How To Start A Business in Nigeria

Start A Business In Nigeria

Starting a business in Nigeria is simple but can be difficult at times, especially if you don't know the country's business terrain very well. Before we deal with How to start business in Nigeria, let's first look into the reason why doing business in Nigeria is considered to be a good choice.

Highway near Aso Rock in Abuja

No matter who you are and your financial capacity, there is business for anyone to start in Nigeria at all level. Even without money, you can still start business in the country if you are smart enough and ready to master the art of trustworthiness, good service rendering, and how to run errand.

Nigeria is one of the best place to do business in the world in terms of profitability and competitiveness. Over 160 million people with reasonable purchasing power that is said to be one of the highest in Africa, makes it a top [go to] destination in Africa when it comes to business. 

The CEO of South Africa's retail giant Shoprite, Whitey Basson, said in February that he saw scope for 700 stores in Nigeria, up from about 5 they have now, arguing that even if 60 percent of Nigerian population live in poverty, the other 40 percent still outnumber South Africans.

Some companies who have neglected the country in the past are left to bite their fingers with regret. A good example can be found in the telecoms sector. Many telecoms giant neglected the country, coming up with all sorts of negative analysis about how telecom business is bound to fail in Nigeria. It took the guts of MTN and Econet who where almost unknown in Africa then to invest in Nigerian market. As a result, these companies have been transformed from obscurity to one of the biggest Telecoms companies in the world through the success they recorded from the Nigerian market alone.

Other telecoms companies like Vodacom that turned their back on Nigerian market where made to lure their loses. Don't let that happen to you, if doing business in Nigeria is in your plan and you have come with a business idea, you need to take the step now before others do.

Another thing that makes Nigeria one of the best place to do business is the issue of taxation. Though some companies do complain of back handedness and multiple taxation, Nigeria still remain one of the countries in the world with the lightest taxation and 'not too' complex regulatory framework.

If you are thinking of starting a business in the country, you need to understand how business works in Nigeria, the market evaluation, the risks, and the legal and bureaucratic frameworks involved.  In this article, I want to get as simple and straight to the point as possible on how anyone could start small to medium scale business in Nigeria hassle free.

Develop A Business Idea Peculiar To Nigeria

Idea is the first step towards starting any business anywhere in the world. You must have an idea of business you wants to venture into. Ideas sometimes goes together with passion, if there is something you are passionate about, it could be easy for you to form business idea base on that. 

Example: My passion for internet and computer is what helped me develop the idea for internet base tech company. Advantage of developing business idea base on your passion is that the passion you have for it will help you sustain the business in turbulent times. Browsing around this website, you'd get to see plenty of potentially profitable business ideas that may interest you, pick one that closest to your heart and work it out.

Services   Agriculture  Commerce   Industry
Haulage and Logistic Services  Tomato Farming in Nigeria  Fashion Sells  Internet Startup
Professional Photography  Poultry Farming  Electronic sells  Foods and Beverages
Professional Cleaning  Rice Farming  Grocery Supermarkets  Renewable Energy Supply
Hotels and Hospitality  Pig Rearing  eCommerce  Furniture Making

What you have on the table above are some of the business ideas that fly in Nigeria.There are hundreds of small and medium scale businesses that are profitable in Nigeria. Some of them you can find on this website.

Asking questions on the comment section may reveal more business ideas through readers contribution. Once you have a business idea you want to work on, the next thing is to develop serious business plan.

 Develop A Business Plan 

Proper planning is essential for the success of any business. Develop a robust business plan that includes every aspect of your business and follow it judiciously. Business plan is specially important because further to providing you with a clear set goal and objectives, it can provide a reference point you can return to at any point in time in your business. 

People tends to overlook this most important aspect of business without understanding the value. Just looking at a plan and seeing how far you have come is a great motivational tool to help you carry on. It can help you determine whether you have drifted somehow from your original vision and allow you to get back on track.

Read: Advice on Starting a Successful Business in Nigeria

Much have been said about the importance of business plan for entrepreneurs. Planning is the key to success in any venture, make you have a well written business plan before you proceed to start a business in Nigeria.

Register You Business 

Depending on the magnitude of the business you wants to start, you need to Register your Business in Nigeria with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to enable you do business in the country legitimately.

