FIVE (5) REASONS WHY NIGERIAN BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO HAVE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATES

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Compliance certificates are documents that show that a business is operating in accordance with the laws, regulations and standards set by the relevant authorities. In Nigeria, businesses are required to obtain a number of compliance certificates to demonstrate their compliance with the country’s laws and regulations this includes, a Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), ITF Certificate issued by the Industrial Training Fund, NSITF Compliance Certificate issued by The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, PENCOM Certificate issued by The Pension Commission and Acknowledgement copies of payment of Annual Returns.

Here are five reasons why business owners need to have compliance certificates:

1. LEGAL COMPLIANCE: By obtaining compliance certificates, businesses demonstrate that they are operating within the law and that they are adhering to the standards and regulations set by the relevant authorities. This helps to reduce the risk of legal penalties and fines that may arise from non-compliance.

2. IMPROVED REPUTATION: Having compliance certificates can also help to enhance the reputation of a business. Customers and other stakeholders are more likely to trust a business that is in compliance with the law, which can translate into increased sales and a better bottom line.

3. ENHANCED COMPETITIVENESS: Obtaining compliance certificates can also give businesses a competitive edge over their competitors. By demonstrating their commitment to operating within the law and adhering to industry standards, businesses can differentiate themselves from those who are not in compliance.

4. ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES: Many businesses are required to have compliance certificates to participate in certain tenders or to enter into partnerships with other organizations. This means that by obtaining compliance certificates, businesses can gain access to new opportunities and markets that may not be available to those who are not in compliance.

5. PEACE OF MIND: Finally, having compliance certificates can provide peace of mind to business owners, as they know that they are operating within the law and that they are meeting the standards and regulations set by the relevant authorities. This can help to reduce the stress and anxiety that can arise from uncertainty and help business owners to focus on growing their businesses.

In conclusion, compliance certificates are an important part of doing business in Nigeria and can provide a number of benefits to business owners. By demonstrating their commitment to operating within the law and adhering to industry standards, businesses can reduce the risk of legal penalties, improve their reputation, enhance their competitiveness, gain access to new opportunities, and provide peace of mind to their owners.

Regville Associates offers end-to-end legal, tax and secretarial service for companies. We assist Companies in becoming and staying compliant.

We will be happy to hear from you.

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

ESSENTIAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR BIDDING ON CONTRACTS IN NIGERIA

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In the competitive world of business, securing contracts is crucial for growth and success. In Nigeria, there are several compliance certificates and requirements that companies must fulfill in order to be eligible to bid on contracts. From tax clearance and pension compliance to BPP registration and audited financial statements, these requirements help to demonstrate a company’s financial stability, credibility, and commitment to following regulations. In this article, we will explore the essential compliance certificates and requirements for bidding on contracts in Nigeria.

1. TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE: This certificate confirms that a business is up-to-date with its tax obligations and is in good standing with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

2. PENSION COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE: This certificate confirms that a business is compliant with the Nigerian Pension Reform Act and is making the required pension contributions for its employees.

3. NIGERIAN SOCIAL INSURANCE TRUST FUND (NSITF) COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE: This certificate confirms that a business is compliant with the NSITF Act and is making the required social insurance contributions for its employees.

4. INDUSTRIAL TRAINING FUND (ITF) COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE: This certificate confirms that a business is compliant with the ITF Act and is making the required training contributions for its employees.

5. BPP (BUREAU OF PUBLIC PROCUREMENT) CERTIFICATE: This certificate confirms that a business is registered with the Bureau of Public Procurement and is in compliance with the procurement laws and regulations in Nigeria.

In addition to the above-mentioned compliance certificates, it is also important for business owners in Nigeria to file their CAC Annual Returns and have an audited financial statement.

CAC Annual Returns are a requirement of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and are necessary to keep a company’s registration up-to-date and in good standing. Failure to file annual returns may result in penalties or the eventual striking off of the company’s name from the CAC register.

An audited financial statement is an independently reviewed and verified financial report that provides assurance to stakeholders about the accuracy and reliability of a company’s financial information. This is particularly important for businesses bidding for contracts, as it demonstrates their financial stability and capacity to fulfill their obligations. An audited financial statement can also help to attract investment and improve a company’s credibility.

Regville Associates offers end-to-end legal, tax and secretarial service for companies. We assist Companies in obtaining relevant compliance documents needed to bid for any tenders and contracts in Nigeria.

We will be happy to hear from you.

