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How to Register an NGO- Non-Governmental Organisation In Nigeria Successfully

How to register an NGO

What is an NGO? And, how do you register an NGO in Nigeria?

In the heart of every humanitarian cause and social enterprise lies the foundation of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)—a pivotal entity dedicated to making a significant impact in society without the pursuit of profit.

If you’re driven by a mission to contribute positively to your community, setting up an NGO in Nigeria is a commendable step. For expert guidance on legalizing and managing your NGO, connect with us at ReDahlia: 08038874148 or 08188122223.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

See Also: How to transition from not having a business idea to having a functional registered business.

What is an NGO?

An NGO can be described as a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons with no participation or representation of any government.

Its efforts are focused on issues such as social, advocacy, and environmental causes. NGOs are recognized by the law as capable entities to engage in various activities including but not limited to educational, health, and developmental work.

In Nigeria, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) oversees the registration of NGOs, providing them with the legal status necessary to operate. This registration not only formalizes the NGO’s existence but also facilitates its eligibility for funding, partnerships, and other benefits.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to register an NGO in Nigeria and the steps to take once your NGO is officially registered.

See Also: Detailed explanation of the different business structures in Nigeria

Different Types of NGOs in Nigeria

NGOs in Nigeria can operate under various frameworks, each tailored to specific goals and operational strategies:

Charitable Organizations:

Focus on relief efforts, poverty alleviation, and assistance to the needy.

Service Organizations:

Provide education, health services, and development programs.

Participatory Organizations:

Work directly with communities to empower them and promote sustainable development.

Empowerment NGOs:

Aim at social justice, advocating for policy changes and rights for marginalized groups.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

See Also: Comprehensive guide on how to register your business with CAC

Guidelines for Choosing a Name For Your NGO in Nigeria

There are rules you have to adhere to when choosing a name for your NGO. Here are the current rules:

Approval by the Registrar-General:

Before conducting a name search on the CAC platform, the proposed NGO name must receive preliminary approval from the Registrar-General in Abuja. This step is crucial to ensure the name aligns with legal and ethical standards.


The name should not be identical or too similar to any existing organization registered in Nigeria. It must stand out to prevent confusion and legal disputes.


The chosen name should reflect the objectives and activities of the NGO, giving potential stakeholders an idea of what the organization is about.

Prohibited Terms:

Certain words and phrases are restricted from use in NGO names. These include terms that suggest affiliation with the Nigerian government or any of its agencies, as well as words like “Federal”, “National”, “State”, “Government”, and any term that could imply a governmental endorsement or affiliation without authorization.


The name should not be offensive, vulgar, or derogatory in any context. It should promote the NGO’s positive image and mission.

Step-by-Step Process to Register an NGO in Nigeria

Here are the steps to register an NGO in Nigeria:

Choose a Suitable Name

Start by selecting a unique and relevant name for your NGO. Avoid names that are similar to existing organizations, contain prohibited terms, or imply government affiliation without authorization.

Obtain Approval for the Name from the CAC

Submit the proposed name to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for approval. This step ensures your chosen name is reserved and not in conflict with existing entities. Before this step, you must get the approval of the Registrar General for the name.

Prepare the NGO’s Constitution

Draft a constitution for the NGO. This document should outline the NGO’s objectives, governance structure, membership rules, and operational guidelines.

Appoint the Trustees

Select and appoint the trustees of the NGO. Trustees must be individuals of integrity, over 18 years old, and fully competent.

Prepare and Notarize the Trustees’ Consent Letters

Obtain signed consent letters from all trustees, indicating their willingness to serve. These letters need to be notarized.

Prepare the Application Letter

Draft an application letter addressed to the Registrar-General of the CAC, expressing the intention to register the NGO.

Publish the Notice of the NGO Registration in a National Newspaper

This critical step involves publishing the intent to register the NGO in two newspapers. The publication must include the NGO’s name and the names of the trustees. This public notice is a legal requirement meant to inform the public of the NGO’s registration and allow for any objections to be raised.

Gather Required Documents for Submission

Compile all necessary documents, including:

  • Form CAC1.1 (Application for Incorporation of Trustees).
  • The approved name reservation slip.
  • Two copies of the NGO’s constitution.
  • The newspaper publication.
  • Notarized consent letters from the trustees.
  • Notarized declaration of compliance by a legal practitioner.
  • Identifications and passport photographs of the trustees.

Submit the Application Package to the CAC

Submit the complete set of documents to the Corporate Affairs Commission for review and processing. This can be done through their online platform or at one of their offices.

Pay the Prescribed Fees

Pay the necessary registration fees as stipulated by the CAC. The fees may vary depending on the specifics of the registration.

Collect the Certificate of Incorporation

Once the CAC has processed your application and if all criteria are met, they will issue a Certificate of Incorporation. This certificate officially recognizes the NGO as a legal entity in Nigeria.

Register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

After obtaining the Certificate of Incorporation, the next step is to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for tax purposes and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

See Also: Benefits of registering a business in Nigeria.

