July 10, 2022

Register an NGO in Nigeria (Steps, Duration and Cost)

How to Register an Ngo (Incorporated Trustees) in Nigeria.

Ngo Registration in Nigeria


If you are intending to register an NGO in Nigeria , then this article is definitely for you. This will give you the step by step guide and the legal requirements needed to register an NGO  or Incorporated Trustee in Nigeria with The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Kindly contact us via any of our communication channels if you would like us to Register your NGO, Business name, Company or Partnership in Nigeria.

What is an NGO?

NGO literally means a Non Governmental Organisation. It  is a body or association of persons registered as “Incorporated Trustees” under Section 590 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20 Laws of the Federation 2020 for the advancement of any religious, educational, literary, scientific, social/cultural development, sporting and charitable causes. An NGO is deemed a not-for-profit organization in Nigeria. In defining an NGO we can say it is a community-based association. Their activities are always regulated by the organization’s constitution  

 NGOs are formed by people of like minds to promote religious, educational, literary, scientific, social/cultural development, sporting and charitable causes.

This means that NGO can be registered as a Church, Mosque, Club, Association of Friends, a Charitable organization, an institute of learning, an Alumni association, a foundation, a support group, etc.

How to Start an NGO in Nigeria?

To start an NGO in Nigeria the organization must first register and obtain approval and certificate from the CAC. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the Government Agency saddled with the responsibility of registering an NGO or Incorporated Trustees in Nigeria. To register with the CAC you would have to submit the Trustees application which would be reviewed and approved or queried.

Once the application is approved the CAC would issue a certificate as proof of Registration. However there are certain steps and requirements that need to fulfilled to ensure a seamless registration process and approval..

Ngo Registration in Nigeria

Steps to Register an NGO in Nigeria?

1.    Define the Aims, Purpose and Objectives of Your NGO or Association: Write down the aims, mission of you intended Ngo. Drafting a Constitution for your NGO /Association is the best way to go about this. Contact a Lawyer to Draft a comprehensive constitution for your Association, detailing the necessary clauses on objectives, mission, appointments or selection of key executive officers, voting rights & procedures, etc.

2.    Choose a Name for the Association: Your Solicitor would need a unique name and an alternative name for search and reservation at the Corporate Affairs Commission. Examples include: Kano Development Projects, Theresa Karis Foundation, African Business Round Table, Excellence Foundation International Inc, Youth Mentoring and Orientation Initiative, Society for employment and Self Reliance, Umunna Progressive Union, Patricks College Alumni Association, Center for Transformation of the Under Privileged, National Association of Persons with Disabilities, etc

3.    Appoint the Trustee(s) : A person qualified to be appointed a Trustee must not be less than 18 years of age; or of unsound mind; or undischarged bankrupt; or convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within 5 years of his proposed appointment.

4.    Consult an Accredited Solicitor/Agent: A Solicitor or an Accredited Agent who is duly accredited Agent by the Corporate Affairs Commission versed in incorporation and post-incorporation affairs would go on to help you with the following:

5.    Name Availability Search and Reservation: Your Solicitor will request two names you have chosen to conduct a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registry to check if the chosen NGO name is available for reservation. The CAC would only reserve a name that is not identical with any other name registered already with the commission. The name availability search and reservation  would normally take the accredited solicitor/agent 48 hours to sort out.

6.    Publication of Notices: Your Solicitor, will publish notices of intention to register the NGO or the Charitable organization in three (3) national dailies, one being a local newspaper widely circulated in the area where your NGO is based, setting out the name of the NGO; the names of trustees, aims and objectives; and a call for objections within 28 days to the registration of the NGO.

7.    Drafting If The NGO’s Constitution: Your Solicitor would go ahead to draft a constitution for the NGO, setting out how the internal affairs of the association would be governed, the aims and objectives, mission of the NGO, the governing structure, the names of members of the board of trustees, etc.

8.    Drafting of the Minutes of the Meeting and the special clauses: Your Solicitor would draft the minutes of the meeting wherein the members of the board of trustees were elected, the mode of election or nomination, the number of members present and those who voted, etc, which would be signed by the chairman and the secretary. The Solicitor would also draft a special clause stating the intention of the association to be formed, containing the necessary information.

9.    Documentation of the Necesary Documents needed for filling: Your Solicitor would compile the needed documents for filling at the Corporate Affairs Commission including; the constitution, the drafted minutes, a duly filled application form in triplicate copy, the Newspaper Publication, the details of the appointed trustees, Trustees declaration forms declared at the High Court, The Common Seal of the Association affixed on the specified documents, etc.

10. Filling and Submission: Your Solicitor would proceed to file and pay the necessary fees for the submission and approval of the registration application by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

11. Issuance of Certificate by the CAC: At the approval of the Registration for the NGO, A certificate of Registratio would be issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission  through your CAC Accredited Lawyer/Solicitor, who would have over same with the incorporation documents to you and your organization.

12. Opening A Bank Account for the NGO: This is an important step for any NGO as it goes on to show the public that you are now official and can now receive financial support and donations straight to the Association’s Bank Account. The bank would need the certificate of registration and other registration documents issued by the CAC to successfully open a bank account for the newly registered NGO.

What are the Benefits of Registering an NGO?

·        The NGO/ Association becomes a Corporate Legal Entity: What this means is that the Association is now a separate legal entity under the law, therefor it can sue to enforce any right accruable to it, it can be sued incase ofliabilities, this removes the personal exposure of the trustees from personal liability incurred by the NGO / Association.

·        The NGO can now acquire and own properties; financial stakes, interests and so on, in it’s name.

·        The NGO starts to enjoy Tax exemption: The NGO which is deemed as a non-profit organization starts to enjoy tax incentives in form of exemption from most form of taxes, as no tax can be levied on any money paid or donated to the NGO. Payment of import duties on certain goods meant for charitable or humanitarian purposes are also exempted for NGOs once approved by the Minister of Finance.

·        The NGO gets to enjoy Public trust:The registration of an NGO also establishes trust between the NGO and  the general public as to the authenticity of the NGO ‘s mission and objectives, thereby encouraging donations and contributions to the registered NGO or Charitable foundation.

What is the cost of Registering an NGO in Nigeria?

The Cost of Registering an NGO in Nigeria would vary from the NGO involved and the Lawyer or Accedited Solicitor who would be dealing with the registration process. A prospective registrant should contact a lawyer for cost. However on an average the total cost of  registration ranges between N130,000 to N200,000, including the necessary drafts and the cost of advertisement on the national newspapers.

The registration of NGOs, associations and charitable foundations can be quite tedious and engaging the services of an expert for such incorporation is most advised.


Our firm EBC ltd is comprised of Business Consultants and CAC Accredited  Lawyers who would help you through the incorporation of your desired NGOs, Associations, Clubs, Churches and Mosques.

 Contact us via our contact channels : email address: enikos247@gmail.com,  Phone/Whatsapp: +234-9044968631

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