The entire African continent is a vast market that is only beginning to blossom. Nigeria is no different - this big and important country is a continental hub of growing investments in many sectors: agriculture, trade, fashion, digital media and advertising, blogging, and many others.
If you come armed with a solid idea, you can start your own business in Nigeria in no time. Whether you plan to launch a locally oriented company or work as an independent contractor for foreign clients, this article will help you grasp the basics of starting a business in Nigeria.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.
Sole proprietors in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the most commonly registered businesses are sole proprietorships, sometimes also known as sole traders. A sole trader is a person who owns the business, meaning a natural person and not a legal entity. As the owner of a sole proprietorship, you can enjoy the business's profits but are also responsible for any losses or debts. It is an excellent option for starting your business from scratch and testing the waters in the market.
A sole proprietor is the most common business form in Nigeria because the registration process is incredibly easy and requires very few steps.
To set-up a sole proprietor, you can either use the online method (on the web portal of the Corporate Affairs Commission) or go to the CAC office nearest to you.
Business Name Registration
You need to register a business name for your business activity. Upon doing so, you will receive a business name registration certificate, which you will need to open a bank account or obtain a tax clearance for your business.
As we mentioned above, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the authority in charge of business name registration.
Before registering, check if someone else is already using the business name you planned on.
To search, follow the CAC guideline for searching and registering your business name. If you prefer to take these steps face to face, you can walk into any of the CAC offices and obtain the Reservation of name form.
It takes about two weeks for the CAC to complete the request, and it will cost you N500.