Whether or not Adamu and Mariam incorporate or form a partnership, since they wish to trade under the name of Live Wire it will be necessary for them to register the business name under the Business Names Act/CAMA.
Registration would not be required if Adamu and Mariam in partnership traded under their individual names or if after incorporation the company traded under its incorporated name. It is only where a person trades under a name other than his/her own that registration is required.
It is necessary for Adamu and Mariam to contract the Commissioner for Taxes to indicate that they have commenced business and they would have an option either to have group tax registration or to purchase tax stamps. If Adamu and Mariam are selling goods subject to sales tax they should apply to the Commissioner of taxes for registration under the Sales Tax Act
Wish to Lease
Adamu and Mariam’s lease of premises in the shopping complex in Lagos will be subject to provisions of the Retail Shop legislation, which give certain protections to tenants of retail shops against onerous clauses imposed in standard form leases.
The legislations prohibit certain conditions being imposed in retail shop leases and also require that in specified circumstances certain implied conditions shall be part of the lease. Both these measures are designed to protect the tenant.
Adamu and Mariam are required to register their shop under this Act and to keep the premises registered as a shop. They cannot occupy or commence business in the shop until it is registered. Adamu and Mariam should also be familiar with the provisions of this Act which deal with safety, health and welfare.
Local Government By-Law
Adamu and Mariam should be aware of local authority planning laws, which regulate the use of land (land includes buildings on that land, eg Adamu and Mariam’s shop).
The importance of contract law in commerce is highlighted in the establishment and conduct of the family business. The initial three year lease of the shop is a contract. The lease of the fittings is a contract. The hire-purchase agreement for equipment is a contract. The agreement under which the junior is employed is a contract of service. Each time a customer buys an appliance or leaves an appliance for repair there is a contract. There is a contract relating to the advertisement of the business.
Despite the fact that the common law principles of contract in some of the above contracts may be overridden by the provisions of specific legislation, e.g. Hire-Purchase Act, the importance of basic contractual principles cannot be underestimated. Consequently in this course, you will make a detailed study of contract from its genesis in the English Common Law.