Friend, I want to talk to you about 5 steps to registering for foreign company in Nigeria as well as the basic requirements for doing so. So, congratulations that your business has expanded and you want to partner with a foreigner to take it to another level. Or, you are a foreigner and you want to start a subsidiary of your business in Nigeria or even open a main company of the business in Nigeria. Beautiful, Nigeria welcomes you and you are welcomes to open and run your foreign company or beautiful here in Nigeria.
However, there are certain things that are required by law for you to obtain and there are certain steps that you need to take before you can register a foreign company in Nigeria. So, in this guide, I share with you about five of those requirements and steps to registering for foreign company in Nigeria.
Step 1: Register Your Company/ Business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC)
The first requirement or step is for you to register your company or business with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). This is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria that is saddled with the sole responsibility of registering both local and foreign companies, entity and business in the country. One of the requirements for registration of a foreign company in Nigeria is that one of the directors of your company must be a Nigerian.
Let’s say for example that you are coming in from the United States of America (USA) to transact business with Nigeria or to register your company in Nigeria. Before you can transact that business or carry out your business in Nigeria, you have to register it and one of your directors must be in Nigerian. All of you cannot be Americans, okay?
Another requirement for you to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission as a foreign company is to have a minimum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) share capital. It could be more but that’s the minimum.
Step 2: Register Your Company with the Federal Inland Revenue Service
Now the second requirement is for you to move to the federal Inland Revenue Service to register for your Tax Identification Number (TIN) and VAT. Now, you also obtain your Tax Clearance Certificate for that year.
Step 3: Open a Corporate Account in Nigeria for the Business
Afterwards, moved into any of the commercial banks of your choice in Nigeria and register and open a Corporate Bank Account. When you have opened a corporate account, a Certificate of Capital Importation will be issued to you. All right, it just says that the amounts that each director in your company subscribes to as shareholder in your Memorandum and Article of Association will be paid into the account of that commercial bank. So, it simply means that you have to an extent paid the amount that has been subscribed in your name into the commercial bank and then you be issued with Certificate of Capital Importation by your bank because it’s going to be useful for subsequent step.
Step 4: Register with NIPC
After you have completed step 2 above, you move to registration with The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). The NIPC is a federal government agency that is saddled with a sole responsibility of monitoring, encouraging, and controlling foreign participation in the business sector of Nigeria.
Step 5: Obtain All Governmental Approval and Licenses
After you’ve completed step above, you obtain all governmental approval and licenses. For example, you will need a business permit. Before your company can transact business in Nigeria, you need a business permit which will be obtained from the Ministry of Interiors. You also need a resident or work permit. Now there’s a difference between the business permit and resident permit. Resident permit simply has to do with your foreigners; the foreigner that are coming to work in Nigeria. This could be your employees, your directors, you founders, your sponsors, etc. If they are coming to work in Nigeria and they are not Nigerians, you will need to obtain a work or resident permit from Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card for Nigeria (CPAC).
So, you will obtain either work or resident permit for each of the foreign employees whereas the business permit is solely to enable your business or your company as a corporate entity to transact business in Nigeria. Now, if you are going to be involved in importation of anything, you would need to obtain your Importation License. If you’re going to be specialized in doing certain things, like production of certain things, you’re going to obtain all your licenses from the governmental bodies and agencies.
In summary, first requirement for registering your foreign company in Nigeria and/or carrying out your foreign business in Nigeria is the registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (CAC). Second is registration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service for your Tax Identification. The third is to open a corporate account with any Commercial Bank in Nigeria of your choice. You then move to the NIPC to register your objective and your business with them.
Lastly, you need to obtain all governmental licenses like approval, business permit, resident and work permits, importation license, and any other thing like NAFDAC Number. It’s based on what your specialty is and what the objective of your business or company is all about. I hope this helped. If you have any question, do well to drop them in the comment section and I will attend to them. Stay safe!