There is only one legitimate way to check if a company is registered in Nigeria. There are several ways to check to be sure that a company or business isn’t a scam even though it has a registration number. The latter requires you to run a check on CAC search portal to know if the business or company can be found in the database of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
CAC is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of registering, arranging, and conducting an investigation into the affairs of any company in Nigeria as stipulated under section 7 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. You can find other functions of CAC in one of our articles.
It’s very important for individuals or corporate bodies looking to do business with another company in Nigeria to first check if your prospective partner company is registered.
The information you can find about a business on CAC database includes the business name, company’s registration number also known as RC Number, address of the company.
How To Check If a Company or business is Registered in Nigeria
- Step 1: Head straight to CAC portal
- Step 2: Click on the public search engine at: https://search.cac.gov.ng/home
- Step 3: Search record by name by entering the name of the company
- Step 4: Click on the search engine and verify you are not a robot
- Step 5: RC Number, address of the company will be displayed on the screen
I’m sure you want to take a step further by embarking on a manual check
How to check if a company is registered in Nigeria
As earlier mentioned, your first step before dealing with any business that claimed to be registered is to check the authenticity of such entity on CAC database.
The fact that a company is legally registered with a government agency doesn’t totally make it scam-free, it could do so to win the trust of unsuspecting individuals.
The good news is you can dig into some of the business transactions of such a company before committing anything.
Now that you’ve got the company’s name, the company’s registration number on CAC portal next is to delegate someone to check if the address the company claim is real or not.
This is very important!
Can a Registered Company Be a Scam?
For a company to enjoy legal backing, it must be registered by the CAC, however, it’s very important to carry out more background checks on the company before transacting with such a company to avoid being scammed.
The fact that a company is registered in Nigeria isn’t a guaranty that it can’t defraud its customers or clients.
The fact that a business isn’t registered doesn’t completely make it bogus, however, it’s the first that shows the seriousness of a company. A serious business would get the government’s certificate of operation in order to win the goodwill of a prospective customer.
Registering your company makes it legitimate, makes foreign and prospective customers trust you.
Are there cases of registered companies in Nigeria that ended up defrauding their customers?
Yes, there are many of them. But we will cite just two recent examples here:
The first one is Pinkoin owned by Inksnation. Registered under Ibsmartify, it scammed hundreds of its gullible investors in one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams in Nigeria.
One of the steps the brain behind the Pinkoin to gain the trust of Nigerians took was to register a company called Ibsmartify (RC No: 2956459) through which the owner Omotade-Sparks Amos Sewanu who has now been declared wanted by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency perpetrated his scam.
The fact that his business is registered doesn’t stop him from carrying out his dubious act.
Findings show that the address (23 Yetunde Abu Street) Ibsmartify (owners of Inksnation’s pinkoin)submitted at CAC was fake as he doesn’t operate from the address that appears on the CAC database.
Another one is the case of a couple of Bamise and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, the companies through which they swindled Nigerians of money worth several billions of naira were registered, yet they defrauded investors and disappeared from Nigeria to buy investment citizenship at Antigua and Barbuda
According to Gazettengr, the fraud is worth NGN22billion, their companies: 1) Imagine Global Holding Company Limited, 2) Imagine Global Solutions Limited were registered with CAC
A registered company can also be a scam! Do more background checks if you found name of the company on CAC database
Checking the authenticity of a company on the CAC portal will not show you the name of the owners or stakeholder, it’s only the first step to be sure that Nigeria’s government is aware of the existence of such a company.
In the past, the process was tedious as you would have to pass through the rigorous process of visiting any nearby CAC office, that process has been overtaken by innovation backed by technology.
The above process is FREE and faster than going to the CAC office. From the comfort of your home, you can check if a company is registered in Nigeria or not. However, you must take further steps to avoid being scammed. CAC information isn’t enough.
Essien, Hillary (19 October 2021). “N22 Billion Fraud: Imagine Global owners Ajetunmobis buy Antigua and Barbuda citizenship”. Peoples Gazette. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
Oluwafemi, Ayodele (28 May 2021). “EFCC arrests ‘Pinkoin’ investment scheme operator over ‘N32m fraud’”. The Cable. Retrieved 26 November 2021.