As an individual or company looking to do business with another company, it is essential that you confirm whether they are legally registered or not. This is to ensure you don't get tied up in illegal operations that could attract regulatory fines in the long run.
Fortunately, there is a way to easily check if a company is registered in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in seconds. However, this free approach offers frustrating limitations for companies that establish a high number of business-customer relationships daily.
However, the good news is that there’s also an easy way to solve this problem in record time. Let’s dive right in!
Registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria
Corporate entities need licencing to be able to do business in Nigeria, and they can only get one after registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). CAC was created under the Companies and Allied Matters Act of Nigeria. By law, all businesses must have fulfilled the necessary requirements as stated by the commission before they can be registered.
Some of the information you need to provide include:
- Name of the company
- Registered address
- Name of directors
- Shareholding formula, etc.
- A filing fee determined by the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Upon fulfilling all the requirements and providing the necessary documents, the CAC will issue a Certificate of Incorporation to the company. The certificate contains the company’s name, an RC Number unique to it, and it's status (whether a private or public company).
How to Check if a Company is Registered in Nigeria
The CAC has launched a free portal for businesses and individuals to easily verify the registration of a company as part of their KYC process. This is to reduce the risk of individuals or corporations transacting under pretence.
Simply follow the steps below to check if a company is registered in Nigeria:
- Visit the official website of the Corporate Affairs Commission
- Scroll down till you see “Public Search” and click on it
- Supply the business name or RC number in the search box and click “Search”
- A dialogue would pop up, displaying the full name of the company, its office address and RC number
Following the processes above, it is easy to check if a company is registered or not in a matter of minutes. Also, it is completely free.
However, you can also choose to request the certificate of incorporation of the company for more details. For this information, you would be required to pay a sum on the CAC’s portal.
How do I Know if a Business Name is Registered?
Whether you are looking to register a business or you want to verify if a business with that name is actually registered, follow these steps:
- Visit CAC’s official website
- Click on Public search
- Input the business name and search
- This would give you a list of businesses with the names (if any).
This way you can confirm the name is already taken by a business or if the business you're looking for is registered (for those trying to verify it).
The Limitations of CAC Company Verification/ Business Names
Although the CAC website offers an avenue to freely verify business registrations, you have to manually visit their site and supply the name or RC number. This process has to be repeated for every single business you want to verify.
As a large corporation, business relationships and partnerships are established on a daily basis and having to manually verify each one would be tedious, time-consuming and not cost-effectively. This is even more so when you realise that the business verification is just the first step of a series of due diligence processes.
As a solution, businesses turn to automated customer due diligence (CDD) platforms to handle the whole process from start to finish. This way, it is quicker and saves labour and cost.
Performing Automated Business verification/ Customer Due Diligence using Youverify’s Operating System (YV OS)
Performing business verification and other customers due diligence steps is easy when using Youverify’s operating system (YV OS). This innovative software is Youverify’s flagship product that simplifies the whole company verification/ CDD process for your business.