FOREIGN COMPANY REGISTRATION IN NIGERIA
Operations of Foreign Companies in Nigeria
A Foreigner may invest and participate in the operation of any enterprise in Nigeria with exception to those excluded by law. The foreign company must however take the necessary steps to incorporate/register the company as a Nigerian branch or subsidiary being a separate legal entity in Nigeria. Until so incorporated, the foreign company may not carry on business in Nigeria or exercise any of the powers of a registered company.
The foreign investor may incorporate a Nigerian branch or subsidiary through a solicitor in Nigeria.
The locally incorporated branch/subsidiary company must then apply to the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) for Business Permit (if the equity is 100% foreign owned) and other requisite permits and licences.
Exemption to the General Rule of Mandatory Registration.
A foreign company can apply for an exemption from incorporating a local subsidiary if such foreign company belongs to one of the following categories:
(a) “foreign companies invited to Nigeria by or with the approval of the Federal Government of Nigeria to execute any specified individual project;
(b) foreign companies which are in Nigeria for the execution of a specific individual loan project on behalf of a donor country or international organisation;
(c) foreign government-owned companies engaged solely in export promotion activities; and
(d) engineering consultants and technical experts engaged on any individual specialist project under contract with any of the governments in the Federation or any of their agencies or with any other body or person, where such contract has been approved by the Federal Government.”