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

FIVE (5) CATEGORIES OF PERSONS THAT CAN’T ACT AS A DIRECTOR IN NIGERIA

In Nigeria, there are certain individuals who are prohibited from serving as a director of a company. The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) outlines these disqualifications and restrictions.

1. INSOLVENT INDIVIDUALS: An individual who is declared bankrupt or is under a debt management plan is disqualified from being a director.

2. CONVICTED FELONS: Convicted felons: Individuals who have been convicted of an offense involving dishonesty or fraud are not eligible to serve as a director.

3. MINORS: Individuals who are below the age of 18 years are not eligible to serve as a director.

4. UNFIT INDIVIDUALS: Individuals who have been found to be of unsound mind or who are under a legal disability are prohibited from being a director.

5. DISQUALIFIED DIRECTORS: Individuals who have been disqualified from serving as a director by a court order or regulatory authority are not eligible to serve in this capacity.

It is important to note that the disqualifications outlined above apply to both executive and non-executive directors. Additionally, if a director is found to have acted in contravention of these restrictions, they may be held liable for their actions and face sanctions, including fines and imprisonment.

In conclusion, being a director of a company in Nigeria comes with its own set of responsibilities and obligations. It is important for individuals to ensure that they are eligible and qualified to serve in this capacity before accepting a directorship appointment.

For Company Formation and Restructuring, feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

GROUNDS FOR THE REMOVAL OF DIRECTOR(S) IN NIGERIA

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the regulatory agency responsible for registering and regulating companies in Nigeria. The removal of directors in Nigeria is governed by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which provides the legal framework for the appointment and removal of directors in Nigerian companies.

According to CAMA, directors can be removed by:

1. RESIGNATION: A director may resign from their position at any time by giving notice in writing to the company.

2. RETIREMENT: Directors are required to retire at the annual general meeting of the company and may be re-elected if they wish to continue serving on the board.

3. TERMINATION BY THE COMPANY: The company may remove a director by passing a resolution to that effect at a general meeting of the shareholders.

4. TERMINATION BY THE CAC: The CAC may remove a director if they are found to have acted in a manner that is prejudicial to the interests of the company or if they have been declared bankrupt.

It is important to note that the removal of directors must be done in accordance with the provisions of CAMA and any relevant regulations. The CAC may investigate and enforce compliance with these provisions to ensure the proper removal of directors.

For corporate restructuring process and filing, feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

PARTNERSHIP FIRM IN NIGERIA: THE TYPES AND FEATURES

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INTRODUCTION: In Nigeria, partnerships are governed by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020. Partnerships in Nigeria can be classified into three types: general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.

GENERAL PARTNERSHIPS (GPs), are formed by two or more individuals who share the profits and liabilities of the partnership. The partners are jointly and severally liable for all the debts and obligations of the partnership, and each partner has the right to take part in the management and administration of the partnership.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS (LPs), on the other hand, consist of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The general partners are liable for all the debts and obligations of the partnership. In contrast, the liability of the limited partners is limited to the amount of capital they have contributed to the partnership. Limited partners do not have the right to participate in the partnership’s management and administration.

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS (LLPs) are similar to limited partnerships, but the liability of all partners is limited to their capital contributions. This type of partnership is suitable for professional firms such as law firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms. An LLP may acquire, own, hold and dispose of property, as well as bring and defend actions in its own name. A partner in an LLP could be a Company. Each LLP must have a minimum of two authorized partners, at least one of whom must be a Nigerian national. LLPs are managed by a membership agreement or a partnership agreement and do not have any share capital.

To register a partnership in Nigeria, the appropriate forms and fees must be submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Additionally, the partnership must have at least two partners and must be registered with the CAC.

It is strongly recommended that partners enter into a partnership agreement to govern the relationship between themselves and the partnership. It is also worth noting that Partnership is not taxed as an entity, but the partners are taxed on their own income.

In conclusion, understanding the nuances of the different types of partnerships and the registration process is crucial in ensuring the smooth running of the partnership business in Nigeria. It is advisable to seek legal advice before entering into a partnership agreement or registering a partnership with the CAC.

For more guidance and registration of Partnership in Nigeria, feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

LEGAL & TAX: FIVE (5) COMMON MISTAKES MADE BY STARTUPS

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Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging endeavor, but it can also be risky. Legal and tax mistakes are common among startups and can lead to significant financial losses and legal trouble. In this article, we will discuss five common legal and tax mistakes made by startups and how to avoid them.

