How To File Company Annual Returns With CAC in Nigeria

Difference Between BN and RC In Business (Business Name VS Registration Number)

Last Updated on April 24, 2021 by Ope Quadri

In the course of registering your business at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) you might come across jargons like BN and RC.

To get confused when you BN and RC, both are related to your business but each stands for different things.

Apart from telling you the difference between the two business terminologies, we’ll also tell you the concept of BN and RC in your business.

What is BN?

BN is an abbreviation for Business Name, which is the legal name of a business as recognised by the body saddled with the responsibility of keeping a database of a company.

Your business name is the official name of the person or entity that owns a firm.

Examples of a business name

In a real sense, your business’s legal name is your full name, however, this can vary. It depends on your choice of a name you want your business to bear, most especially in Nigeria.

The type of business structure is a factor in choosing a business name. For instance, if you operate as a sole proprietorship, you could choose your full name as your business legal.


If your legal name is Samson Adex, you can include other words along with your full name to get something like:

  • Samson Adex Clothings
  • Samson Adex Insurance Corporation
  • Samson Adex Enterprise
  • Samson Adex Engineering etc

The above is applied to a sole proprietorship.

Business Name for a partisanship business

If the business is a general partnership, the business name could be a combination of the last names of the partnership’s owners.

Samuel Drogba and Samson Adex own a partnership, they could use:

  • Samuel Samson Engineering or
  • SD&SA Engineering as their business name.

They could opt for something else based on an agreement which must be consented to by both partners.


This must be included in the partnership agreement.

Importance of business name

No doubt, your business name is one of the first things potential customers notice about your company.

The significance of business name are:

  • It connects your customers to your products or services.
  • Easy and simple business name is one step closer to being successful.
  • Choose easy to pronounce a business name, this way potential customer wouldn’t find it difficult when there is need to ask for direction to your location.
  • Choose easy to understand business name, this way potential customer knows what services you offer on the go.

Having said that, it’s very important to touch on RC so that you know the clear distinction between the two when registering a business name on CAC official portal.

What is RC in relation to business?

RC is an abbreviation for Registered Company which typically means your company registration number in the CAC database.

You might want to ask…

What is company registration number?

It is a unique combination of numbers and, in some cases, letters. In Nigeria, it is called Registered Company Number (RCN) while some prefer to refer to it as Registration Number (RN) or RC

In some countries around the world, it is called company number, registration number or simply abbreviated to CRN.

It is used to identify your company and verify the fact that it is an entity registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The company registration number is automatically assigned by CAC when a company is formed.

Anyone can use your company registration number (CRN) or RC to search the authenticity of your company on CAC database.

Sample of RC number


Key take away:

While BN is an abbreviation for Business Name, RC is a means Registered Company which typically is your company registration number recognised by the law.

Over to you

Do you want a unique business name for your company? Or you want a business name that has never been used by anyone?

We can help you with a token, Call/WhatsApp 08065277758

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