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How To Start A Business In Nigeria: A Complete Guide

How To Start A Business In Nigeria: A Complete Guide
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You would agree with me that about 1,000+ people take a bold step to quit their current job and start a business yearly. While many people who work nine to five jobs aspire to own a business of their own, they really do not know how to start a business in Nigeria.

To start a business and grow it successfully in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world, there are steps you must follow.


This step by step guide will help you take the leap of faith you require to start, own and grow your business successfully in Nigeria. See it as a business plan to aid you in your startup.

How To Grow Your Business In Nigeria

How to start a business in nigeria

How to start a business in nigeriaHow to start a business in nigeria

Step 1:
Think And Own A Great Business Idea
Thinking up a really good business idea can be a really tough job but not to worry we have have got quite a few pointers to help you have the right business idea.

Pointers: Make sure that your business idea

  • Is what you really want to do
  • Consider resources you will put together to make it work
  • Ensure that that the business would be a problem solver. It should not be one that solves challenges and problems experienced by people daily.
  • Is one that people are willing to pay for.
  • Involves or can involve a skill that you are really good at or gives you room to sharpen your skills.


You can also aim to start out as a franchise for an already successful brand. Why should I do this you ask? because people already know and trust the brand, so it would be a whole lot easier for you to start making profit from the first day. An example of this would be to start up your own branch of Chicken Republic fast food or Dominos Pizza somewhere in Nigeria. People trust and love these names and would gladly patroniz any branch they find closest to them.

Now that this is settled, the next thing to do is to write a business plan.

Step 2:
Write Out A Business Plan
This part is very essential to the success of your business. It will help you define key problems your business plans to solve, how it adds value to your potential customers, how long the business will run(business lifespan), how revenues will be generated in the short and long term, how you intend to achieve market penetration and steady growth, how you intend to raise startup capital, and a whole lot more. That is why it is #2 on our how to start a business in Nigeria

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A good bussiness plan is usually encompassing these attributes while still focusing on the goal and acting as a guide towards achieving your business aims and goals.

Can you picture in your mind a farmer going to the farm without his essential tools, the police task force going against a bank robbery without a plan. Then imagine starting out a business without a plan. All of this equals to marching out to fail.

Your first bussiness plan may not be the final plan your business settles on, but it’s obligatory you create the plan before you start your business.

READ ON: how to start a business in nigeria

Step 3:
Choose A Business Location
Writing a business plan has been checked on the list. Now, it’s time to determine where your business location will be. It is highly important that your business is located close to your customers and not your competitors . You should decide the location of your business office, customer change and behaviour must be analyzed. Keep in mind that wherever you choose must be a place where the people are highly interested in paying for you product or services.

For example, if you intend:

  • starting a retail computer, software and mobile accesoriess, in Lagos, the best location would be computer village in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • A startup for wholesale used cloth in Lagos, Nigeria, the ideal location would be Aswani or Katangua.
  • To start and run your own poultry farm, an ideal location for your farm would be a rural area close to the major city, so your distributors can easily reach you.


The location you choose must be conducive and customer friendly.

Step 4:
Raise A Business Startup Capital
Capital is a very important tool in running a business. Without enough capital, your business cannot be established. The cost of running a business will include merchandise acquistion, promotion of brand, cost of running day to day operations, structures acquisition and miscellaneous and a lot more. All of these things rely heavily on capital to be executed.

How do I raise capital?

Angel investors, money from friends and familya and personal savings are some of the popular ways of raising startup capital to run your business. Once the means to raise capital for your startup business has been identified, you can then move on to the determination of legal business you want to setup.

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Step 5:
Decide Your Business Structure

How to grow a business
This is the next step on our how to start a business in Nigeria guide. Before we proceed, allow me enlighten you on the various types of business structure so you can identify, examine and select the one that suits you.

Sole Proprietorship: is popularly reffered to as “one man business


Because it allows a single person run the business. This person is responsible for raising capital, business promotion, profit, loss and risks of the business.

Partnership: is known as “two or more man business


Because it allows more than one partner in the business. Every decision and risk of the business is shared amongst the owners.


If you would like to seperate your personal liability from your company’s liability, you’d have to setup a “Corporation”. You must strive to understand the legal structure you want formed aroumd your business before you proceed to register the business with authoritative government bodies.

READ ON: how to start a business in nigeria

Step 6:
Register Your Business With The Government
To register your business, you must first get an “article of association”.


An article of association usually contains a lot of information about your business. A lawyer is needed if you want to register a limited liability company. In case you want to refister a business, a lawyer might not be needed.

In Nigeria, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to register a business name. However, this might not be the case in other countries.

Step 7:
Register Your Business With The Federal & State Tax Offices
The next step is to register your business with the federal and state tax offices,

Here’s the deal:

When you register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS), you’d be given a Personal Tax Identification number which can be used for activities like creation of a bank account etc.

READ ON: how to start a business in nigeria

Step 8:
Get A Business Bank Account
Now that your business name has been registered and your Tax identification number has been acquired, you need to setup a business bank account with which your business transactions will be conducted, can be used to save your revenues and business startup funds.

Step 9:
Hire The Right Set Of Employers
A single tree cannot make a forest. A single ant cannot make up a colony.

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Here’s the deal:

Your business can not be runned by you alone regardless of the type. There will be days you will be tired and handing over power to the wrong employee will take negative toil on your business.

So, hiring the right set of employees to co-run your business is a matter of top importance.

In Nigeria, running a small business usually involves one,two and at most five persons to start a business. If you decide to start with more- FINE! just make sure that they are relaible, hardworking, disciplined, productive and smart.

Step 10:
Start Your Business
Now that your legal papers are ready , make sure that they are complete and carefully validated.

Want to know the best part?

You can solve the challenges your customers face by identifying the problem you are solving for them. At this stage, you need to let them know how your business adds value to their lives, so you can start generating some revenues and get postive or negative feedback.

Step 11:
Grow Your Business
If you’ve been following every step outlined in this guide so far; take a minute to congratulate yourself….*cheers*

Now that your business is up and running. It needs to reach a larger audience

How can I do this? how to start a business in nigeria ?

Simple! through marketing. The world is going digital and a very quick,cheap and reliable way to engage people and get a wider customer base is through digital marketing. Yes you heard me right, the service of an expert would be needed on this or you could take a course on digital marketing on Udemy or other authoritative bodies. Trust me you’d be a pro at it in no time.

You can also give Person-to-person marketing a chance. Although more stressful and time taking, it has proven to work majic too.

Bottom Line

How to open a business in the year 2019 and 2020

This guide has discussed in detail how to start a business in Nigeria. If you digested and tried out every idea in this guide, I am pretty sure that by now your business is already booming. Let us know your opinions in the comment section; through the comment box…. *Cheers!*

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