Registering a foreign company in Nigeria


Every foreign company that is incorporated outside of Nigeria and has the intention of carrying out business in Nigeria has to register a separate entity in Nigeria. Until the separate entity has been registered, the company shall not carry on business, exercise any of the powers of a registered company or have a place of business in Nigeria.

Before incorporation in Nigeria the foreign company can only have an address for the receipt of documents and other notices. Foreign companies can apply for exemption from the requirements stated above if they;

i) have been invited to Nigeria by or with the approval of the Federal Government to execute a specific project.

ii) are in Nigeria to execute a specific loan project on behalf of a donor country or international organisation.

iii) are companies owned by foreign governments and are engaged solely in export promotion activities

iv) are engineering consultants and technical experts engaged in any specialised project under contract with any of the governments in the federation or any of their agencies.

An application for exemption should be made in writing and addressed to the Secretary of Government and should include:

• The name and place of business of the foreign company outside Nigeria

• The name and place of business or the proposed name and place of business of the the foreign company in Nigeria.

• The name and address of each director, partner or other principal officer of the foreign company.

• A certified copy of the charter, statutes, or memorandum and articles of association of the company or any other documents that defines the constitution of the company. If the document is not in English then a certified translation is required.

• The names and addresses of one or more person resident in Nigeria that are authorised to accept notices on behalf of the foreign company.

• The business or proposed business of the foreign company in Nigeria and the duration of such business.

• The particulars of any project previously carried out by the company as an exempted foreign company

• Any other particulars that may be required by the Secretary to the Government.

The exemption granted to any foreign company, may be revoked at anytime any time if the company fails to fulfill any condition contained in its exemption order or for any other good or sufficient reason.

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