Opening a bank account in Nigeria entails various requirements. Individuals and companies registered in Nigeria are eligible to open a bank. As for a company registered in Nigeria, the fact that such a company is eligible to open a bank account does not imply that a foreigner can be a signatory to a Nigerian bank account without obtaining the requisite Nigerian work permit.

For a company to be eligible to open a bank account in Nigeria, the company must be duly incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). A Company registered in Nigeria is eligible to open an account from any reputable or tier one banks, but the procedure may differ from one bank to the other, although the requirements requested by the banks are essentially the same and cut across all the banks in Nigeria.

Although many foreign companies are interested in opening a bank account in Nigeria, however, the law provides that only companies registered in Nigeria are eligible to open a bank account. For foreign companies desirous of owning a corporate bank account in Nigeria, it must register a subsidiary company in Nigeria first and it is that subsidiary company that will be eligible to open and operate a corporate bank account in Nigeria.

The Procedure & Documents to open a Bank Account

The first and most important step for opening a company bank account is for the company to choose the bank that meets the needs and suits the vision of the company.

The documents required to open a bank account in Nigeria by a registered company are as follows;

  • A Board Resolution signed by the Board of Directors authorizing that the bank account be opened and it must also contain the names of the approved signatories to the company bank account.
  • Specimen signature card of the company.
  • A Company Seal
  • Incorporation documents of the company
  • A duly completed corporate Account Opening Form signed by the company's authorized signatories and directors of the company.
  • Evidence of residency by the Company Directors.
  • Recent Passport photographs of the designated signatories to the company account.
  • Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the Company Directors and Signatories to the account.
  • Form of Identification of the Company Directors such as International Passport
  • Tax Identification (TIN) of the Company.
  • Public Utility Receipt of the business address of the company.
  • Evidence of Registration with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) where applicable.
  • Two (2) duly completed Reference Forms by a corporate account holder.
  • Other special requirements such as business permits, residence permits, especially for expatriates.

Nowadays, the bank account opening forms can be downloaded from their websites. The next step is to duly assemble all the documents listed above and submit the same to the bank.

Finally, it is noteworthy to state that opening a bank account may not be difficult, but the account opening process in Nigeria is very strict and generally regulated by the Central Bank in Nigeria. A person not resident in Nigeria is not permitted to be a signatory to any bank account in Nigeria, even if such a person owns a registered company in Nigeria.

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.