What is Annual Returns?

Annual returns is a yearly payment expected to be paid by every registered company and NGO in Nigeria. Annual returns is paid to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), whether or not a company did any business transaction.

Business owners often mistake filing annual returns for payment of taxes, but these are two distinct things. Annual returns and tax filing are two distinct processes that serve different purposes. You can think of filing annual returns as submitting a yearly report card to the government to let them know your business is still active.


What Does an Annual Return Contain?

A typical annual return form requires you to provide information on: 

  • Changes in your company’s share capital.
  • Details of your company’s directors, shareholders, and secretary.
  • Your company’s registered address.
  • Details of the company’s charges (if applicable).
  • A statement of the company’s affairs (including assets and liabilities).

To view all details on the form, here is a link to a copy of CAC Annual returns form: 


When is Annual Return to be Filed?

 Ordinarily, annual returns are to be filed every year after the filing fee is paid, however the first payment after business registration is dependent on whether it is a business name (in which case it is to be paid from January to June of the following year after the registration year), Limited Liability or incorporated trustees (either of which, the first filing is to be made 18 months after the month of registration).


Here is a detail by business type:

Business Type

Annual Returns Filing Deadline. 

Sole Proprietorship

On or before the 30th of June every year.

Business Name

On or before the 30th of June every year.

Small Business (Annual turnover less than 120 million naira)

On or before the 30th of June every year

Limited Liability Companies

Within 42 days after the annual general meeting (company meeting) for the year.

Public Companies (Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange)

Within 42 days after the annual general meeting for the year.

Incorporated Trustees (NGOs, Charitable organizations, religious organizations, etc)

Anytime between the 30th of June and the 31st of December each year, excluding the year of incorporation.


Step-by-step Procedure for Filing Annual Returns.

The annual returns payment is made on  This is the post-incorporation portal of the corporate affairs commission where all changes after registration can be made. you are to use the same login details as the one used during your company registration unless you are an accredited agent.
Simply follow the step-by-step instruction to pay your annual returns;

Step 1: Access the CAC Portal, visit the CAC portal and sign in to your account.

Step 2: Select Company Category: Pick the category that best fits your business from the list.

Step 3: Click on the annual returns option.

Step 4: Click on start annual returns filing, click continue.

Step 5: Fill Out the Annual Return Form: Complete the form that corresponds to your business structure. Check below for the different appropriate forms depending on your business type.

Step 6:Proceed to make payment for the the filing fees. Be mindful of potential extras like stamp duty or late fees. 

Step 7: After payment you will be redirected back to the CAC portal, upload Additional Documents: This involves supporting documents like financial statements or utility bills.

Step 8: Keep checking your dashboard to confirm the query or approval.

Step 9: If queried, read the instructions of the query and answer accordingly.

Step 10: Once you’ve wrapped up the filing and paid the fees, you’ll get an acknowledgement slip. This document is your proof of filing and includes details like the filing date and fees paid.

Congratulations! You have now successfully paid your annual returns.

Step 11: Repeat the process for each year.

Though the portal is straightforward, some persons prefer the expertise of an agent. With an agent, you save yourself time and stress. All you will need to do is to supply the agent with the documents needed.

In addition to above procedure, you’ll also need to fill out an appropriate CAC annual return form (Mentioned in Step 5). The specific form you’ll use depends on your business type. 


Here are the various annual return forms for different types of businesses:

CAC 10: Annual returns form for small companies.

CAC 10a: Annual returns form for companies with shares (excluding the small ones).

CAC 10b: Annual returns form for companies limited by guarantee.

CAC/BN/7: Annual returns form for a business name.

CAC/IT 4: Annual returns form for incorporated trustees. 

You can obtain the form through the CAC portal or from a CAC-accredited agent.


In conclusion, understanding how to file annual returns is very important for your business entity. Failure to file annual returns will set a pitfall for you in any future interactions with government contracts. At worst, if your failure persists for years, you can be deregistered and that’s fatal to your business.

We hope that this blog post is really helpful. Should you need help we at “NjunkimLegal” are available and provide services for your timely filing of annual returns.


Sertified Consult, “CAC Annual returns fees and filing process”  accessed February 11th, 2024

Hachi Onubedo, “Everything you need to know about filing your annual returns in Nigeria” accessed February 11th 2024.

Njunkim Legal is a leading legal firm dedicated to providing comprehensive and tailored legal services to meet your diverse needs. With a team of seasoned attorneys specializing in various fields of law, including corporate, criminal, family, and real estate, we are committed to delivering personalised solutions that prioritise your unique circumstances and objectives. At Njunkim, we combine expertise with a client-centric approach, ensuring transparency, accessibility, and excellence in every interaction. Whether you are seeking expert advice on business transactions, or exploring estate planning options, our experienced professionals are here to guide you every step of the way. Trust in Njunkim Legal, where your legal needs are our utmost priority.

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