Getting my business certificate lingered on for a while and at a point I had to forcefully drive myself to get it done. I eventually got a business certificate seven years after I had started Edible Pen. When it all started I did not know there was anything like a business registration but by the time I got to know I had to think about saving up some money to get it done.
I tried severally to save up that money but something was always coming when ever I wanted to do the registration and at a point in time I decided to do something a little drastic so when I was in my final year in the university I wanted to use my school fees to do the registration for my business. My father had just given me the school fees and at the time I had a project on ground called “50 Younstars.” It was a magazine project and I had presumed that so many people were going to be interested in it as soon as they saw the publicity. I figured that if the people were interested in it as I taught then I would make some money and pay my school fees when I make the money so I went to the corporate affairs commission in Lagos state which was at the time in Elephant house in Ikeja.
After paying for a file and the name search it took several weeks for me to keep checking if the name was available for me to use or not and I never even saw the name. my university is in Ogun state and I was coming to Lagos from Ogun state sometimes to check the name. The entire school fees I wanted to spend was N11, 000 and the business registration at the time was N6,000 if I was going to do it myself. A lawyer was going to charge more than that if I wanted to do it through a lawyer so I did not want to pay more for a lawyer to get it done. What I did not think about at the time was that the lawyer would have been doing this business registration for several people and so woud have good contacts in the corporate affairs commission. I also did not plan that my transportation from Ogun to Lagos every time should have been given to the lawyer and I would have saved myself a whole lot of stress.
No sooner had I spent every penny of my school fees without even knowing if my choice of business name was available for use than the school management gave a deadline for the payment of school fees. Now the rat race began! I had to start running here and there looking for a helper because I knew the implication of not paying the school fees at that time was that I had to pay more or worse still be barred from writing my final papers in the university. Finally my girlfriend at the time, Janet, came to my aid by giving me a loan. I made the payment on the last day given by the school and just a few hours before the bank closed.
For another two years money came and went but I did not do it because of misplacement of priority and at other times because of wrong information. Eventually when I published my third book I took N6,000 from sales and gave it to a lawyer who wanted to charge N10, 000. I begged him to allow me pay installments and when he told me my certificate was ready I sold my Dorado D600 mobile phone which served several purposes for me at the time because a balance of N4,000 was not forthcoming. I went home being proud of myself and I made an A3 size photocopy of the business certificate for my office.