Doing Business In Nigeria (Part 1)- Foreign Company Registration

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Nigeria is Africa’s largest country by population and is considered to have the largest economy in Africa. Based on this a lot of foreigners are interested in doing business in Nigeria and one of the most important steps to get started is a Company registration. Foreigners wishing to do business in Nigeria must register a Company and also obtain all necessary permit licenses and authorizations to do business. These include a Business Permit, NIPC Registration, Expatriate Quota and Resident Permit (applicable only if residency desired). We now answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Foreign Company Registration In Nigeria.

FAQs About Foreign Company Registration In Nigeria

Q: Can a foreigner register a company in Nigeria?

A: Yes, a foreigner is allowed to register a company in Nigeria.

Q: Are there certain foreign companies that are exempted from Company Registration in Nigeria?

A: Yes, the following companies will be exempted from registering a company after application for exemption:

  • Foreign companies invited to Nigeria by or with the approval of the Federal Government to execute any specified individual project;
  • Foreign companies which are in Nigeria for the execution of specific individual loan projects on behalf of a donor country or international organization;
  • Foreign government-owned companies engaged solely in export promotion activities; and
  • Engineering consultants and technical experts engaged on any individual specialist project under contract with any of the governments in the Federation or any of their agencies or with any other body or person, where such contract has been approved by the Federal Government.

Q: Are there any requirement before a Foreigner can do business in Nigeria?

A: In addition to registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a foreigner that intends to do business in Nigeria must also register with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and where he/she wants to live in Nigeria would require a business permit from the Ministry of Interior.

Q: What are the requirements to commence a foreign company registration?

A: The following documents will be required:

  • Name of the company
  • Nature of business
  • Registered office address of the company
  • Particulars of the directors and shareholders.
  • Particulars of the secretary
  • Share Allocation Formula
  • Signatures of the directors, shareholders and secretary
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Q: Do i need to have a Nigerian on the Board of my Company?

A: In most cases there is no legal requirement to have a Nigerian on the Board of your Company. However some sectors like Oil & Gas have a local content requirement.

Q: Can I register my company and have a foreign address?

A:  No, you must provide an address situate in Nigeria for the company.

Q: Can I as a foreigner be the sole director and secretary of my company?

A: No you cannot be the sole director and shareholder of the company. You require a minimum of 2 directors and 2 shareholders to register a wholly or partly owned Foriegn Company in Nigeria. Also, it is to be noted that a foreigner cannot be appointed as secretary of the company. Kudi Konsult offers nominee directorship as well as company secretarial services.

Q: Is there any requisite share capital for company registration?

A: Yes, for companies with foreigners, the minimum share capital for registration is 10 million share capital.

Q: What are the documents I will get upon approval of registration?

A: Since the commencement of online registration, documents are also issued online and so you will be getting an E-Certificate, Memorandum and Articles of Association and Status Report.

Q: What are the Tax Obligations on Corporate Entities?

A:In Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) is in charge of managing the Corporate Income Tax regime and foreigners doing business in Nigeria are required to register with the tax authority and file returns for all income derived from the Country. For large businesses, defined as those with a gross revenue of more than NGN 100 million, the tax rate is 30%, and it is calculated based on the preceding year (i.e. tax is charged on profits for the accounting year ending in the year preceding assessment).

Q: Can A Foreigner register a Sole Proprietorship in Nigeria?

A:  It is only Nigerian citizens or any person lawfully resident in Nigeria that can register a Sole Proprietorship (Business Name)

Q: How Do I handle Bank Accounts?

A: At Kudi Konsult, we have developed relationships with notable Nigerian Banks to facilitate Account opening for your Corporate Entity. To complete bank account opening you will be required to obtain Bank Verification Number (BVN) which can be done at the nearest Nigerian embassy or several other locations around the world.

Q: What other document do Foreign Companies require to Do Business In Nigeria?

A: All enterprises in which there is foreign participation are to apply to the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) for business registration. The Commission is a Federal Government Agency in Nigeria established by the NIPC Act. The NIPC’s mission is to encourage, organise, and oversee investments in Nigeria. The Commission creates an enabling environment for foreign and domestic investors investing in Nigeria.

Q: What is the benefit of NIPC registration?

A: The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act guarantees that no foreign-owned firm or establishment shall be expropriated or nationalized by any government in Nigeria following the proper registration with the NIPC, which is the most significant benefit for investors.

Q: What are the requirements for NIPC registration in Nigeria?

A: The following documents are required:

  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the company
  • Memorandum and Article of Association
  • The CAC Form 1.1, which comprises the details of the company’s shareholding and particulars of the directors.
  • Particulars of the company
  • Particulars of shareholders, which will include name, email, phone number and country of residence
  • Description of business activities
  • Investment information, which includes the company structure, number of proposed employees, and investment value in USD among others.
  • Payment of registration fee

Q: What other requirements do I need to carry on business successfully as a foreigner?

A: There are other requirements in order to do business in Nigeria as a foreigner, such as business permit, expatriate quota, residence permit, work permit, certificate of capital importation. Also, there are some industry-specific requirements and licenses you will need to obtain as well. Some of them include Export License, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) license, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) license, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Oil and Gas Industry Service Permit and so on. Kudi Konsult can assist with any license or permit required to do business in Nigeria.

Kudi Konsult can assist you in structuring your business in Nigeria and can also offer immigration support For enquiries please call Ola on +23481 8682 7893 or chact by clicking the Whatsapp Icon below.

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Click Here To Read Part II Of This Article Which Deals With Residence Permit
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