September 06, 2018

Choosing a suitable business name that will meet both your personal and professional needs, and also meet the requirements of the Corporate Affairs commission (CAC) could be difficult sometimes. It just always seems like most of the catchy names are unavailable. So after considering all the legal hurdles (prohibited and restricted names) put in place by the CAC, there are 8 tips I have relied on over the years that can help increase the probability of approval on the first try;

1. Ask yourself how you want your customers to perceive your business when they first come across its name. This can be used to set the tone which could be playful, professional, academic or even friendly.

2. Descriptive words are also very good, as a customer can easily tell what the business is about but I will advise that you are careful not to box yourself in by being too specific as this will make future expansion opportunities difficult for the brand.

3. Please avoid using the word “inc” which stands for “incorporated” at the end of your chosen name, this will get you a rejection every time. We use either “Ltd” or “Limited” here in Nigeria.

4. I have come to realize that the longer the name, the better your chances of getting it approved/reserved. Just pick that one word you truly want and add some other words to it, the probability of it being approved is very high in this instance.

5.Using numbers in addition to other words have proven to be helpful overtime, take for example the company name ”618 Bees Limited”, we got the approval easily.

6. Have you ever tried using the public search link on the CAC website? This can also be very helpful when deciding to name your business. Just put in name you like and see it its already been used. It may not contain all the business names registered in Nigeria till date but it will let you know how similar your name is to others already registered, it’s very easy to use, saves time and it’s absolutely free to use.

7. I always encourage people to formulate words, could be in a totally different language apart from English. Formulated words really don’t have to be meaningful as it could be a mixture of words or probably the German meaning of an English word you are sentimental about. The trick I use here is to make a short note in the comments box provided on the CAC website to explain its meaning to the CAC officer. That way the CAC officer considers the note made when deciding as truly some formulated words can be really confusing.

8. You may want to run the name by a few friends, family members or target audience, just so you know how they feel about it. This is because your business will in the long run determine your brand and identity which you plan to have for a long time. So make sure it’s something simple, strong, catchy and of course something you will like to identify with in the future.

So whether you plan to make your business official or your wish is to rebrand and expand, ensure you go with a name that you are proud of fifty years from now.

On a final note, I will like to state that while you may have fully complied with all the CAC regulations and taken on the above tips in picking a business name, name approvals are at the discretion of the CAC’s approving officer.

Best regards,

Efe Ugboro

CEO, 618 Bees

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, no information contained in this post should be construed as legal advise, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advise from the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer.

This post is protected by intellectual property law and regulations. It may however be shared using appropriate sharing tools provided that our authorship is always acknowledged and this Disclaimer Notice attached

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Frequently Asked

  • What additional documents do I require to file my Annual Returns?
  • What is the first thing I must do to register a business in Nigeria?

    To register a business in Nigeria; you would need to conduct a name search of the business. You can achieve this using your CAC-CRP account.

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    SON stands for ‘Standards Organization of Nigeria’

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    Nothing, the purchased form will be in your account for future use.


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    A minimum of two (2) shareholders is required to form a company.

  • What is a trademark?

    A trademark can be any word, sign, symbol or graphic that you apply to your company, goods or services to distinguish them from those of your competitors; for example, a brand, product or company name, or logo. The trademark serves as a badge of origin for your business and its brands and products, and can consist of words, logos, slogans, colours and shapes, or a combination of all of these.

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