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The Legal Documents Your Business or Startup Should Have In Nigeria

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Legal documents are the documents which any business and smart entrepreneur must acquire to protect his/her business from risk like business closure, crime fines, and penalties.

In this article, I list 10 legal documents which your business or startup must have – their description and importance.

1) A Business Plan.

A business plan is not often regarded as a legal document but it is one of the most important documents which every business should have. A business plan embodies or encapsulates the goals, progress, and growth of a business. It helps to keep the record of a business and serves as a guide for the business.

2) Importation and Exportation Permit.

Most entrepreneurs have problems with customs when importing and/or exporting their goods because they don’t have this permit. Importation and Exportation Permit is a legal document which allows you company to import and/or export goods in and/or out of the country.

3) Tax Licenses:

Tax License is a legal document often issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and other tax regulatory bodies and agencies at the State and Local Government levels across states of the federation. This document shows that your business is eligible to and pays (or does not pay) tax regularly.

Taxation on business is important and your business commits a huge offence in the country if it refuses to pay the stipulated tax which it has to pay. Failure to pay tax (i..e, tax deferment) and on time attracts fines and penalties when caught. Therefore, a smart entrepreneur must obtain his/her tax licenses and pay the stipulated taxes as a good citizen of the country.

The Legal Documents Your Business or Startup Should Have In Nigeria

The Legal Documents Your Business or Startup Should Have In Nigeria

4) Service Agreement.

A service agreement is a legal document that spells out the relationship between a business owner and the customer or client. This document defines the role of both parties relating to the transaction that (will) take place between them.

5) Business Registration Certificate.

A Business Registration Certificate is a very important legal document issued by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) when your business is registered. It shows that your business is fully registered under the law and that your business legally bears that name for which it is registered. Also, it show that you as the entrepreneur is the certified business owner of the business. Furthermore, your Business Registration Certificate allows you to have access to bank and government loans. The Business Registration certificate is also known as Certificate of Registration/Incorporation. It is different from Business Certificate Of Incorporation.

6) Signage Permit.

A Signage Permit is a legal document that allows you to erect a signpost to advertise your business. It helps to prevent illegal construction of signposts across the country. A Signage Permit is usually issued by the signage and advertisement agency under state government.

7) Employee Agreement.

An Employee Agreement document also known as Employee Contract is a legal document, a form of agreement between the employer and the employee. It shows the roles, obligations, duties, activities, and functions of each of them.

Employee Agreement is a compulsory document every entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur that wants to be an employer of labour must have. This helps to prevent employers from the risk of being sanctioned and also protects employees from being maltreated or cheated on which can hamper the growth of the business.

8) Partnership Agreement:

A Business that runs a Partnership is required to obtain this legal document. It helps each partner know their duties and obligations and it also helps to spell out the partnership between the business owners. It is a mandatory legal document for Partnership and not for Sole Proprietorship. Also, it helps to seal the agreement between the two parties.

9) Constitution of the Company.

This legal document serves as a guide, a working or operating manual for a company or business. It is often regarded as the “Bible” of the company. All businesses require a constitution whether the business is a small-scale, medium-scale or a large-scale business.

The Company or Business Constitution contains the aim, goals, mission, vision, and objectives of the Company or business. It can speak for the company anywhere because everything about the company is fully and clearly stated in its constitution.

10) Unrevealed Agreement.

It is also known as Non-Disclosure Agreement. All business ideas are unique and must be treated as confidential. Non-disclosure agreement is a legal document that helps to seal ones business idea i.e. it keeps ones business idea secret even when shared with another party or parties. This document helps to treat ones idea as a confidential matter which must not be shared with any else. It is a cordial agreement between the parties involves. All business idea is unique.

Most times, when looking for funding from an Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist, it is required that you open up on your business idea or concept. Before you do that, it is needful that you and the Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist sign this Non-Disclosure Agreement or Unrevealed Agreement. This helps to keep your business idea or concept private even if you don’t get the needed support from the third party.

