The Central Bank of Nigeria according to the powers conferred on it by Section 28 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act and Section 56-61 of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act, issued revised guidelines to regulate the establishment, operations, and other activities of Finance Companies in 2014.


A finance company, unless otherwise stated, means a person or company licensed to carry on finance company business. Finance Company Business means the business of providing financial services for consumers and to industrial, commercial, or agricultural enterprises. Such services include:

1.      Funds management;

2.      Equipment leasing;

3.      Hire-purchase;

4.      Debts factoring and securitization;

5.      Project financing or consultancy;

6.      Debt administration;

7.      LPO financing;

8.      Project financing;

9.      Export financing;

10.     Financial consultancy; and

11.     Issuing of vouchers, coupons, credit cards, and token stamps and such other businesses as the CBN may, from time to time, designate.


Any person seeking a licence for a finance company business in Nigeria shall apply in writing to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Such application shall be accompanied by the following:

1.      A non-refundable application fee of N10,000.00 [ten thousand Naira only] in bank draft, payable to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

2.      Deposit of the minimum capital of N20 million (Twenty million naira only) in bank draft made payable to the CBN. The capital thus deposited together with the accrued interest will be released to the promoters on the grant of the final licence.

3.      Satisfactory, verifiable, and acceptable evidence of payment by the proposed shareholders of the minimum capital of N20 million.

4.      A copy of a detailed feasibility report disclosing information that will include:

i.       The objectives and aims of the proposed finance company.

ii.      The need for the services of the finance company.

iii.     The special services that the finance company intends to provide.

iv.      The branch expansion programme [if any] within the first five years.

v.      The proposed training programme for staff and management succession.

vi.      A five-year financial projection for the operation of the finance company, indicating its expected growth and profitability.

vii.     Details of the assumptions upon which the financial projection has been made.

viii.    The organizational structure of the finance company, setting out in detail, the functions and responsibilities of the top management team.

ix.      The composition of the Board of Directors and the curriculum vitae of each member including other directorships held [if any].

x.      The conclusions based on the assumptions made in the feasibility report.

5.      A copy of the draft Memorandum and Articles of Association.

6.      A letter of intent to subscribe to the finance company, signed by each subscriber.

7.      A copy of the list of proposed shareholders in tabular form, showing their business and residential addresses [not post office addresses], and the names and addresses of their bankers.

8.      Names and curriculum vitae (CV) of the proposed members of the Board of directors. The Cvs must be personally signed and dated. The documents/items under paragraph (d) above.

9.      No proposed finance company shall incorporate/register its name with the Corporate Affairs Commission until written approval has been communicated to the promoters by the CBN, a copy of which shall be presented to the Corporate Affairs Commission.

10.     In considering an application for a licence, the Bank shall require to be satisfied as to the following;

  • The Minimum paid-up capital of N20 million is acceptable and the source is verifiable, satisfactory, and acceptable.
  • The quality of the management of the proposed company. The promoters would be required to submit the names and curriculum vita (cv) of the proposed top management team. The CVs must be personally signed and dated.
  • The earnings prospect of the company.
  • The objects of the company as disclosed in its Memorandum and Articles of Association which should agree with the services listed in the provisions of Section 1 of these Revised Guidelines.

11.     Thereafter, the Governor may grant a licence to a finance company.

12.     The CBN may at any time vary or revoke any conditions of a licence or impose additional conditions.

13.     Where a licence is granted subject to conditions, the finance company shall comply with those conditions to the satisfaction of the CBN within such a period as the CBN may deem appropriate in the circumstances.


1.      The maximum number of directors on the Board of a finance company shall be seven while the minimum shall be three. To qualify for the position of a director in a finance company, it is hereby required that the person(s) must not be current employees or directors of banks or other financial institutions, except the finance company is promoted by the banks or other financial institutions and are representing the interest of such institutions. In circumstances, however, where current directors or employees of banks or Other financial institutions are proposed for the position of Director, the consent of their employers must be given in writing to the CBN.

2.      The appointment of new directors must be preceded by CBN’s approval.


The following minimum qualifications and experience are mandatory for officers who may occupy the key/top management positions in the finance company.

1.      Managing Director/Chief Executive – a recognized university degree or professional qualification with at least 7 years of post-qualification experience in relevant fields.

2.      Departmental Head – a recognized university degree or professional qualification with at least 5 years of post-qualification experience in relevant fields.

3.      Support staff – shall be qualified and be of proven ability.

4.      A person with any other qualifications or experience that may be considered adequate by the CBN can hold any of the positions [i], [ii] and [iii] within the organization.


1.      The promoters of a finance company shall submit the following documents to the CBN before such finance company is permitted to commence operations:

a.       A copy of the shareholders’ register in which the equity interest of each shareholder is properly reflected [together with the original for sighting].

b.      A copy of the share certificate issued to each shareholder.

c.       A certified true copy of Form C02 [Return of Allotments] filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

d.      A certified true copy of Form C07 [Particulars of Directors] and written confirmation that the Board of Directors approved by the CBN has been installed.

e.       A certified true copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

f.       The opening statement of affairs audited by an approved firm of accountants practising in Nigeria.

g.      A certified true copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company [together with the original for sighting purposes only].

h.      A copy of each of the letters of offer and acceptance of employment by management staff and a written confirmation that the Management team approved by the CBN has been put in place.

i.       A letter of undertaking to comply with all the rules and regulations guiding the operations of finance companies.

j.       Evidence of registration with the finance company’s association umbrella body.

2.      The finance company shall inform the CBN of the location and address of its Head Office.

3.      The finance company shall be informed in writing by the CBN that it may commence business after physical inspection of its premises.

