According to Nigerian banking laws and regulations, only a business duly registered in Nigeria can operate a corporate bank account in Nigeria. As a result, a foreign business owner who intends to open a bank account in Nigeria must first register the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). While most banks have different procedures for opening corporate bank accounts, the requirements are largely the same across the board. The following documents and information are required:

  • Duly registered business with CAC, providing certified true copies of business registration documents
  • A resolution by the board of directors authorizing and approving the opening of the bank account and the account signatories
  • Completed bank account application form
  • Identification documents of the directors, such as international passports, driver’s licenses, etc.
  • Notarization of Documents. Notarized copies of external documents such as data pages of international passports, driver’s licenses, and registration documents of a foreign company listed as a shareholder (if any) will be requested
  • Passports photographs of the signatories
  • Residential address of the directors
  • Directors’ Bank Verification Number (BVN). Non-Nigerian residents can apply for BVN at BVN enrolment centres located across the world
  • The Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the company
  • Proof of business addresses. Acceptable documents evidencing the business address include water bills, power bills, and lease agreements
  • Registration with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), if applicable
  • Special requirements such as business permits, residence permits, etc. for foreign nationals
  • Two corporate account holders must complete reference forms
  • The minimum opening balance. Depending on the bank, this fee ranges from $20 to $200 

Depending on individual banks, once all the above documents are submitted, an inactive corporate account will be opened between 1–3 business days and it will become active once the verification of all submitted documents has been carried out.

You are on the right track if you seek professional advice on which bank to choose or if you want to open a Nigerian corporate bank account without being present or resident in Nigeria.