As birth certificate is peculiar to you, so is Business Certificate of Incorporation is to your business. Business Certificate of Incorporation in Nigeria also known as Certificate of Business Incorporation is a legal document issued after a business has been duly registered by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In this article, the 4 things you should know about your Certificate of Business Incorporation will be discussed. Before I proceed, let me quickly inform you that for you to operate your business successfully in Nigeria there are a number of legal documents which your business must have in Nigeria. You can read about those legal documents, where and how to get them here.
Now, let’s proceed…
What is Business Certificate of Incorporation?
The Certificate of Business Incorporation is a legal document relating to the formation of a Company. It indicates that a business can commence. It is a kind of license issued to begin the businesses of a firm. In Nigeria, it is issued by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria.
In recent times, the Business Certificate of Incorporation is issued out for free to business owners. The Certificate of Business Incorporation consist of necessary information about the business which include the business name, location of the business, and date obtained. There are a lot of benefits attached to this document when obtained and these benefits are:
- It is used to open financial account(s) in the name of the business.
- It gives an automatic access to apply for bank or government loan.
- It enables you to sell shares to both local and foreign investors.
- It gives your business perpetual existence.
- It guards your assets both personal and business asset.
- It gives your business/company credibility.
- It makes the transfer of ownership easy in case you want to sell your business.
- Incorporating your business improves your business management skills.
- It validates the existence of your business.
- People tend to take your business seriously when your business is incorporated or registered.
Where to Obtain Business Certificate of Incorporation
In Nigeria, Business Certificate of Incorporation is issued by the Cooperate Affairs Commission, duly approved by the company’s registrar. The Cooperate Affairs Commission is a recognized governmental body that manages the formation of any company in Nigeria. They operate under the jurisdictions of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). Obtaining your Certificate from the Cooperate Affairs Commission indicates it originality because they are the only agency who issues this certificate. Certificate of Business Incorporation can only be given to 3 classes of companies namely the Private Owned Company, Public Owned Company and Incorporated Trustees.
When is Business Certificate of Incorporation Issued?
Business Certificate of Incorporation is issued to a company depending on the situation of the company:
Certificate of Incorporation is given to you when you register your business which indicates the existence of your business officially.
2) Change of Name
It is re-issued to you when there is a change of business name. It can only be issued when the process of changing of business name is carried out with the Cooperate Affairs Commission. On completion of the process, you will be issued a new Business Certificate of Incorporation.
After few years, most businesses and companies restructure or rebrand. They do this by introducing new strategies into their business operations (i.e., business upgrade) and this might include changing the name of the company which then requires reregistering the business/company with Cooperate Affairs Commission. This will render the previous Certificate of Business Incorporation invalid and a new certificate of incorporation must be issued to the business or Company.
How to Obtain Business Certificate of Incorporation
As stated earlier, the Certificate of Business Incorporation is issued legally by the Cooperate Affairs Commission. Obtaining your own certificate depends on the State you are located in because in some states, application for the certificate can be done online while other states issue the written form. It could take between 1-2 weeks to process your certificate and upon completion of processing can be delivered to you via email or via courier. As effective August 10, 2020 due to the spread of the Corona Virus nationwide, the Federal Government awarded free 250,000 Certificates of Business Incorporations for business owners.
Steps to Obtain Your Certificate Of Business Incorporation with the Cooperate Affairs Commission
1) The Name of Your Company.
Get the desired name for your company, at least 3 names to make selections in case one has been taken by another business.
2) Memorandum of Association (MOA):
This is usually issued by a lawyer and is an important corporate document that states the powers and privileges of the company. It is often considered as the constitution of the company.
3) Obtain Pre-Registration Form and Fill as Instructed.
A preregistration form is issued by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) and it contains all the information needed by the commission which include the profile of the business and that of the business owner.
There will be a documentation of all the information filled in the preregistration form.
5) Pay Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is a tax issued on properties and documents. You will have to pay this fee and move to the next stage.
6) Scan all Necessary Document Required by Cooperate Affairs Commission
All documents needed are listed in the preregistration forms and it is required to be scanned and uploaded for verification by the commission.
7) Submission of Original Documents:
The commission also request for the submission of original documents for proper verification so as to prevent submission of forged or fake documents.
Upon completion of these processes, you will be issued your Certificate of Business Incorporation by the Cooperate Affairs Commission.
Conclusively, the Certificate of Business Incorporation is one of the most important steps when starting a business in Nigeria. Having it simply means that your business idea is becoming a reality and it is legally advisable to register first for it before commencing trade instead of commencing trade before the going for the Business Certificate of Incorporation.