How To File Annual Returns in Nigeria With CAC (2023)

Are you looking for guidelines on how to fill annual returns in Nigeria with CAC?. As a business owner, it is very essential to report to the Corporate Affairs Commision about your yearly financial statement.

People are often confused about the whole process because CAC has made a lot of changes to its website recently. This information guide will walk you through how to file annual returns in Nigeria as well as the penalties Involved for not filing.

What is CAC Annual Returns?

CAC Annual Return is a return that contains a form as regards the matters relating to the organization in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

Annual returns is a financial statement that accounts for the status of a business in regards to its stated business activities which must be paid for each entity registered with CAC

It is a mandatory requirement for every business name, private limited company, or incorporated trustee in Nigeria and is very essential, as the name implies, to be done at least once every year to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Filing the annual return helps to simply keep the CAC updated or informed that such a company or business is still active and operating with its stated business activities.

As soon as your Annual Return is filed, your business status shows ACTIVE which means the business is still functioning, but when it is not filed it shows INACTIVE

Annual returns for company

If neglected, it could result in your business losing out on access to grants, loans, contracts, and many others

In summary, Annual Return is what gives you good standing before the government and most especially before CAC.

When To File Annual Returns? (Date)

According to CAC, an Annual Return must be made every calendar year. New business names may not file their return within the first 18 months of their incorporation, while for older companies, the annual return is due no later than 42 days after its Annual General Meeting.

It is important to understand that the CAC calendar year starts on June 30th, meaning; for business names you must have filed your returns between January and June of every year anything outside this is late.

For example, If your business name was registered on the 1st of January 2021, you will file your first annual returns after 18 months which is from the 1st of July 2022. (Note that this is only applicable for the first 18 months of your business incorporation, subsequent filing will be every year before June 30th)

For companies and Incorporated trustees, the period to file the annual return is between July and December. anything outside this is late

Update: Businesses Registered Before July 2021 Can Now File Annual Returns for 2022

How To File Annual Returns in Nigeria

Before we proceed with how to file a yearly Return in Nigeria, below are some important facts you should understand first, hence people usually get confused that paying for an annual return is the same as paying for Tax

  • Annual Return is not Tax and has nothing to do with Tax
  • Annual Return is an embodiment of the Corporate Affairs Commission while Tax is with FIRS (Federal Inland Revenue Service) for companies and state internal Revenue Service for Business names

Guideline For Filling Annual Return Form in Nigeria (Online)

Follow this guide below to file annual returns in Nigeria. (Only accredited accounts can be able to file annual returns.

For Registered Business Names (Enterprises)

Step 1.

Firstly, request and get the Status report document from the proprietor of the business you want to file annual returns for. In the case of a lost status document, it can be downloaded again on the CAC portal (charges apply).

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Step 2.

Login to the CAC Post Incorporation Portal and fill in your accredited login details

Step 3.

Search for the business using the business name or number you want to file annual returns

Step 4.

Click on the Annual returns column and fill out the form with the required details (ensure everything is correct)

The Annual Return form should be signed by the proprietors of that company/business, the director, and the secretary. Once the form is filled you can submit it online and wait for approval

Step 5.

Proceed and make payment with the Annual Return fee to the authorized bank on Remit and remember to keep your receipt as evidence of payment

You will be notified via E-mail from CAC if our payment is accepted

Read Also: Advantages of Company Certificate Over Business Name

For Companies

Below is how you can file Annual returns for companies with an accredited account.

Step 1.

Prepare the Statement of Affairs or Audited Statement of Accounts of your Company. (You need the service of a licensed practising chartered accountant for this)

Step 2.

Proceed and get the Annual returns form

Step 3.

Fill out the form properly and affix your signature and passport

Step 4.

Affix the Company’s Statement of Affairs or Audited Statement of Accounts duly signed by the Director and Company’s Secretary.

Step 5.

Submit the completed form for verification and approval and pay the required Annual Return Fee to the authorized bank

Keep your receipt as evidence of payment and wait for an update from CAC

Read Also: How to Register an NGO Foundation in Nigeria

For Incorporated Trustee

The procedure to file annual returns for Incorporated Trustee is not far different from that of a company.

