If you’re considering venturing into the financial industry as a money lender in Nigeria, it’s crucial to understand the process and requirements involved in obtaining a money lender license. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps to acquire a money lender license, ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks and increasing your chances of success.
Understand the Regulatory Framework:
To operate as a money lender in Nigeria, you must adhere to the regulatory framework set by the relevant authorities. Familiarize yourself with the key regulations, such as the Moneylenders Laws of the relevant State, as well as any guidelines or directives provided by the regulatory bodies, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Money lender’s certificate and licence are granted by a State Government agency (The Ministry of Home Affairs) within the State where the money lending company is doing or seeking to do business. It is, therefore, an offence to engage in a money lending business without the required licence in Nigeria.
Business Registration and Incorporation:
Before applying for a money lender license, you need to establish a legal business entity. Register your company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with a share capital of not less than N20 Million and at least two (2) adult directors. and ensure compliance with all necessary requirements, such as providing a unique company name and obtaining a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Obtaining a money lender license requires meticulous preparation of various documents.
The process and requirement of obtaining a money lender are as follows:
A). Letter of Intent
This is addressed to the Chief Magistrate and Commissioner of Police of the jurisdiction where the business is to be carried out.
B). Police Clearance of the applying individual
This must be obtained by each Director of the Company who desires to apply for the Moneylender’s Licence. Also, the Directors must be physically present in order for the forensic officer to scan and analyse their fingerprints.
Documents required includes:
- Valid means of identification of the Directors of the company;
- Two (2) passport-size photographs of the Directors; and
- Proof of payment of application fees.
C). Application to the Magistrate Court in the jurisdiction.
In applying for the Magistrate’s Certificate, the following documents must be provided:
- An application letter on the company’s letterhead with the company’s seal affixed, addressed to the Chief Magistrate. The list of documents that will be attached are:
- Company’s registration Status Report
- Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company;
- Certificate of Incorporation of the company;
- Tax Clearance of the company’s Directors to prove that they are registered taxpayers;
- Police Clearance of the Directors of the company; and
- Evidence of maintenance of a current account under a licensed Bank;
- Upon the due filing of the above documents, 3 (Three) documents shall be issued:
- A letter from the Chief Magistrate’s Court Registry to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism confirming due compliance and recommending the issuance of the Moneylender’s License to the applying corporate body in question;
- Form B of The Money Lenders Ordinance, 1938; and,
- Moneylenders Regulations Form of Moneylenders’ License (Form C) which needs to be completed by the Applicant.
D). Application to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism
Upon obtaining the above documents, applicants shall proceed to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism with payment of the prescribed fees which include:
- Purchase of the application form required for the regularization of Money Lenders Certificate, with attesting receipt to evidence payment; and;
- Money Lender License Fee, which will be paid into the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism’s designated Account:
Thereafter applicants shall:
- Complete the application form and pay the fees into the bank account provided by the Ministry or provided by the revenue collection department;
- Submit the Application for Regularization form, together with the following list of documents:
- A cover letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Tourism;
- Money Lender Ordinance (Form B) 1938 – from the Magistrate Court;
- Duly completed Form C – from the Magistrate Court;
- Police Report from the Commissioner of Police showing the fingerprints of the company’s Directors;
- 3-year Income Tax Clearance Certificate (including the current year)/Development Levy for each Director of the company;
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Certificate, Tax Clearance of at least 2 (Two) of the company’s Directors;
- Certificate of Incorporation of the company from the Corporate Affairs Commission;
- Evidence of payment of the application fees to the State Account; and,
- Evidence of maintenance of a bank account with a reputable bank in Nigeria.
Upon submission of the relevant documents and payment of the prescribed fees, the Ministry shall conduct a visit to the office of the Applicant. It is important that the company mounts a visible office sign at the exterior of the registered address before visitation by officials of the Ministry.
Upon due compliance of the above requirements, the following shall be done by the Ministry of Home Affairs:
- A file shall be opened for the applying Money Lending Company in which all the required documents shall be inserted therein.
- Inspection officers from the Ministry shall be sent on an agreed date for visitation for the inspection of the registered office address of the applying Company. Upon visitation, as the company is yet to commence business, inspection of the office premises and officers of the company shall suffice. If business has commenced, the books will be inspected.
License Approval and Ongoing Obligations:
Finally, after inspection and confirmation of due compliance, If your application is successful, you will be granted a money lender license. Ensure that you comply with all ongoing obligations, such as registration with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (“FCCPC”) if you carry out the business of digital lending, filing regular reports, maintaining accurate records, and adhering to the prescribed code of conduct. Non-compliance may result in penalties, suspension, or revocation of your license.
Conclusion: Obtaining a money lender license in Nigeria involves following a systematic process and meeting specific requirements. By understanding the regulatory framework, fulfilling the necessary documentation, and demonstrating competence and integrity, you can increase your chances of acquiring a money lender license and operating your lending business legally and successfully in Nigeria’s financial landscape
For further inquiries, should you consider obtaining a money lender license speak to a member of our team by sending an email to email@example.com or call 07016027417
We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This article is not intended to substitute for a legal advice. If you require legal advice, please engage a lawsavvy.