Pursuant to section 2 of the Lagos State Money Lender Law, any person who lends money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid will be regarded as a lender except for;
- Any Society registered under a cooperative society Law
- Banks or insurance companies
- Statutory corporation empowered by law to lend money
- Licensed pawnbrokers
Money lenders license are granted by a state government agency authorized to do so within the state where the money lending company seeks to operate. In Lagos state, the certificate is granted by the Magistrate Court while the license is granted by the Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs. However, in Abuja, the Magistrate Court grants both the certificate and the license.
It is important to note that the Money Lenders License only permits operation in the state where the license is granted. Should you desire to operate or render money lending services in a different state, one will need to obtain a money lenders license in that state.
Requirements for the registration of a money lenders license in Lagos state
Money Lenders License is usually granted in Lagos State to corporate applicants and not to individuals.
A company seeking to apply for a Money Lenders License in Lagos State must have:
- A minimum share capital of twenty million naira and a minimum of two (2) directors
- The object clause as contained in its Memorandum of Association must include provision of money lending services.
Procedures for Obtaining a Money Lenders License in Lagos State
- A formal application on the company letter head addressed to the Commissioner of Police
- Attach all the company's incorporation documents to the application
- The police will issue a clearance report to the directors of the applicant based on the application above
- Submit an application in the prescribed form to the Chief Magistrate (accompanied with the incorporation documents of the company) within the Magisterial District where the business is situated.
- Upon successful application, the applicant is issued a Money Lenders Certificate (Form B) along with a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, confirming due diligence and recommending the issuance of a Money Lenders License.
- Applicant makes a formal application to the Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs attaching all the documents from 2-5 above and:
- Applicants must attach evidence of payment of tax for all directors (for the past 3 years)
- And if it's not a new company, applicant must also attach tax clearance certificate of the company
- A reference letter from the company's bankers
- Proof of payment of the Money Lenders License fee in the sum of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).
- Proof of Application Form Fee of N25,000 (Twenty-Five Thousand Naira).
- Thereafter, a physical inspection of the applicant's place of business will be carried out by the officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs.
Subsequently, the applicant shall be issued a Money Lenders License upon satisfaction by the officials of the Ministry that all statutory requirements have been complied with. The license shall be valid for a period of one (1) year and subject to renewal every year.
Requirements and procedure for obtaining a money lenders license in Abuja
In Abuja, in order to obtain a Money Lenders License and Certificate, an application shall be made to the Chief Magistrate Court in a prescribed manner and the applicant must provide the following documents:
1. An application letter for Money Lenders License addressed to the Chief Magistrate on a letterhead paper with the company seal affixed to the letter.
2. All CAC incorporation documents of the company.
3. General Form Affidavit (stating that the company is not indebted and the account number provided is that of the company, the company account number)
4. Tax clearance of the Company.
5. Tax clearance of the Directors
5. Police Character Clearance.
6. Bank Clearance.
Upon Successful submission of these documents and payment of the prescribed fees, the application will be assigned to any Magistrate within the jurisdiction. If the application succeeds, the Money Lenders Certificate and License is issued to the applicant by the assigned Magistrate for a period of one (1) year and shall be renewable at the expiration of the license
It is important for any company who intends to render money lending services either digitally or other wise to obtain a Money Lenders License in all the states it intends to operate in. Failure to do this can deprive the company of the rights to seek redress where there's default in loan repayment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.