1. NOT INCORPORATING: One common mistake made by startups is failing to incorporate their business, which can lead to personal liability for the company’s debts and legal issues.

2. NOT PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Startups often overlook the importance of protecting their intellectual property, such as trademarks and patents, which can lead to legal disputes and financial losses.

3. NOT KEEPING ACCURATE FINANCIAL RECORDS: Many startups fail to keep accurate financial records, which can lead to legal issues and difficulty in obtaining funding.

4. NO UNDERSTANDING TAX LAWS AND DUE DATES: Startups often make the mistake of not understanding the tax laws and regulations that apply to their business, which can lead to penalties and fines.

5. NOT HAVING A CLEAR EQUITY SPLIT AMONG FOUNDERS: Startups often make the mistake of not having a clear equity split among the founders, which can lead to disagreements and legal issues. It is important to have a clear agreement in place from the beginning.

To avoid or remedy these pitfalls, contact us today

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

CONVERTIBLE NOTES: A FORM OF DEBT FINANCING FOR STARTUPS

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A convertible note is a type of debt financing that allows investors to loan money to a company in exchange for the option to convert their loan into equity at a later date. This type of funding is often used by early-stage companies that have not yet reached a point where they can issue traditional equity.

Here are five features of convertible notes:

1. Convertible notes have a maturity date: The notes are typically issued with a maturity date of one to three years from the date of issuance. At the maturity date, the company will either have to pay back the loan or convert the notes into equity.

2. Convertible notes have a conversion price: The conversion price is the price at which the notes will convert into equity. This price is typically set at a discount to the price of future equity rounds.

3. Convertible notes accrue interest: The notes accrue interest at a rate that is typically lower than the rate for a traditional loan.

4. Convertible notes have a cap: A cap is the maximum valuation at which the notes can convert into equity. This cap is typically set at a higher valuation than the current valuation of the company.

5. Convertible notes are typically used by early-stage companies: Convertible notes are often used by companies that are in their early stages of development and have not yet reached a point where they can issue traditional equity.

It’s worth noting that the terms of convertible notes may vary depending on the company’s situation, the stage of the company, and the investors.

A hypothetical scenario where a convertible note is used.

A startup company, called “ABC Inc.” is looking for $500,000 in funding to help them develop their product and expand their team. They decide to issue a convertible note to a group of angel investors.

The maturity date of the note is set at 18 months from the date of issuance.

The conversion price is set at a 20% discount to the price of the next equity round.

The interest rate on the note is set at 5% per year.

The cap is set at $5 million, which is higher than the current valuation of the company.

The angel investors loan $500,000 to ABC Inc. in exchange for the convertible notes. The company uses the money to develop their product and expand their team.

After 18 months, the company has made significant progress and is ready to raise more funding. They hold a Series A round and are able to secure a valuation of $10 million. At this point, the angel investors have the option to convert their notes into equity at a 20% discount to the Series A price. So, the conversion price would be $8 million (10 million * 0.8). Since the cap is set at $5 million, the angel investors can convert their notes into equity at $5 million.

It’s important to note that this is a simplified example and in reality the terms of convertible notes can be more complex depending on the company’s situation, the stage of the company, and the investors.

For assistance on StartUp Financing, feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

THE RELEVANCE OF THE CERTIFICATE OF CAPITAL IMPORTATION TO FOREIGN INVESTORS IN NIGERIA

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A certificate of Capital Importation (CCI) is a document issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to foreign investors in Nigeria as proof of their capital investment in the country. The CCI serves as a key tool for foreign investors to access various benefits and incentives the Nigerian government provides to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. In September 2017, the CBN introduced the electronic CCI (e-CCI) which replaced the paper CCI. In this article, we will discuss the relevance of the CCI to foreign investors in Nigeria.

The CCI serves as proof of investment for foreign investors, providing them with a legal document that confirms their Investment in Nigeria. This can be used as evidence of investment for various purposes, such as opening a bank account, obtaining a loan, or applying for a Nigerian visa. Additionally, the CCI is a requirement for foreign investors to access various incentives and benefits provided by the Nigerian government, such as tax holidays and duty waivers.

One of the main benefits of the CCI is that it enables foreign investors to access the Nigerian foreign exchange market. The CCI is required to open and operate a foreign currency account in Nigeria, which allows foreign investors to transact in foreign currency without restrictions. This is particularly important for foreign investors who need to make payments or receive income in foreign currency.

