The Corporate Affairs Commission recently extended the deadline for accessing its discounted business registration fees. The new deadline, set for August 13, will allow more micro, small, and medium enterprises to register their business names for ₦5000.
The reduced fee was first introduced last year under the Business Incentive Strategy (BIS) initiative, designed to make it less costly for MSMEs to formalize their businesses. The commission says this measure should enable them to set up proper company accounts with banks, access loans, and benefit from government intervention programs.
It was originally slated to last until December 31, after running for 90 days (three months). This first deadline was stretched by a further three months to May at the request of state governments. The latest extension, which sets the last day for registering business names to August, was fixed at the orders of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
What this Means for Small Businesses
If you’re a solopreneur or a small business owner and you haven’t registered with the CAC, you have the chance to do so now. The ₦5000 fee that’s on offer is a 50% reduction on what you would usually have to pay to get your business name registered with the commission.
Besides this fee, there’s also a prior ₦500 charge for securing a business name with the CAC. Taken together, you’ll be spending a total of ₦5500 on getting your company officially recognized by the government.
This recognition gives you access to a wide range of benefits. Financial institutions will require evidence that you’re a registered business as a precondition for granting you a loan; you can’t secure a contract with government without it; and you’ll need it to get your venture listed with tax authorities.
How to Register a Business Name with the CAC
You can register your business name on the CAC’s website, or at any of the organization’s offices closest to you.
Here’s a quick run through the online process:
1. Log on to the CAC’s website.
2. Search for the availability of your business name, to see if there’s still room for that name to be registered. You will be expected to provide two names. The CAC will search its records to determine that the names aren’t in use or aren’t similar to ones already being used.
3. Once it’s been determined that the names are unique enough to be registered, the CAC reserves your business name for 60 days, within which you are expected to complete the process of registering the name.
4. Fill the business name registration forms on the website. The forms include:
•The approved name of the business, as confirmed in the previous stage.
•What the business is and does.
•The business’s address.
•The particulars of its proprietor(s), including their name, address, occupation, and other relevant information.
•Two passport-sized photographs of each applicant (proprietor).
Note that if you’re running a one-person enterprise, you are the sole proprietor or applicant.
5. Pay the CAC filing fees online or at a bank.
6. As soon as the payment is approved, you should submit the forms listed in (4) to the CAC online. The commission will notify you when they have approved your application, and issue you with a Business Name Certificate.
Featured image source: The Nation