What is a certificate of incorporation?

What is a certificate of incorporation?

October 19, 2018

A certificate of incorporation is certificate given by the corporate affairs commission and signed by the Registrar of the commission, signifying the recognition of a particular business entity or organization as a legal business operating within Nigeria.


A certificate of incorporation is given by the commission under the following circumstances;

  • After incorporation of a business name, company or incorporated trustee
  • Where an already registered company alters/ changes its name
  • When an already registered company undergoes a restructures that changes its type. E.g a change from a private company to a public company.

A certificate of incorporation needs no renewal its life span is the life span of the company. If the company is not removed from the list of registered company in Nigeria by the Commission for any reason such as long default in filing of annual returns, permanent cessation of business, winding up or any reason at all ,then the certificate of incorporation remains valid /and has no expiry date.

Contents of the certificate of incorporation

  • RC No: which means the registration number of the company
  • The name of the company
  • The date of incorporation
  • The stamp of the commission
  • The signature of the Registrar General

618bees offers a document safe keeping service. We have insured onsite and offsite fire resistant storage facility to ensure a proper and safe document keeping. Documents will be released to clients on request.

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Frequently Asked

  • Why must I file Annual Returns?

    It is a mandatory statutory requirement under the Companies and Allied Matters Act to file Annual Returns yearly. 

  • Must my Company Secretary be a Lawyer?

    Although it’s ideal to have a lawyer as a company secretary, it is not compulsory for small private businesses.

  • What are the penalties for not registering my products with the SON?
      1. Seizure of goods by the Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate
      2. Payment of a fine.
      3. Prosecution


  • What are the product categories available when registering with NAFDAC?

    The product categories include: Food, Cosmetics, Drug, Medical Device, Agro-Chemicals & Pesticide, Veterinary Products, Vaccines & Biologicals, Herbal and Nutraceuticals and Water

  • What’s the difference between a business name and an LLC?
    • A business name is a sole proprietorship, usually owned and managed by one individual only. Legally, the sole proprietor and his business are one. It simply means an individual trading with an alias. The sole proprietor is personally liable for all business related obligations.

    • A limited liability company on the other hand is a separate business entity from the individuals that hold its shares and act as directors. Legally, it’s a separate business entity and a person on its own who can transact business, own property separate from its owners and can sue or be sued. 

  • 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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