However, for IT, the annual returns must be filed between the 30th of June and the 31st of December every year other than the year of Incorporation.

How Much is Annual Returns in Nigeria (2023)?

Annual Return for Business names as of June 2023 is 3,000 and the Penalty for not filing is 8,000.

On the other hand, Annual Returns for Limited Liability Companies And Incorporated Trustees is now 5,000 and the penalty for not filing is 10,000

Penalty For Not Filing Annual Returns in Nigeria

If you fail to file your Annual Returns as the law demands in Section 425 of Companies and Allied Matters (CAMA) 2020. The provision states that the company and every director or officer are liable to a penalty that is at the discretion of the commission.

Failure to file Annual Returns for a consecutive period of 8-10 years is aground for striking the name of the company of the company’s register with a belief that the company in question is not in operation.

In most cases, the commission relies on one primary criterion: the failure to file Annual Returns in an indication that the company is dormant.

What Happens When Your Company Has Been Delisted From CAC Register?

When a company has been delisted or removed for failure to file Annual Returns, anybody aggrieved by the striking off of the name of the company from the register may apply to the court at any time before the expiration of 20 years from the publication of the notice of the removal.

The person will make a petition to the court and order for restoration of the company to register and if the court is satisfied that the company was still running business activities at the time of the strike-off the court may order the name of that company to be restored to the CAC record register.

A formal application can also be written in form of a letter addressed to the Registrar General (RG) of the Corporate Affairs Commission, appealing as well as stating why the Annual Return is not filed as of when due.

In addition, to the written application, receipt of all payable dues (total fees of years of unfiled Annual Return), and updated records of the company or entity must be attached.

If the application is successful, a relisting certificate would be reissued to the company to that effect.

Who Should File Annual Returns?

Annual Returns are to be filed by Experts who have reasonable experience with the Corporate Commision. Others eligible to file could be Lawyers, Chattered accountants and legal practitioners

As a business owner, I understand the stress that could be involved in getting someone to help file your returns.

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Importance of Filing Annual Return

Below are some of the massive benefits and importance of filing Annual Returns with CAC in Nigeria.

1. It helps the company or entity give notice to the Commission of the entity’s continued existence, further to which the entity’s name is retained on the register kept by the commission.

2. Filing Annual Returns saves time, especially in a situation where a business or company require a post-incorporation service and must obtain a document or process any other application at the CAC office

3. An up-to-date filing is usually one of the requirements for most contract bids in public or private establishments and an entity desirous of meeting these requirements must ensure that its records are updated as well

4. Failure to file yearly returns on time will result in a penalty which you could pay more than the initial amount


Why You Must Register Your Company With CAC

Business Name vs LLC

Conclusion: How To File Annual Returns in Nigeria

In conclusion, I hope this article has provided vast knowledge regarding the procedural requirement to filing your yearly returns in Nigeria with CAC, and the penalty involved for not filing.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations feel free to comment below

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9 thoughts on “How To File Annual Returns in Nigeria With CAC (2023)”

  1. Thanks Ben, you have done a good work on this subject, but what is the procedure for filing annual returns online for business that had registered manually before the online platform came. I have checked their Post-incorporation portal and they said in their office that it is now active, but no no way to either register/create an account or fill the form.

  2. This is enlightening, thank you sir,
    1:please for a company that defaulted in paying for 3 years how much should be the payment, 15k or 10k per year?,
    2:Which form should be used for a small company, I saw a ten-pages form in CAC site and another two-pages form as in your post.
    3: How and where will the fee be made, (bank details) before submitting or after,? After approval? How will evidence of payment be attached if it is after?.
    4:How will I know if it is approved?. How long will it take for CAC to approve it?
    5:Any certificate or a form of acknowledgement from them?

  3. I am grateful for this. you have done a great job by enlightening me on the procedure to file annual returns. can I file this manually or electronically?
    secondly, how much do you charge for a business name and small company annual return filing?

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