Requirements for Register an NGO in Nigeria

You provide the following documentation and requirements to register an NGO in Nigeria:

  1. Form CAC1.1: Application for Registration.
  2. Company Name Reservation Form: Evidence of the approval of the NGO’s name by the CAC.
  3. Constitution of the NGO: A document outlining the NGO’s purpose, governance structure, and operational guidelines.
  4. Trustees’ Information: Full names, addresses, and occupations of the NGO’s trustees.
  5. Trustees’ Consent Letters: Signed consent forms from all the trustees.
  6. Passport Photographs: Recent passport photographs of the trustees.
  7. Identification Documents: Copies of valid identification (National ID, Passport, Driver’s License) for each trustee.
  8. Application Letter: A formal letter of application addressed to the Registrar-General, CAC.
  9. Proficiency in English: A requirement for communication and documentation purposes.

Timeline for Registering an NGO

The timeline for registering an NGO in Nigeria can vary based on several factors, including the completeness of the submitted documents, the responsiveness of the CAC, and any additional inquiries or requirements from the commission.

Typically, the process can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months from the submission of the name for approval to the final issuance of the certificate of incorporation. This time is greatly reduced when you work with ReDahlia. Contact us today at 08188122223 or 08038874148.

Criteria for Trustees of NGO

  1. Age: Trustees must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Capacity: They must be competent to contract and of sound mind.
  3. Integrity: Trustees should have a clean criminal record, especially concerning fraud or other financial misdemeanours.
  4. Commitment: A demonstrated commitment to the NGO’s cause and objectives.

Who Can Register an NGO in Nigeria:

  • Individuals or groups aiming to establish a nonprofit for charitable, educational, cultural, scientific, or other social purposes.
  • Applicants must meet the trustees’ criteria and ensure their organization’s purpose aligns with non-profit, non-commercial objectives.

Post-Incorporation Requirements for an NGO in Nigeria

After registering your NGO in Nigeria, maintaining compliance with Nigerian laws and regulations is paramount. Here are the things you must keep in mind after registering your NGO:

Annual Returns:

File annual returns with the CAC to keep your NGO in good standing. Get in contact with ReDahlia– 08188122223 or 08038874148 for your annual returns.

Tax Compliance:

Ensure timely tax filings and compliance with FIRS regulations. Get in contact with ReDahlia– 08188122223 or 08038874148 for your annual returns.

Regulatory Compliance:

Depending on your NGO’s activities, additional registrations with bodies like NAFDAC or the Ministry of Education may be required.

See Also: How to get TIN in Nigeria.

Additional Considerations When Registering an NGO in Nigeria

  • Funding and Grants: Develop a solid plan for securing funding and grants to support your NGO’s initiatives.
  • Legal Advice: Consult with legal experts to navigate the registration process and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.
  • Operational Plan: Establish a clear operational plan that outlines your NGO’s objectives, strategies, and impact measurement methods.

See Also: Factors to consider before choosing a legal structure in Nigeria.


We have looked the comprehensive step to register an NGO in Nigeria. Registering an NGO in Nigeria is a significant step toward contributing positively to society and advocating for change.

While the process requires attention to detail and adherence to regulatory standards, the impact of a well-structured NGO can be profound. You can follow the steps to register your NGO.

Partnering with ReDahlia to register your NGO will simplify the process for you. Contact us today at 08188122223 or 08038874148.

See Also: How to choose the right business structure in Nigeria.

How We Can Help You Register Your Business And Comply With Taxes Monthly

Send us a message on WhatsApp- 08188122223 or 08038874148 to help you with your business registration and tax compliance.

Our Essential Compliance Service Covers:

  • Initial Registration for VAT/TIN Certificate: Complete facilitation of your initial VAT/TIN registration process with FIRS and LIRS.
  • Initial Registration for PAYE, Business Premises, and Development Levy.
  • Monthly PAYE: Computation of PAYE deductible, remittance of PAYE, and filing of monthly returns.
  • Monthly VAT: Computation of VAT payable, remittance of VAT, and filing of monthly returns, taking cognizance of applicable tax laws.
  • Annual Business Premises and Development Levy Renewal

On-Demand Premium Services

  • Should your business require our ProMAX Compliance Service, which includes account preparation, auditing, and TCC filing, please contact us directly. This premium service is tailored to your specific needs and billed upon request.

Why Choose Our Compliance Services?

Peace of Mind: With our expertise, you can rest assured that your compliance needs are in capable hands.

Cost Efficiency: Save on potential non-compliance penalties with our cost-effective services.

Expert Guidance: Our seasoned professionals keep your business compliant amidst regulatory changes.

Get in touch today by clicking the Contact Us page or sending us a message on WhatsApp: 08038874148 or 08188122223.

How We Can Work with You to Start And Grow Your Business

If you want to work with our founder- Florence Chikezie to start a profitable and sustainable business, then enrol in the Start Your Business in 30 Days Program. She will take you from idea to starting your business in 30 days. At the end of the program, you will get a registered business with CAC, logo and brand assets, admin set-up, one-on-one consulting sessions and more. Click here to enrol.

Every week, she teaches practical business lessons that have helped thousands of entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. If you want to benefit from her teachings, click to sign up for the weekly business lesson here.

She is an internationally trained award-winning entrepreneur running three profitable businesses and a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council. 

She also works with companies and established corporations to scale their impact and revenue. Reach us at Business@entrepreneurs.ng if you would like to transform your business.

See the different ways we can help increase your business success.



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