By the way, if you are looking for funding for your business or business idea, here is a list of Venture Capitalists in Nigeria that you may approach for funding and support.

11) Internal Revenue Permit.

This is a legal document issued by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) department of the Local Government Area that you are operating in. If you own a physical office like a Shop, a Factory or Workshop where you run your business from, it is mandatory that you obtain your Internal Revenue Permit. The severity of enforcement depends, however, on the State in the Nigeria where is your company/business is located in. The Internal Revenue Permit is required before you can acquire or build a physical office in most states of the Federation.

12) Insurance Certificate.

Although not fully applicable or enforced in Nigeria and most of the businesses operating here, in foreign countries, it is compulsory for all business to be insured. It is an indication that you have secured your business. A smart business owner or potential business owner must obtain an Insurance Certificate to secure the future of his/her business in Nigeria against any unplanned circumstance like Fire Outbreak, War, Flood, Burglary, etc.

There are other legal documents that your business must have, depending on the State and Local Government Area where your business is located in Nigeria.

These documents include

  • Volunteer/intern agreement
  • Industrial license
  • Intellectual property license
  • Professional permit and many more

In conclusion, a smart business/aspiring business owner, an existing business, or a startup, it is important that you obtain all the necessary legal documents that will help you and your business to staff out of trouble and protect the interest of your business and the public. The obtainment of these legal documents must be included in your business plan. These documents, permits, and licenses differ from State-to-State and Local Government Area to Local Government Area. Therefore, ensure that you make the necessary enquiries on which are useful to get for your business.

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Ekemini Ekpo is a professional writer, blogger, and internet marketer. He is passionate about engineering, business, investment, entrepreneurship, finance, and personal development. When he is not managing web projects, he handles academic research writing and data analysis for individuals and organizations.

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How to Finance Your Education: The Best Ways to Pay for College

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How to Finance Your Education: The Best Ways to Pay for College

With the cost of college rising, it’s hard to figure out how you can afford your education without going into debt. We want to show you some ways that may be able to help with financing your education. This article provides the best ways for how students can finance their education.

Practical Ways to Finance Your Education

Local Scholarships

There are a few practical ways to finance your education, and one of them is through local scholarships. Local scholarships are usually offered by businesses, civic organizations, and religious groups.

They tend to be smaller in amount than national scholarships, but they can still provide a significant amount of financial assistance. To find local scholarships, you can search online or ask your school’s financial aid office for a list of resources.

Financial Aid Appeals

Colleges are not static institutions and they often have to recognize changing economic conditions. This may mean that a student’s financial aid package needs to be adjusted. A financial aid appeal is an option for students who have had a recent change in their financial situation, such as the loss of a job or unexpected medical bills.

If you have been denied financial aid, you have the right to appeal the decision. Here are a few tips on how to appeal:

  • Gather all of the documentation that you will need to support your case. This may include tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and anything else that can help prove your financial need.
  • Write a letter to the financial aid office explaining your situation and why you believe you should receive aid.
  • Include a copy of your most recent tax return and any other supporting documentation.
  • Be polite and professional in all correspondence with the financial aid office.

If you follow these tips, you will give yourself the best chance possible of having your financial aid appeal approved.

Employer Tuition Assistance

Employer tuition assistance is one of the most popular ways to finance your education. Many employers offer some form of tuition assistance, and it can be a great way to get your education paid for. Employer tuition assistance can come in the form of tuition reimbursement, tuition discounts, or other types of financial aid.

Save money ahead of time with a 529 plan

One of the best ways to finance your education is to start saving money ahead of time with a 529 plan. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education expenses. With a 529 plan, you can save money for your own future education or the education of a family member, such as a child or grandchild.

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans. With a prepaid tuition plan, you purchase tuition credits at today’s prices to use at a participating college or university in the future. With a college savings plan, you invest in a portfolio of investment options, which can grow over time.

529 plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions, and are managed by investment companies. There are many different 529 plans to choose from, so it’s important to compare plans and find one that best suits your needs.

If you’re looking for a way to finance your education, a 529 plan is a great option. Start saving now and you’ll be on your way to a bright future.

