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Can someone open an account in Nigeria with his Business name?

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Xflint
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PostXflint on Sat 09 Jul 2016, 12:42 pm

Can someone open an account in Nigeria with his Business name which would be used for that business alone?
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Gold
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PostGold on Mon 25 Jul 2016, 4:53 pm

As an Entrepreneur, you need to give your business a name. However, choosing a name is just one step, you must register the name with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Corporate Affairs Commission is an autonomous body responsible for regulating the formation and management of companies in Nigeria. Registering the name will give you a legal status to operate the business in your chosen name. Without the registration, you cannot enter into any legal transaction in the name of the company. For example, if you want to source for capital either from the bank or from private investors, they want to be sure that the business actually exists. Before you can even open a bank account on the business name, bank will carry out a search to confirm that the business name has been properly registered. Nevertheless, it is not automatic that the name you have chosen will be approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission. Your chosen name can be disapproved for the following reasons:

The name is the same or very similar to an existing name
The name is offensive, undesirable or misleading
The name is contrary to public policy
The name is similar to a Registered Trademark or Business Name except with the consent of the owners
The name contains the words ‘Chamber of Commerce’ which is restricted only to companies limited by guarantee
You do not possess necessary qualifications to use such name. For example, before you can include “Engineering” as part of your business or company name, you must belong to professional body governing the practice of engineering in Nigeria.
Also, there are certain names which require prior Consent of the Commission and these include the following:

Names that contain any of the following words: Federal, National, Regional, State or Local Government.
Names that suggest Government patronage
Ministries or Department of Government
Names that contain the Word Municipal, Chartered, Co-operative, Building Society
Names that contain the word ‘Group’ or ‘Holding’
In order to avoid identity theft, it is strongly advised that you make the registration of your business name a priority. If you don’t, you will be surprised that someone has gone to register the same name and you will not be able to take any legal action against him. How would you feel if somebody or a small company starts threatening you to drop the business name people have known you with simply because you failed to register the name and the person bypassed you in registering the name? Imagine the pain of losing the name and the goodwill that you must have garnered for the business over the years. My advice is that people should go on with the registration of their business name before the name is made known to the public.

How to Register Your Business Name

Registration of business name is not difficult; it is what individuals can do by themselves. You start the registration by purchasing an availability form from any of the Commission’s Office nationwide. The addresses of the offices of the Commission nationwide could be found at the end of this book. The availability form gives you the privilege to choose two names at a time on the same form. This implies that if the first name is not approved, the second one may stand the chance to be approved. If the Commission did not approve any of the two names, this means you need to obtain fresh Availability Form and start the process again.

The name search used to take a period of approximately three weeks but with the new twenty four hour business registration which the Commission has just introduced, this bureaucracy has been eliminated. In this new dispensation, it means that an individual can initiate the process of business registration and complete it within one day. Presently, this is only possible at the Commission’s Lagos offices at Alausa and Yaba and the headquarters at Abuja. It is hoped that this will soon be extended to all the Commission’s offices nationwide

After securing approval, the name will be reserved for you for the next sixty days. Within this period, you are expected to obtain and complete Business Name application form, submit the form for verification and then make payment for filing fees.

On the Business Name application form, you will indicate your approved business name, the description of the objects of the business, the name(s) and the addresses of the Proprietor(s), commencement date of the business. You will be required to submit the following documents along with the completed Business Name application form:

Copies of credentials that show you are qualified to operate the type of business you are applying for.
Current utility bill indicating your address.

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