This paper focuses on the legal obligations for incorporation of foreign companies in Nigeria and the requirements for such incorporation. The meaning of a foreign company will also be examined and a distinction will be drawn between a foreign and a local company. It will be posited that the requirement of incorporation is only applicable to foreign companies carrying on business in Nigeria and the expression carrying on business will be elucidated to show that it does not cover a single act of a foreign company in Nigeria. It must be established that the foreign company is performing some business operations or occupation in Nigeria on a continuous or repetitive basis.
Also discussed are the sanctions for non-compliance by a foreign company with the requirement of incorporation as well as the exceptions to the incorporation requirement. The paper concludes with an assessment of the frequency of the exemptions granted in the past by the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as an analysis of the mandatory incorporation requirements for foreign companies in selected jurisdictions. This is in addition to making necessary recommendations for a review of the relevant legal provisions on the subject in Nigeria.