Consider a less-expensive school

There are a number of practical ways to finance your education. One option is to consider a less-expensive school. This can be a good option if you are looking to save money on tuition and other associated costs. Another option is to look for scholarships and grants that can help you cover the costs of your education.

There are also a number of loan options available, both private and federal. You can also look into work-study programs and other ways to earn money to help pay for your education. Whatever route you decide to take, there are a number of options available to help you finance your education.

Consider private student loans

You may be able to finance your education through private student loans. Some private lenders offer loans specifically for students attending certain schools or pursuing certain majors. You may also be able to get a private loan if you have a cosigner.

Get a job

There are a few practical ways to finance your education, and one of them is to get a job. You can work part-time or full-time, and use your earnings to help pay for your schooling.

This can be a great way to gain work experience in your field of interest, and also reduce the amount of debt you have when you finish your education. You may also be able to get scholarships or grants from your employer that can help with your schooling costs.

Apply for internships

There are a number of practical ways to finance your education. One way is to apply for internships. Internships can provide you with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while also earning money to help pay for your education. Another way to finance your education is to apply for scholarships.

There are a number of scholarships available to students who are willing to put in the time to search for them. Finally, you can also take out loans to help pay for your education. Loans should be considered a last resort, as they will need to be repaid with interest. However, if you are unable to find other ways to finance your education, taking out a loan may be your best option.

Spend Wisely

There’s no doubt that college is expensive. But there are ways to finance your education without going into debt. Here are a few tips:

  • Start with scholarships and grants. There are many sources of financial aid that don’t have to be repaid.
  • Work while you’re in school. You can earn money to help pay for your education while getting valuable experience at the same time.
  • Be smart about your borrowing. If you do need to take out loans, make sure you understand the terms and only borrow what you need.

By following these tips, you can finance your education without putting yourself in a difficult financial situation.

Conclusion

Paying for college can be a challenge, but there are many options available to help finance your education. Federal and state grants, scholarships, and student loans are all great ways to pay for college.

You can also look into private loans, work-study programs, and military benefits. Talk to your financial aid advisor to explore all of your options and find the best way to finance your education.

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Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

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Dredging has to do with the mechanical excavation of sand, gravel, mud and other substances from the bottom of a water body such as a river, stream, creek, lagoon etc. to do that, you need a vessel known as a dredger.

The need for more buildings and other physical structures has made the market for dredging in Nigeria to become a much sought-after one. Of course, there will always be the need to build or construct. So, dredging never dies.

Aside from the construction of new buildings or roads, etc., dredging products such as sand, gravel, rocks, and pebbles are also used to reclaim swampy areas and for the production of construction materials.

Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

Basic Steps And Requirements For Starting A Dredging Business In Nigeria

How Does Dredging Work?

Some dredgers are water-powered, and these cuts and sucks up the dredged material, like sand, from the bottom of the waterway by a method which involves a stepping stool that is mounted on the cutter head passing the material via a suction pipe and this sucked via a suction pump via a drifting pipeline up to the shore. When it arrives on the shore, at the dump, is it moved using tipper to the sub-dump where it is piled up, ready for sale or use.

Opportunities Available in dredging commercial enterprise

There are plenty options in the dredging business. Let’s look at some of them below:

1) Dredging:

  1. Channelization of river
  2. Fabrication of dredger
  3. Managing the dredge team
  4. Reclamation and urban renewal
  5. Safety of a dredger
  6. Stockpiles and profits

2) Supply of sand to numerous locations

3) Sand search

4) Environmental impact assessment

5) Hydrographic survey

6) Leasing of dredging workplace tools such as:

  1. Dredger
  2. Excavator
  3. Low bed
  4. Payloader
  5. Swamp buggy

Basics Steps To Starting Dredging Business In Nigeria

Among the many uses of dredging, its use for the building of houses seems to be the most outstanding. Housing, of course, is one of the most basic needs of man. He can’t just do without it, just like food and clothing. Before the advent of the present technologies in building construction, man has always experimented with several materials to meet his housing needs. This ranges from mud, sand and rock, all in an effort to withstand the elements. With time, however, in a bid to get the much-needed solidness and strength for buildings, other materials have been introduced to building technology such as steel and glass.