4.      The finance company shall inform the CBN in writing of the date of commencement of business.


To recapitulate, it is compulsory for every company desiring to be licensed as a finance company to be a stand-alone and therefore, be strictly limited to solely engaging in finance company businesses as stated in the body of the article.

Requirements For Registering A Company In Nigeria


A company is a corporate structure with separate legal personality status. It is statutorily regulated and incorporated for the purpose of profit maximization. All companies, whether a private company limited by shares, private unlimited or a company limited by guarantee must be registered in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which is the principal law that regulates companies in Nigeria. The requirements for registering a company in Nigeria are straightforward with no intricacies.

The commission in charge of the regulation and supervision of the registration and companies is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) established pursuant to the provisions of CAMA. In one of our previous articles, we explained a step by step guide for company registration, but we shall briefly highlight the basic requirements for an incorporation of a limited liability company here.

It should be noted that the minimum number of persons required to form a company is two (2), with the age capacity not less than 18 years. The only exception for a person less than 18 years to register a company is where there are two or more adults involved in the formation of the company.

Requirements to register a limited liability company

  1. The first step required by the applicant is to choose two suitable proposed names for the company. Where this is done, an availability check will be conducted on the CAC online portal to find out if the name is available and not already in use.
  2. Choosing the type of company to be registered whether a private limited company or private unlimited company or company limited by guarantee.
  3. The objectives and business of the company must be provided.
  4. The registered principal address of the company.
  5. The share capital and shareholding formula among shareholders will be required.
  6. The particulars of a minimum of two (2) Directors will be required. A copy of their means of identification such as voter’s card, national ID, drivers’ license or international passport.
  7. Particulars of the company secretary (one of the directors may also act as the Secretary of the company)
  8. The applicant will be required to furnish details of the shareholders of the company. Details such as names, occupation, residential address, email address, mobile phone number and means of identification such as driver’s license, international passport or national identity card. It should be noted that the directors listed can also hold the capacity of shareholders in the company if desired.
  9. The memorandum and Articles of association of the company to be registered which is advisable to be drafted professionally by a Legal Practitioner. However, the CAC has provided a generic MEMART, which any new company can be adopted.

Fees required

The applicant will also be required to pay a filing fee to the CAC and stamp duty paid to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Where this information is provided for, the following statutory forms will be required to be filled and submitted along with the evidence of payment at the CAC and other requirements:

  • Form CAC 1- Availability search and reservation of name
  • Form CAC 1.1-Pre-registration form.

Incorporation can be commenced online by an individual applicant or through a CAC accredited agent at the CAC’s online portal. Where an individual commenced the incorporation himself or herself, such a person will still require the services of a legal practitioner for an attestation.


In conclusion, to operate any company in Nigeria, such a company must be incorporated. Although the company registration can be initiated online, the original copies of the documents used for the registration must be submitted to the CAC before the Certificate of Incorporation can be issued to the owners or their agent.


How to Check if a Company is Registered in Nigeria with CAC – Corporate Affairs Commission

Verifying the existence or authenticity of a registered company in Nigeria used to be a timing consuming and daunting task requiring you to visit a CAC office to fill paper forms. However, it is now very easy, this write up will show you how to check if a company is registered in Nigeria with CAC – Corporate Affairs Commission and FIRS (Federal Inland Revenue Service).

There are several reasons for verifying the registration status of a company, maybe you want to go into business with the company, apply for a job in the company or patronize the business online. Whatever the reasons, you can now check the registration status of a company anywhere and anytime using your mobile phone or computer.

The process requires just two steps, first step is checking the registration status on CAC website and the second step is verifying the Tax registration status on FIRS website.


How to Check Company Registration Status with CAC


Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is an autonomous body charged with the responsibility to regulate the formation and management of companies in Nigeria.


To check if a company or business is registered, follow this simple steps:


  1. Visit CAC website by clicking here,
  2. Type the company name in the field provided without “Plc”, “Limited” or “Ltd”.
  3. Check the “I am not a robot” CAPTCHA box
  4. Click submit .


Corporate Affair Commission Registration Check


If the company exists, you will get a result with (the RC Number, Company Name, Address and Date of Registration). However, if the company doesn’t exist you will get an empty result. Sometimes, you will get many results if the company has other companies bearing similar name, just scroll down to locate the company with matching name. Sometimes, a company might still be undergoing registration, in that case you won’t see it’s RC Number, you will see Undergoing Registration.


How to Check Company Registration Status with FIRS or Joint Tax Board


The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is the institution saddled with the responsibility of collection and payment of Federal government taxes in Nigeria. After getting the company’s RC Number using the steps above, you can check a company’s TIN and registration status on the FIRS website using the following steps

Option One

  1. Visit the FIRS Official TIN Verification page by clicking here
  2. Scroll down to the Search form
  3. Select CAC Registration number in the search criteria dropdown list
  4. Enter the CAC Registration Number preceded by the corresponding alphabets (RC for Corporate entities (public/limited liability companies) and BN for Enterprises (Sole proprietorships or partnerships)) in the search value field. E.g RC11111111 or BN1111111. Note the RC Number you get from the CAC website doesn’t bear the prefix letters RC or BN you have to append it.
  5. Type the correct Captcha Image text and click on the search button


If the Number is correct the name of the company will be displayed with details shown below (remember to scroll down to view results)


FIRS TIN Verification System

Option Two

  1. Visit the Joint Tax Board TIN Verification page
  2. On the TIN Registration Search Panel enter company registration date (You can get this from the CAC step above)
  3. Select Search Criteria (TIN/BVN/Company Registration Number (RCxxxxxx or BNxxxxx) or Registered Phone Number
  4. Check the “I am not a robot” CAPTCHA box
  5. Click submit .

If the information is correct the name of the company will be displayed with details shown below (you can also get the details emailed to you)

Joint tax board TIN verification