Hire a Lawyer to register your business and carryout other bureaucratic requirements. More so, your Lawyer will help formulate your business policy and operational legal terms.

Source For Startup Finance

Financing a business is one of the biggest challenge that faces any entrepreneur anywhere in the world and Nigeria is not an exception, but it can be sorted out easily especially if you are a Nigerian

How to Register Your Business in Nigeria → 3 Steps!


Are you thinking of doing business in Nigeria? Then you must register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission which is the Agency empowered by the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990, Pursuant to section 659 to register businesses operation in Nigeria. It is the requirement of the law that you should register your business if you wants to do legitimate business in Nigeria.

Depending on the magnitude of your business, you can register it all by yourselves without the need of a Lawyer. The categories for business registration in Nigeria are:

(a) Business Name Registration

(b) Private Limited Company (LTD)

(c) Public Limited Company (PLC)

(d) Company Limited by Guarantee (LTD/GTE)

(e) Unlimited Company (ULTD)

(f) Incorporated Trustee

In this article, I will be dealing with the first two (Business Name, and Private Limited Company) which is the two most popular and most relevant to small and medium scale Entrepreneurs. Apart from the requirement of the law, there are other great benefits of registering your business.

How to incorporate your business in Nigeria

1. It helps you secure your company name before someone else takes it. I have seen people try both their first and second choice name with none available and considering the stress one go through for the name search, not having the first set available isn’t what anyone should toil with. So early registration helps secure your choice name.

2. Registering your business add seriousness and authenticity to your business. It makes you feel more responsible and work harder towards establishing your business and brand.  It makes you feel like a serious business person and Increases your drive towards success.

E.g: When Palness Media was just a name, I used to make mention of it only as a mere formality without serious claim to it even though businesses were being carried out with the name. But when it becomes a registered business, everything changed and we became more serious and better organized.

3. You will be able to open a corporate account with your business name only if it is registered and of course you know the importance of having a corporate current account – it makes people feel more relaxed to transact business with you.

Now that you know the importance of registering your company, how do you proceed to register your business in Nigeria? The steps are simple but sometimes can be very tedious due to our system. Here are the practical steps how you can go about it without much tears!

Step 1 – Proceed to the Corporate Affairs Commission Office nearest to you and submit your business name for Name Search. Just walk into the place and obtain the CAC Form 1 for N200

Fill the form correctly in CAPITAL LETTER – There is nothing much to fill, just your name, your address and The Names you intends to register, tick the type of company category you want to register as. You have option one and two – Option one is your first choice name, while option two is the alternative name in case the first choice isn’t available.

Make a Photocopy of the filled form before submitting it, the photocopy is what you will bring back to be used to locate your form.

Submit the original and go back in three days to check if your name is available. If not, you will have to repeat the process all over again until you find one that is available.

Note: If you go for popular phrases, you have 99% possibility of not having it available. Chose something unique and uncommon.

Step 2
-  Once you checked and your name is available, begin the registration process immediately! Obtain the Business Name registration form for N250 (as at February 2013) and fill it.

If it is Limited Company you want to register, you will buy the set of Company Incorporation forms for N500. Download the PDF of the detailed requirement for Incorporated Trustees Under Part C of CAMA No.1 of 1990.

If you are confused about what to fill in those forms, ask someone there to assist you. For business name, its really not difficult. For Limited Liability, it can be quite challenging but someone there can just be of help as long as you’ve provided all the requirements in the PDF downloadable above.

Step 3 – Take your completed form to the Federal High Court or State High Court for attestation. That one cost N250 but if you don’t know your way, those guys will short change you - I paid
?800 for Palness Media. So, when you get there, ask for where you can do attestation.

When you are through with that, return back to Corporate Affairs Commission office and submit your completed and attested forms. The first person will view it and sign on it and ask you to pass it to the next person who will type it into the computer and print it out for you to see and make amend if necessary.

Make your final payment for the registration into their UBA Bank account usually attached to all the CAC offices, so you don’t need to go elsewhere to make the payment.

When all these have been successfully fulfilled, your business will be up for registration and certification.

For Business Name – Go back for your Certificate after 8 working days or thereabout. As for Limited Company, your certificate will be sent to you once it is ready.