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Legal Requirements When Starting Business In Nigeria



The beauty of every business is when it is legal or operated legally. Generally, in the context of business, being legal simply means that when a business is checked, it is found to be registered, verified and certified by the constituted authorities in the country. Most consumers have this special kind of trust for legal business. Hence, as a Nigerian entrepreneur or an entrepreneur operating in Nigeria, you should not take all the legal requirements when starting business In Nigeria. Do not take these legal conditions that surround the smooth operation of your business with levity; they are very important to your business success.

Legal Requirements When Starting Business In Nigeria

Legal Requirements When Starting Business In Nigeria

In Nigeria, most businesses are not legally recognized and this is consequential in the long, medium and short term. Some of these include locking up (closing) of an operating business, sanctions, and other forms of legal actions against non-compliant businesses. To be on the safer side and not face the wrath of the law, it is good to meet the legal requirements when starting a business in Nigeria. It is required of you as an entrepreneur in Nigeria to meet all legal requirements.

In this article, the important legal requirements when starting business in Nigeria are discussed.

10 Important Legal Requirements When Starting Business In Nigeria You Must Meet.

1) Business Registration

Recently, business registration in Nigeria has been made easy. It is not a must but is very important. Business registration is done by a governmental body in Nigeria known as Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC). This body helps to register the businesses in the country. Their portfolio includes registering of business name, company/corporation/charity and other organizations. They also issue certificate of business or company registration. CAC registers small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale businesses. They help to know if a business name has or has not been registered by someone else to avoid confusion. Upon validation, the body issues a business certificate which indicates that a business is legally registered. A duly registered business in Nigeria is open to a lot of benefits like grants, loans, interns from NYSC and many other benefits.

2) Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Registration

The Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) basically promotes foreign investment in Nigeria. This body registers businesses that want to involve in foreign participation like importation/exportation in the country. Obtaining a certificate from this statutory body puts out (showcases) your company for foreign participation/investment among foreign investors.

Related: The Legal Documents Your Business or Startup Should Have In Nigeria

3) Insurance

In Nigeria, a larger percentage of entrepreneurs do not insure their business. This is bad and legally not right because as an entrepreneur, insuring your business protects your business against any unforeseen/unplanned circumstances e.g. theft, burglary, fire incident etc. In Nigeria, business insurance is not compulsory but it is a safe thing to do against unforeseen contingencies.

4) Registration with Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

Federal Inland Revenue Service is a statutory body that oversees taxation in Nigeria. They issue any document related to taxation. A legal business must meet her tax requirement which include tax clearance, Tax Identification Number (TIN), etc. As a business, you are required to pay tax to the government. So, registration Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is mandatory. Registration with federal Inland Revenue Service will make sure all taxes paid by your company get to the appropriate quarters and you stay of the wrong side of the law.

5) Registration with Trade Commission(s) and Association(s)

Intending business should be fully registered under the appropriate trade commission/association or bodies. For example, a pharmaceutical outlet should be registered and get a license from pharmacist national bodies; a photography business must be duly registered under the association of photographers likewise a diagnostic center must register with the association of medical laboratory scientist in Nigeria and so on. It is important to register with the appropriate regulatory bodies. It is an important legal requirement when starting a business in Nigeria.

6) Physical Offices Tax Registration

If your business is offline i.e. you own a physical office or shop where you run your business, you must register with the tax office at both state and local government level where you are required to pay tax to; taxes are collected annually. The governmental body in charge of this registration is known as Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

7) Business Permit

If you are a foreigner and you want to start a business in the Nigeria, it is legally advisable to get a business permit. A business permit is often issued by the ministry in charge of internal affairs. This help you as a foreigner to run your business legally in Nigeria because it is against the law to run a business as a foreigner without a business permit from the regulatory bodies.

8) Exportation and Importation of Goods Permit

This permit is mandatory for a business that deals with importation and exportation of goods in the country. For example, if your company imports any consumables either food or drug, an importation permit must be collected from an agency of government known as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). This aids easy movement of your goods into and around the country, likewise exportation of goods; a permit must be issued out to the relevant bodies in charge of the product. Another regulatory body in the country is the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC). This body oversees the registration and regulation of telecommunication services in the country.

9) Labour Law Registration

If you are going to be an employer of labour, you must be duly registered in accordance with the Labour Act. This helps to monitor funds that will be contributed for any unforeseen or unplanned circumstances that might occur while your labourer/staff is in service. The eventuality could be injury, illness, disability or even death! Contribution of about 1% of the total money earned by the employees is saved up for unforeseen issues and can also serve as pension after retirement.

10) A Financial Account Opening

One of the legal requirement when starting a business in Nigeria is opening a corporate account with any financial institution e.g. bank. This must be opened in (your name or) the business name where certain documents will be requested by the bank before opening an account with them. Some of the basic documents for opening a corporate account in Nigeria include Bank verification number (BVN), Tax identification number, mode of identification, business registration certificate, etc. depending on the bank. This enables you to have the ability to obtain loan from a bank, get government loan and enjoy other empowerment programs.

Related: 4 Things About Your Business Certificate Of Incorporation You Should Know


As much as possible, it is important to meet the list of legal requirements when starting business in Nigeria herein listed and explained depending on the kind of business you want to undertake in Nigeria. To legally run a business in Nigeria, try to comply with the appropriate legal requirements. Some of them are not mandatory but they are important to have and may be acquired to run your business smoothly. Avoid the fear of being brought to book by legal authorities by complying accordingly. Also, a good business should have a lawyer to assist in explaining and implementing the legal aspects of the business. So, if you can, get a legal practitioner for your business to be on the safer side of running a business in Nigeria legally and successfully.



