The Corporate Affairs Commission is a federal institution in Nigeria that oversees everything that has to do with legal entities operating in the country. The organization ensures that both business establishments and corporate firms register their activities and business – information that can be made available to the public through the CAC public search whenever the need arises. More so, the CAC ensures that Nigeria is a safe environment to conduct business since fraudulent entities can be easily handpicked.
What Is The Significance of The CAC Public Search?
The Corporate Affairs Commission is responsible for the authentication and validation of companies and business institutions in Nigeria. This means that for any business to exist as a legal entity in the country, the details of such a company should be submitted to the CAC. The CAC public search was therefore introduced to enable individuals to verify that a company exists or has been registered with the CAC.
In times past, searching the CAC was a laborious and time-consuming task. Now, however, you can do it in just a few minutes on any internet browser. All you have to do is to visit the CAC website and navigate it to get the information you desire.
Can The CAC Public Search Check The Availability of A Company Name?
When you want to check the availability of a company name, you can simply go to the CAC page to search about the name you have in mind. To get started on this process, all you have to do is type in your intended business name and run a search. If the company name has not been used before, there will be no results from your search. However, if you find a result and you know you have not yet registered that name, you will have to look for another company name since it has already been taken.
Other Reasons You May Need To Use The CAC Public Search
There are different reasons why you would want to use the CAC public search apart from checking if a company name is available or not. Some of such reasons are outlined below:
- You may want to verify that a company that you want to do business with is registered, so you are not defrauded.
- You may also want to know about the company’s authenticity. This is usually for contractors and job seekers who are intending to get a job with that particular company.
- You may want to check the availability of a company name if you want to start your business and you have chosen a name. It is important to know if that name has already been taken before you go on with your registration.
- You will want to know if a company name is registered if you are interested in buying their products or using their services.
The Procedure For Checking Whether A Company Is Registered With The CAC
Given that the CAC is responsible for regulating the formation and management of companies, they are privileged to hold all information regarding registered companies in Nigeria. This information is not hoarded as it is made available to the public in a bid to promote transparency and ensure a safe business environment.
So if you are interested in knowing whether a company is registered with the CAC, take these easy steps:
- Visit the CAC website at cac.gov.ng
- Once the page has fully loaded, look for the search field provided and type in the company name without ‘Plc’, ‘Ltd’, or ‘Limited’
- After you have typed in the company name correctly, click on the search button/icon
- If the company is registered, you will see a result containing the RC number, company name, address, status, and registration date. You can get all the details that you want as you search by typing specific details of the company name you are interested in.
N.B: Remember that the company name you are looking for could be similar to other companies. Do well to locate the companies with some details you already have beforehand and know the similarities in their registration information that you should avoid.
Are There Other Ways To Check if a Company is Registered?
The CAC is the only body with the authority to register companies in Nigeria. This means that you can only check for the registration status of a company with the institution.
However, apart from the registration status check with CAC, you could also be interested in knowing the registration status of a company with the FIRS and Joint Tax Board. To get you started on this process, the following steps are necessary:
- Visit the FIRS official TIN verification page at https://apps.firs.gov.ng/tinverification
- Go to the search form on the page.
- Choose the CAC registration number in the dropdown list of the search form.
- Type in the CAC registration number with the correct alphabets depending on the nature of the company. RC is for corporate entities (public/limited liability companies), BN is for enterprises (sole proprietors and partnerships). For Example – RC1100110011 or BN2311345563.
N.B: When you get the CAC registration number from CAC, these alphabets are not present. You will need to append them yourself based on the nature of the company.
- You will then need to confirm that you are not a robot by typing the correct Captcha image and click the search button.
- Once you have put in the right number, your results will be displayed and you would know if the company is registered with the FIRS.
- Go to the Joint Tax Board Tin Verification Site
- Navigate to the TIN Registration Search Panel and type in the date of incorporation of the company. This is the registration date as given on the CAC website.
- On the Search Criteria section, click on the drop-down arrow to select the search criteria of the available options which include: NIN/BVN/Company Registration Number (RCxxxxxx or BNxxxxx), Tax Identification Number, or the Registered Phone Number
- Tick the CAPTCHA BOX “I am not a robot”
- Click on the submit button. If the submitted details of the company you are looking for are accurate, a page will pop up on the screen with the full details of the company. However, if such a company does not exist, a blank page will appear.
N.B: Using either the FIRS or JTB search mechanism will help a new company verify the authenticity of its registration with the CAC.