HOW TO OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT IN NIGERIA
To open and operate a business account in Nigerian banks is an entirely different method from running an individual account in terms of its requirements and documentations. To be able to own a business account, the business must be duly registered in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which is the principal law that regulates companies in Nigeria.
Most banks have different procedures for opening a corporate bank account, but the requirements are still the same across all the banks. Most of the banks operating in Nigeria provide a wide range of services to their clients with multiple features like ability to transfer funds from Nigeria to other country, trade facilities, debit and credit card, internet banking, and multi-currency account. A business bank account allows one to easily keep track of expenses, manage employees’ salary, convey finances to investors, receive payments, and plan the company’s budget.
STEPS TO OPEN YOUR BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT
The first step while opening your bank account is to choose the bank you want to open an account. Every bank provides various types of incentives to its account holders, you need to research on which type of incentives you need for your business and approach the bank that has offered the most convenient banks. Most people prefer the tier one banks such as the Zenith Bank PLC, Guaranty Trust Bank PLC among others.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO A CORPORATE BANK ACCOUNT IN NIGERIA
The following are the documents required for a business bank account opening:
- Board Resolution from the Board of Directors authorizing the opening of the account and approving the account signatories
- Certified Memorandum and Articles of Association (Memart)
- Completed corporate account opening form signed by the company’s designated signatories and the directors of the company.
- Certified true copies of incorporation documents.
- Residential address of the directors.
- Passports photograph of the signatories.
- Bank Verification Number of directors.
- Legitimate identification document of the directors such as international passport, driver’s license, etc.
- Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the company
- Utility bill of business addresses such as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), water bill, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), etc.
- Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) registration where applicable.
- Special requirements such as business permit, residence permit, etc. for foreigner nationals.
- 2 duly filled reference forms by corporate account holders.
MINIMUM OPENING BALANCE FOR A NIGERIAN CORPORATE ACCOUNT
The minimum opening balance for a Nigerian corporate bank account varies depending upon the bank. Usually, the monetary sum for opening a current account ranges from N 10,000 to N 100,000.
FOREIGN COMPANY OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN NIGERIA
Under the Nigerian laws and banking regulations, it is only a company duly registered in Nigeria that can open a bank account in Nigeria. Therefore, a foreign company is not entitled to open a bank in Nigeria unless its subsidiary has been registered in Nigeria. It is the registered subsidiary that can apply to open a business account.
The commission in charge of the regulation and supervision of the registration of companies in Nigeria is the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) established pursuant to the provisions of CAMA.
STEPS & REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
- 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.
- The objectives of the company to be provided.
- The registered address of the company.
- The share capital and shareholding formula among shareholders will be required.
- 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.
- Particulars of the company secretary (one of the directors may also act as the Secretary of the company)
- 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.
Finally, it is important for any foreigners seeking to become a signatory to any bank account in Nigeria to firstly obtain the Nigerian work permit officially known as the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC).
A foreigner seeking to obtain CERPAC must be employed by a company duly registered in Nigeria with nothing less than Ten Million Naira share capital. Such a company may be registered by the same foreigner or someone else. Upon the registration, the company will be entitled to apply for a Business Permit and Expatriate Quota, which would enable the foreigner to process a Subject to Regularization (STR) Visa that can be used to obtain the Nigerian work permit upon the arrival of the expatriate in Nigeria.