The CCI also enables foreign investors to repatriate their capital and profits out of Nigeria. The Nigerian government has put in place strict regulations to ensure that capital is not moved out of the country illegally. The CCI serves as proof of legal capital importation and is required to process the remittance of capital and profits out of Nigeria.

Another relevance of the CCI is that it helps track Nigeria‚Äôs foreign investment. The CBN issued the CCI and kept it in the bank’s records, providing a clear picture of the amount of foreign investment in the country. This helps the Nigerian government to monitor and track the inflow of foreign investment and make necessary adjustments to attract more foreign investment.

In conclusion, the CCI is a vital document for foreign investors in Nigeria as it enables them to access various benefits and incentives provided by the Nigerian government and enables them to transact in foreign currency without restrictions, repatriate their capital and profits, and track the inflow of foreign investment in the country. Obtaining a CCI is a key step for foreign investors looking to invest in Nigeria and should be done as soon as possible after the investment is made.

For assistance in processing the Certificate of Capital Importation. Feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates 
info@regville.com 
08065111667

FIVE (5) BENEFITS OF REGISTERING YOUR COMPANY WITH THE CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (CAC)

Corporate Affiars Commission (CAC)

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria is a government agency responsible for the registration and regulation of companies and businesses in Nigeria. It is tasked with the responsibility of regulating the formation, registration, incorporation and management of companies and businesses in Nigeria. Its aim is to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations that govern the formation, registration and operation of companies and businesses in the country. The commission also maintains a database of registered companies and businesses and makes this information available to the public. The CAC also has the power to deregister companies that do not comply with the laws and regulations or that have become dormant.

There are several benefits of registering a company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, including:

1. LEGAL RECOGNITION: A registered company is legally recognized as a separate entity from its owners and has the ability to enter into contracts, borrow money, and sue or be sued in its own name.

2. LIMITED LIABILITY: Shareholders of a registered company are typically only liable for the debts of the company to the extent of their unpaid share capital.

3. CREDIBILITY: Registering a company with the CAC can enhance the company’s credibility and reputation, as it demonstrates a commitment to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

4. ACCESS TO FUNDING: Registering a company with the CAC may be a requirement for accessing certain forms of funding, such as bank loans or venture capital.

5. EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: Registering a company with the CAC can make it easier to do business, as it can streamline the process of opening bank accounts, applying for permits and licenses, and other administrative tasks.

In conclusion, registering a company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria offers several benefits that can help a business to operate legally and efficiently. These benefits include legal recognition, limited liability, increased credibility, access to funding, and ease of doing business. By registering with the CAC, a company is demonstrating its commitment to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, which can enhance its reputation and make it easier to do business. Overall, registering with the CAC is an important step for any business looking to establish itself and grow in Nigeria.

For assistance on Company Formation and Compliance, feel free to contact us

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates
info@regville.com
08065111667

HOW TO START A FRANCHISE IN NIGERIA

Franchise in Nigeria

Introduction

The idea of launching a franchise in Nigeria might become easy but it is not easy and simple to launch one. The concept of establishing a franchise in Nigeria can be abused in some instances, and this is why it calls for massive cooperation with the franchisor and franchises. As a result, this could be the only way such a franchise could thrive in the Nigerian business industry.

What is the Legal Definition of a Franchise?

It should be noted that there are laws relating to franchises in Nigeria. This also includes the legal definition. However, the franchise is defined by the Nigerian International Franchising Association as a business arrangement or setting where the franchisor grants the franchise operator the right to make distribution of certain products or services in a specific way or sequence, at a particular location and period. As a result of this service, the franchisee pays the franchisor estimated fees and royalties.

As far as Nigeria is concerned, there are several franchises ranging from local and international. These include; Mr. Biggs, Dominoes, Chicken Republic, Pizza Hut, Shoprite, McDonald’s, etc. For the sake of this article, you will be given a brief guide on how to start a franchise in Nigeria, as well as the laws regulating the offer and sale of franchises. 

Laws Regulating The Offer and Sale of Franchises?

As mentioned previously, there is no Nigerian law that regulates the offer and sale of franchises. However, some enabling statutes seem to play a crucial role in regulating the transfer of foreign technology to Nigeria. Therefore, this includes the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion Act, stated in Chapter N62, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Note that where there is the involvement of the transfer of technology, then there is a franchise arrangement, which is regulated by the provisions of the NOTAP Act.

