Nigeria's Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the addition of Tax Identification Number (TIN) to each certificate of incorporation issued to businesses registered henceforth.
By implication, business owners will no longer need to apply to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to get their tax identification number (TIN).
In Nigeria, the certificate of incorporation is issued by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to validate the existence of a company and its right to do business. Every Nigerian company is mandated to be registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990, which established the CAC.
The TIN is a 14-digit number assigned to all taxpayers by the FIRS. In 2011, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a directive mandating every business to provide its TIN before it can open or continue to operate a corporate bank account. Thus, TIN became an important part of company registration in Nigeria.
However, while issuing the TIN alongside the certificate of incorporation was always a no-brainer, since that would simplify the process of setting up a company, that had not been the case before the 29th of July, when this announcement was made by the CAC.
Before now, business owners had to wait for two weeks after registering their company with the CAC to receive their TIN from the FIRS, which mostly only arrives after these business owners have sent an email to the FIRS help desk, after two (or many more) weeks of not having received it .
In the press release used to announce the development, the CAC said that the new development is part of the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the present administration. The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) champions the initiative.
For some, the development has come later than proper. Be that as it may however, it is a welcome development and a minute but major boost for the ease of doing business in Nigeria.