Given the alarming shortage of residential and commercial buildings in the country, therefore, there has been much interest in the sand dredging industry in Nigeria, all in a bid to cater for the housing needs of Nigerians. Sand dredging is vital to keep the pace with building of homes and offices as well as industrial layouts in all over the country. Therefore, going into it is a great way to earn a decent income.

Kinds Of Dredgers To Buy

Two popular kinds of dredgers are available in the market. They include

  1. The discontinuous
  2. The persistent

The discontinuous dredger burrows and excavates the heap while the persistent dredger burrows consistently, raising and also transporting the dredged materials at the same time.

Types Of Dredgers To Go For

If you wish to buy dredger in Nigeria, go for the types manufactured by IHC as well as ELLICOT. There are more solid, sturdy and durable, although a bit expensive. China-made dredgers are not very strong, although less expensive.

Types Of Dredging Businesses To Do

There is hardly a part of Nigeria where dredging business does not thrive. However, the riverine areas have more market for the business. however, dredging business in Nigeria may be dissected into the following parts or classification systems:

  1. Class A —Dredging Firms only
  2. Class B — for Only Dredging and sand dealer as well as;
  3. Class C – Manual dredgers as alone

Class A – Dredging Firms Only

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of the use charge of N50,000 [fifty thousand Naira only] Provides point by point depiction of proposed dredging area.
  3. Provision of the Environmental Impact Analysis Report.
  4. Provide Hydrographic review.
  5. Bathymetric review of the proposed area.
  6. Duplicates of current duty freedom authentication.
  7. An endorsement will be liable to the installment of the accompanying charges:

(an) (i) Payment of the total of N1,000,000.00 (One million Naira) per annum.

(ii) Proof of Ownership or Access to Portable Barges

(b) (i) Payment of the total of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and fifty thousand Naira) per annum

(c) (i) Payment of the entirety of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

Classification B – Dredging/Sand Sellers Only

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of utilization expense of N50,000.00 [Bank Draft] Provide point by point portrayal of proposed dredging area.
  3. Provide the Environmental Impact Analysis report.
  4. Provide hydrographic study.
  5. Bathymetric study of the proposed area.
  6. Duplicates of current expense leeway authentication.
  7. An endorsement will be liable to the installment of the aggregate of the accompanying expenses.

(i) installment of the entirety of N1, 000,000.00[One million Naira].

(ii) Proof of possession or access to convenient freight boats

(b) Payment of the entirety of N750,000:00 (Seven Hundred and fifty thousand Naira) per annum.

(c) Payment of the entirety of N500,000:00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

Classification C – Manual dredgers as it were

  1. Application for dredging routed to the Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
  2. Installment of utilization expense of N50,000.00 [Bank Draft] Provide point by point portrayal of proposed dredging area.
  3. Verification of responsibility for Edge review and Ecological Impact Analysis (EIA).
  4. Provide an account of dredging procedure to be embraced.

The endorsement will be subjected to the installment of the accompanying expenses:

(i) Payment of the total of N200, 000:00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

(ii) Proof of access to Portable Barges.

(iii) Payment of the total of N100, 000:00 [One Hundred Thousand Naira) per annum.

(c) Payment of the total of N50, 000:00 (Fifty Thousand Naira) per annum.

 

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20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

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Small businesses have always existed in Nigeria and are commonly operated in the streets. These businesses have catered to the immediate needs of many as they are easily accessible, hence the increase in the number of small business owners in the country. For many who are having a hard time deciding which to invest in, the list below will be of great help.

20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

20 Lucrative Small Businesses In Nigeria You Can Start Now

1.      POULTRY FARMING:

In Nigeria today, the amount of protein consumed daily is unimaginable, this makes poultry farming a very profitable business to invest in.  Poultry products like eggs, birds are consumed on a daily basis in homes, restaurant businesses etc. Therefore, investing in this business has a good margin for profitability and the best part is that you can start small.

