Imagine having your business or company registered only to be told that you need to carry out SCUML registration to set up a bank account for your business. Prior to this, you had proceeded to the bank in excitement to set up that business account you have always wanted to have. On getting to the bank, you were directed to one of the bankers who provided you with a list of requirements for setting up your business account. Confident that you had all the requirements, you received the list alongside the account opening form… you say to yourself “My business is registered, nothing in this list could possibly stop me from having my business account set up today…”
As you go through the list, it reads;
i. Company certificate ….. “check…I’ve got that”
ii. Company Status report/CAC Form 1 and 7 as the case may be …. “check… I’ve got that too”
iii. Memorandum and Articles of Association … “I have this as well”
iv. Electricity Bill of business premises …. “that can be arranged..”
v. Board resolution authorizing the opening of account … “Okay, I’ll have my lawyer prepare this…”
vi. SCUML … “Whoa… what in God’s name is SCUML and why wasn’t I informed about this prior to now…”
Sounds like you? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about SCUML registration in Nigeria.
WHAT IS SCUML?
SCUML is an acronym for the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, which is a department under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In a bid to handle situations where businesses were used as conduits for carrying out financial crimes and sponsoring terrorist activities, the SCUML was created and charged with the responsibility of registering, monitoring, and supervising the activities of Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) in line with the Money Laundering (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022 and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Anti Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction for Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions and other Related Matters) Regulations, 2022.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
Obtaining a SCUML certificate can be used as proof that your business is not a conduit for money laundering or sponsoring terrorist activities.
WHO NEEDS A SCUML CERTIFICATE
Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs). DNFIs are typically known to handle a lot of cash in their business transactions thereby making them easy conduits for money laundering activities.
LIST OF DNFIs, BUSINESSES, AND PROFESSIONS THAT CURRENTLY REQUIRE SCUML REGISTRATION
As provided in Section 25 of the Money Laundering Act, Designated Non-Financial Institutions include the following;
- Dealers in Jewellery, Cars and Luxury Goods, Precious Stones and Metals
- Real Estate, Estate Developers, Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Estate Agents,
- Chartered Accountants, Audit Firms, Tax Consultants,
- Clearing and Settlement Companies,
- Hotels, Casinos, Supermarkets,
- Dealers in Mechanized Farming Equipment and Machineries,
- Practitioners of Mechanized Farming, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or
- Such other businesses as the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment or appropriate regulatory authorities may from time to time designate.
- Legal Practitioners, Trust and Company Service Providers.
- Dealers and Miners of Precious Stones and Metals
- Pool Betting and Lottery
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Consultants and Consulting companies
- Construction Companies,
- Importers and Dealers in cars and vehicles
- Dealers in Mechanized farming equipment and machinery
- Practitioners of mechanized farming and any other business(es) as may be designated from time to time by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment or SCUML
HOW DO I GET A SCUML CERTIFICATE
You may obtain a SCUML certificate for your registered company through the following steps;
1. Fill out the SCUML registration form online either by yourself or with the help of experienced agents.
2. Submit the application alongside other required documents
Upon submitting the application, you will receive a notification on whether or not the application was approved or denied.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION OF SCUML
The following documents are required for SCUML registration;
1. CAC incorporation documents including; Certificate of Incorporation, Articles, and Memorandum of Association
2. Bank Verification Number (BVN), Bank Name, and Account number of at least one director of the company
3. Evidence of tax registration (Tax Identification Number (TIN))
4. Evidence of tax exemption (where applicable)
5. Authorized Operational license (where applicable)
6. Professional certificate (where applicable)
7. Any other document deemed necessary
8. Constitution (in the case of NGOs)
9. Agreement signed between an NGO and the National Planning Commission (applicable to International NGOs)
CLICK THIS LINK for more on SCUML registration requirements for Private companies, Business names, and NGOs.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN A SCUML CERTIFICATE
It takes about 14 to 21 days after the submission of the application to complete the registration process and obtain a certificate. The certificate can be picked up at any registered zone/state of the applicant’s choice. Currently, only registered directors of the applicant company are permitted to retrieve their SCUML certificate at the SCUML office.
DOES A BUSINESS NAME NEED A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
Following the recently updated DNFIs qualified to obtain a SCUML certificate as listed above, registered business names are required to obtain a SCUML certificate.
DOES AN NGO NEED A SCUML CERTIFICATE?
Yes, an NGO like other profit-making organizations is required to obtain a SCUML certificate to serve as proof that it is not involved in money laundering or terrorist financing.
DO I NEED TO REAPPLY FOR A SCUML CERTIFICATE IF I HAVE PREVIOUSLY GOTTEN A SCUML CERTIFICATE FOR MY BUSINESS NAME AND SUBSEQUENTLY HAD IT UPGRADED TO A COMPANY?
Yes, once a business name is upgraded to a company, the phrase “Ltd” is added to the existing name and that makes it different from the previous name contained in the former SCUML certificate.
If your business name was registered as GOD KNOWS BEST for instance and you obtained a SCUML certificate for the said business name. A few weeks later, you had the business name upgraded to a company with the name GOD KNOWS BEST LIMITED. Technically a minor change has been made to the name which is different from the name contained in your previous SCUML certificate. On this basis, you have to reapply for a SCUML certificate to be issued in the name of the newly formed company in spite of the fact that the only difference between the names is the phrase “Limited”.
So long as there are changes to the name (regardless of how minor it is), the nature of the business, or even details of members of the company which is different from what was presented previously, you will need to re-apply for a new SCUML certificate.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SCUML REGISTRATION?
After obtaining a SCUML certificate, companies that receive monies in the sum of N10,000,000 (ten million naira) and above as a lump sum from another company or in the course of transactions are obligated to file a SCUML report directly to SCUML.
Such a report is to be filed within 7 days. Companies that receive 5 million and above from an individual in lump sum are to file SCUML reports. Companies that receive less than 5 million e.g. are to file a NIL report monthly.
Now there you have it, everything you should know about SCUML registration in Nigeria. Will you like us to assist you with obtaining your SCUML certificate? Please reach out to us through the Whatsapp icon on the lower right part of this page or HERE and we will be delighted to assist you.
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