for VAT to the national tax agency, FIRS. Such qualified taxable persons are also exempt from penalties imposed for non-registration for VAT purposes.

TIN registration will also protect you from tax related hassles when trying to enjoy other government and private lenders incentives for raising capital for your business.

What are the Frequently Asked Questions on Business Name Registration in Nigeria?

These questions and answers below were collated from the CAC website Frequently asked questions.

Who are accredited agents?

Accredited agents are person(s) or institutions certified by the corporate affairs commission to process and submit pre-incorporation and post-incorporation filings on-behalf of individuals and businesses.

I have forgotten my Password, What can I do?

On the Login prompt; use the forgot password feature; this would send you an electronic mail notification on further steps to take to reset your password or get a new one

What do I do If I do not receive my password after account creation?

Go to the ‘Sign in’ page and click ‘Forgot Password’ link and follow the instructions. An email containing a password reset link will be sent to your registered email address. Click on the link or paste it on your browser and follow the steps provided.

What does CAC-CRP mean?

This stands for the Corporate Affairs Commission – Company Registration Portal.How can I get a CAC-CRP Portal Account Access?It is easy as visiting and clicking ‘Create Account’ button; fill in the form, submit and your account details would be sent to the email address you entered.

What can I do with my CAC-CRP Portal Account?

With your CAC-CRP portal account you can submit pre-incorporation and post-incorporation filings with the Corporate Affairs Commission online in real time. You can also conveniently make payment for these filings from the comfort of your home; 24/7 a year.

What is the first thing I must do to register a business in Nigeria?

To register a business in Nigeria; you would need to conduct a name search of the business. You can achieve this using your CAC-CRP account

What do I need to submit a successful Name Availability Request?

To submit a name availability request successfully; you would need the following:

The name(s) to search; a maximum of two options

Your CAC-CRP account access (username and password)

N500 only

Other required information about the type of business (Please use an accredited agent if in doubt)

But I don’t have an e-payment credit/debit card; how can I pay online?

If you do not have a debit/credit card to use for payment online; you can still use your internet banking to pay for fees in the CAC-CRP. If you don’t have internet banking either; just generate the bill from the CAC-CRP; walk into any bank branch in Nigeria and make the payment.

But I am outside Nigeria how am I affected?

This service is available for anybody to use from anywhere in the world at any point in time. Payment options available though are debit/credit cards as well as internet banking with any of the Nigerian banks.

How will I know if My Name Availability Was Approved or Declined?

Once your name search request has been processed; you would receive an email notification in your officially registered email address. Then on logging in to your CAC-CRP account; you would be able to see the status of your application as well as generate the availability approval/disapproval form.

What do I do if My Name Availability request is declined?

You can seek advice from an accredited agent; or make another name search application.

What is the Closest CAC office to me?

Please check the CAC official website at for information on offices Nationwide

Where can I get more information?

Please check the CAC official website at for information

How To Get A Business Name Registration For Free in Nigeria.

From October 19, 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced FREE 250,000 FG/CAC BUSINESS NAMES REGISTRATION FOR MSMEs which is paid on behalf of successful applicants by the government’s
Business formalisation Support of the MSME Survival Fund as part of Federal Government’s post Covid-19 Pandemic survival intervention to support micro and small businesses to formalise their businesses.

This free registration will be divided into 6,606 Business Names  each for 34 states while Abia, Lagos and Kano will have 7,906, 9,084 and 8,406 respectively.

Consequently, all interested Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, Artisans, Craftsmen/Women (one or more persons) that are yet to formalise their businesses have an advantage and opportunity to register their business name for free.

Aggregators have been appointed to receive applications from interested persons in line with CAC requirements.

The names and  contact details of the aggregators can be obtained on the Commission’s Website as follows:

List Of Aggregators For FG Free Business Registration

To seize this opportunity to register your business for free, below is the list of aggregators for Federal Government of Nigeria, FG Free Business Registration:

The free registrations will start on the 19th October 2020.

If interested, visit any of the centres with the following documents to register your business:
Three (3) Proposed Names
Two (2) Passport sized photographs
Valid Means of Identification
Phone Number/Email address.