2.      FISH FARMING:

For fish farming, you will need to equip yourself with the right information on how to properly build a fish farm so as to avoid losses. Types of equipment needed are fish ponds, a good supply of water and good drainage system before you proceed to get your fingerlings which will be nursed into the mature fish.

3.      SNAIL REARING:

Snail rearing is another business you can venture into. It requires less capital and snails reproduce at a fast rate. Snails can be reared in homes as they do not smell and are also in high demand in Nigeria.

4.      CROP FARMING:

There are many things that can be done with an unused land and one of them is crop farming. This can be done either on a small scale or on a commercial scale. The population in Nigeria makes farming a profitable investment. Rice, Cassava, yams, maize and vegetables are examples of crops that can be planted because they are in constant demand.

5.      RESTAURANTS:

Restaurants will continue to exist since not everyone can afford to patronize fast foods. As food is an essential for everyone, this business has a tendency to thrive. Bearing in mind that it is accompanied by its own unique stress but with good hands, this can be managed.

6.      CATERING:

Catering is also centered on food. Caterers exist because not everyone has the time to prepare meals for their events. This business is usually done on a contract basis and when handled with professionalism promises lifetime customers irrespective of how much you charge.

7.      CAR WASH:

The basic needs of this business are a very accessible location, a good supply of water, car washing equipment and a good support team.

8.     LAUNDRY SERVICES:

To run my service, you will need a reliable source of electricity supply and other equipment like a washing machine, dryer and pressing irons.

The ability to satisfy your clients will determine how much profits you can turn in.

9.      SOAP MAKING:

Just like food, soap is also in high demand in homes, offices, etc. Get the right knowledge, equipment, excellent packaging and strategic marketing, and you are all set.

10. HAIR AND BEAUTY SALONS:

As long as there are people, there will be salons. Everyone desires to look good and this boost the hair and beauty business. Acquire the skill, set up your shop and let people know about your business.

11. TAILORING AND FASHION DESIGN:

Fashion design requires skill and creativity. You can start small and build your brand with time. Build good relationships with your clients, offer quality service and this can earn you referrals as well as return customers.

12. SALE OF SECOND ITEMS:

Majority of the population in Nigeria buy second-hand clothes, shoes, curtains,  bed sheets etc. which makes this business a very profitable one. You can start with a bale and expand with time.

13. EVENT PLANNING:

Every event requires a planner either professionally or not. Event planners help ease the stress on the client by coordinating events from start to finish. With the right information, software and expertise you can build a good reputation as an event planner.

14. SALE OF ICE BLOCKS:

For areas where the power supply is low, ice block business is a good source of income. Ice blocks are needed on a daily basis by sellers of drinks.

15. TUTORING:

With the current emphasis on vocational training, Parents are in need of tutors to coach their children in subjects and arts like acting, dancing, singing and creative writing. This is an opportunity for everyone with these skills to earn money while instilling knowledge.

16. PARTY EQUIPMENT RENTALS:

This business is capital intensive as you will need to acquire the materials like canopies, chairs, drums etc. This business can be run from the comfort of your home.

17. SUPPLYING AND SALE OF FIREWOOD:

On a daily basis, firewood is used in Nigeria, either by caterers, restaurant business owners etc. Starting a firewood supply business can yield you good profits.

18. SNACKS AND COCKTAILS:

Little drops they say makes a mighty ocean, you can make snacks like puff-puff, bread, cake, meat pie etc. with drinks like zobo and pineapple drink for sale in areas like schools, offices etc. and earn some money daily.

19. OFFICE SUPPLIES:

For workers who are unable to shop for their office needs, you can be the middleman bringing their needs to their doorstep at fair prices.

20. WEBSITE DESIGNING:

Many businesses are moving with the tide and going digital which has led to a demand for web designers. You can acquire the skill and source for clients in need of this service. The internet is a good place to start.

Welcome on board to entrepreneur.ng

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