In this blog, we explained how Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Online Name Availability or Name Reservation works for your Business or Company Registration in Nigeria.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Online Name Availability or Name Reservation search is a process of using networked computer system to determine the availability or otherwise of a name proposed for incorporation/registration. The systems are connected to the Commission’s database and approving officers are enabled to access the database for the purpose of conducting availability search. In the course of discharging their responsibilities, approving officers sometimes encounter certain challenges
associated with online availability search; some of which are hereunder highlighted:
1. USE OF APOSTROPHE (‘) IN A NAME:
Where an apostrophe is used in a name, the system does not return any information. This necessitates the use of advance search to ascertain the availability of an application or otherwise, E.g Merry’s Restaurant Limited.
2. USE OF LETTERS/ABBREVIATIONS IN A NAME:
Where a name starts with a letter e.g TDI NIGERIA Limited, in such an instance, an approving officer must resort to the use of advance search. In doing so, he must exhaust all the possibilities or option i.e., must search the first 3 letters with space, without space, with dots, without dots, and finally use of the letters interchangeably. The officer may even removed the first letter and also the
last letter to determine whether the name is available.
3. INCOMPLETE RETURN OF INFORMATION:
Where such arise, an approving officer is expected to resort to an advance search for accurate information. E.g where there is an application “Merry Consultant Limited”, and the information returned by the system starts and stops at “Ma” and not “Me,” then there is need for advance search to get accurate information.
4. NAMES THAT BEGIN WITH A LETTER FOLLOWED BY WORDS:
An approving officer is expecting to make an advance search with and without the letter e.g. De International Technologies Limited.
5. WHERE THERE IS A HYPHEN (-) BETWEEN ONE WORD AND ANOTHER:
There is need to search for the second word to avoid registering a similar name e.g. ICON-STAR TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED. An approving officer must separate them to get accurate information. Again, where there is ICONSTAR TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED as proposed, there is a need to separate ICON with STAR because there may be ICON TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED already registered or Star-Technologies already registered.
6. ADVANCED SEARCH
All approving officers must conduct an advanced search on all applications for availability of name.
7. OBJECTIVITY IN TREATING APPLICATONS
Approving officers should neither approve nor deny names arbitrarily. Though it is observed that attending to availability applications requires enormous discretion, it is imperative that such discretion must be exercised within the confines of the existing laws/ regulations and must be objectively exercise.
8. APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF NAME
Where an application is for change of name, and the name change box is not clicked, such a name should be rejected because even if approved, such name cannot be processed by Registry Department due to that error.
9. WRONG CHANELLING OF APPLICATION:
Where a name is routed from IT or Business Name to Limited Liability Company and vice versa, such a name should be rejected so that it can be re-entered and channeled appropriately.
10. RE-APPLICATION OF NAME PREVIOUSLY APPROVED BUT EXPIRED:-
Reapplication for a name which was previously reserved but expired should only be denied where it is identical with an existing company name or the similarity is so close as to cause confusion or deceit. But where the similarity is such as can be waived, dispensed with or over looked, the application should be re-considered for approval.
11. APPARENT SPELLING MISTAKE IN AN APPLICATION:-
Name with apparent spelling mistakes should be denied for re entry, e.g ABC Investment Limited, ABC Investment, the spelling of Limited with “I” instead of “e” the absence of “r” in the Enterprises and the addition of “r” in integrated are all apparent spelling mistakes.
12. CORRECTION OF RESERVED NAME
Where there is a spelling mistake in a reserved name, and correction is sought to be made, the approving officer after confirming that the initial approval was not in error is required to edit the approved name and effect the desired correction.
Requirements for correction of approved name:
i. Application for correction duly signed by the presenter
ii. Copy of applicant’s accreditation card, for accredited agents or a copy of a valid means of ID for public users.
iii. Copy of the approved availability printout.
iv. Copy of proof of payment, duly confirmed by an authorized CAC officer.
v. Duly completed availability Form 1, in the correct name.
vi. Forwarding letter signed by the Zonal Head or an authorized officer, for applications submitted though the state offices.
13. RE-ENTRY OF WRONGLY DENIED NAME
Where a name is wrongly denied by an approving officer, the Commission may re-enter such name at no cost to the customer.
Requirements for re-entry of wrongly denied name:
i. Application for re-entry of name duly signed by the presenter.
ii. Copy of the applicant’s accreditation card, for accredited agents or a copy of a valid means of ID, for public users.
iii. Copy of the denied availability printout with the accreditation number written thereon.
iv. Copy of receipt of the previous payment showing the name sought to be re-entered.
v. Forwarding letter signed by the Zonal Head or an authorized officer, for applications submitted through the state office.
14. ADJECTIVE PRECEDING NAME APPLICATION
There are certain adjectives that are employed with a view to sway approving officers to approve a name which would otherwise be denied. An approving officer is expected to conduct advanced search by removing the prefix or adjective. For example:
|1.||COMPUTER SOLUTIONS LTD (EXISTING)||FIRST COMPUTER SOLUTIONS LTD (APPLICATION)|
|2.||INCUS INTERNATIONAL LTD (EXISTING)||NEW INCUS INTERNATIONAL LTD (APPLICATION)|