A Step-By-Step Guide on How To Start A Franchise in Nigeria

Firstly, to start a franchise in Nigeria, business registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission must be compulsory. As a result of this The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 Provides that whoever wants to create or establish a business in Nigeria must first register their entity for whatever purpose they would want to run and operate such business.

In a similar vein, there are circumstances where the business owners are not nationals but foreigners. As a result of this, the Immigration Act 2015 and the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission Act provide that every foreigner must register their business with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and must also obtain a business permit to effectively run their business within Nigeria under the supervision of the municipal laws.

On the other hand, if the new business seeks to employ foreigners, then the such business must apply for an Expatriate Quota which is stated in Section 34 of the Immigration Act.

Secondly, when it comes to starting a franchise in Nigeria, every business owner must register such a franchise agreement with the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

However, according to the provisions of the NOTAP Act, every agreement intended for the transfer of technology between a foreign transferor and a Nigerian transferee must be registered by the NOTAP. This is the policy since the agreement involves technology transfer if necessitates the NOTAP registration as a franchise agreement. It should be noted that agreements for foreign technology transfer shall be registrable if its purpose or zeal conforms with the NOTAP wholly or partially which is based in connection with any of the following;

  • Trademark Usage
  • Basic or Detailed Engineering Supply
  • Patented Inventions Usage Act
  • Machinery and Plant Supply
  • Operating Staff or Managerial Assistance and Personnel Training Provision
  • Technical Expertise Supply

Importantly, every business owner should note that when registering a franchise agreement, the Federal Competition and Consumer Act (FCCPA) states that any provision based on an agreement for the sale of certain goods that seems to establish minimum prices for the resale of goods in Nigeria shall be void.

Additionally, trademarks are very essential when it comes to business recognition and management. As a result, every franchise must have one registered in Nigeria. As far as Nigeria is concerned, it will be the first to file jurisdiction for the protection of any trademark. This is why the franchise has to be registered in Nigeria even if the trademark is being registered in other jurisdictions.

Conclusion

Securing a lease agreement for the franchise store in a suitable location is very important for every franchisee. Other actions required to be taken include; employing local staff, registering the franchise company with Federal Inland Revenue Service for sake of taxing, and registering for some industry-specific permits. Take for instance how a franchise intends to operate in the Oil and gas sector. One of the actions such businesses must undertake to get involved is to obtain a license from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR.)

Frequently Asked Questions

What Forms of Business Entities are Typically Used By Franchisors?

It should be noted that as far as Nigeria is concerned, the business entities which are mostly used by franchisors are limited liability companies. These companies may either be private or public.

Are there any Registration requirements Or Other Formalities Applicable to a New Business Entity As A Pre-condition to Being Able To Trade in Your Jurisdiction?

Trading is common in Nigeria, and to begin such an operation, a new business entity must meet the following requirements;

  • The company must be registered with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission. This registration applies only to companies with foreign participation.
  • Must be registered with the Federal Inland Revenue Service for tax-related purposes.
  • A corporate bank account must be opened in a commercial bank in Nigeria, which supports capital.
  • Must have a business permit and expatriate quota from the Ministry of Interior. Only companies with foreign participation and in cases where other foreigners are employed are entitled to this feature.

Are There Restrictions on the ability of the Franchisor to Impose Minimum Resale Prices?

Yes, NOTAP has the authority to deny the registration of a franchise agreement if it contains resale price clauses that are against the Price Control Act or any other law governing prices imposed for internal use or export.

Additionally, any clause or condition in a contract for the sale of commodities that purports to set minimum prices for the resale of products in Nigeria is invalid under the FCCPA.

Is There a Maximum Permitted Term For Any Related Product Supply Agreement?

Yes, the NOTAP Act specifies that a technology transfer agreement’s duration does not exceed ten years. In reality, however, NOTAP typically accepts a franchise agreement for a term of three years, after which it may be extended for additional three-year periods.

Is Membership in Any National Franchise Association Mandatory or Commercially Advisable?

No, it is not necessary to be a member of a national franchise group. Belonging to a national franchise group has no commercial benefit either.

Is There A Requirement for Franchise Documents or Disclosure Documents To Be Translated Into The Local Language?

The necessity that documents be translated into the local language is not mandated by law. However, because English is Nigeria’s official language, all documents must be written in English.

Tolulope Oguntade 
Regville Associates
info@regville.com
08065111667