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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A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry



For decades, Paint manufacturing companies have long been in operation in Nigeria, mostly as subsidiaries of foreign paint companies. As time passed, however, indigenous paint industries sprung up and completely bought over the shares of these foreign firms and continued to expand with every passing year. Several technological advancements have been witnessed since then, with the Nigerian paints industry contributing a significant quota to Nigeria’s economy and employment scheme.

The existence of paint manufacturing companies in Nigeria dates back to as early as the nineteen sixties. Recently, there has been a high demand for paint due to the increase in construction of buildings for private and commercial purposes. This factors thus makes the paint industry a profitable one to invest in.

An Analysis of the Nigerian paints industry

A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry

A Brief Analysis Of The Nigerian Paint Industry

It has been estimated that the about 128 million litres of paints are consumed in Nigeria within a year. In the year 2012 alone, the Nigerian paints and coatings industry was estimated to be worth about $200m. this grew to about $218m by 2013, signifying an estimated 9.01% growth rate.

There are two major components of the Nigerian paints market. Lack of sufficient access to funds and technical imbalances needed for the production and management of industrial coatings constitutes a major yardstick for distinguishing between the industry players. The first sector is the organized sector which comprises of companies possessing sufficient capital and efficient distribution system.

The second sector is the decorative paint sector, which houses both the organized and unorganized players. This component does not need advanced technological inputs. With a good governmental backing, it is quite easy for new entrants into the Nigerian paint market to thrive in the system.

This sector is dominated by about 5 key companies, each of which’s annual revenue is estimated to exceed $7m, with several other small and medium-scale companies scattered across the country.

So, as it stands, the decorative sector of the Nigerian paints industry accounts for about 60% of the total sales volume and/or value. The industrial coatings segment of the market, on the other hand, is said to constitute about 40% of the total sales volume and 29% of total production volume.

As Frost & Sullivan report, in 2012, the decorative paints & coatings sector of the Nigerian paints industry was said to possess a significant synergy with the real estate industry and estimated at 71% of the overall volume of coatings and pains in the country.

Nigerian paint industry Regulatory Bodies and Associations

The regulatory body for the paint industry in Nigeria is the standard organization of Nigeria (SON).

They are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that all manufacturing industries in Nigeria are duly certified, their products are safe and guarantee maximum consumer satisfaction through compliance with government policies.

SON encourages healthy competition amongst manufacturers and also give room for continuous improvement on quality of manufactured products.

Paint Industry Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA)

Asides SON, another regulatory body in the paint industry is the PMA. PMA caters to the welfare of the Nigerian paint industry. It is headed by a chairman and serves as a voice as well as a monitoring body for paint manufacturers in Nigeria.

PMA caters generally for issues bothering on productivity and development of the industry. In 2016, an exhibition was commenced which now holds yearly.

The exhibition which is centered on annual raw materials, equipment and painting show held on the 23rd of October and was tagged “PMA Nigeria Coating Show”.

The event had exhibitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Turkey, South Africa and India in attendance. The major aim of the exhibition is to develop strategies on how to handle the issue of high cost and scarcity of raw materials for local production which is a major challenge faced in the industry and to promote paint Technology by sourcing for local contents.

PMA (Paints manufacturers association of Nigeria) functions collectively with SON (standard Organization of Nigeria) to guarantee an acceptable global quality standard for manufactured products.

Challenges and Prospects of the Nigerian Paint Industry

These include:


The paint industry is one of the most neglected in Nigeria. There are no incentives provided and routine checks are not always carried out. This, in turn, puts a restriction on the percentage of the paint industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the country.

Also, the lack of an efficient regulatory system increases the emergence of new industries which lead to a decline in the standard of products manufactured.


This can be said to be a major limitation for investors in the industry. These facilities include: constant power supply, access to funding, unavailability of raw materials, lack of proper facilities for certification and test purposes.

Prospects of the Nigerian Paint industry.

These include:


Due to the effort of the Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the standard organization of Nigeria, the quality of paint produced has improved tremendously.


The increase in demand for paints is as a result of the increase in building construction in the country which has also helped the sustenance of the industry.


Paint industries in Nigeria include:

  1. Premium paints,
  2. Dulux Paints,
  3. Meyer paints, Berger paints,
  4. IPWA,
  5. Nigerian German Chemicals,
  6. African Paints
  7. CAP Plc.

I hope we have made your search complete.



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How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria



Are you an entrepreneur in Nigeria with a business idea that you want to pitch to investors? But you don’t have the finance to invest in the business and the only option left is to look for investors in Nigeria who would love to invest? Read this simplified guide to learn how to pitch your idea to investors in Nigeria in a professional way.

You see, Nigeria is a country with many people with money that don’t know what to do with it. A large chunk of these people will be very happy to invest their money in places that will bring them maximum profits or a good return on their investment. Having the opportunity to meet this class of people (i.e., angel investors) to share your business idea with is one problem.

Here’s what you should know…

You see, it is one thing to have a good business idea, but a completely different thing to know how to pitch it to potential investors. You need the skills of how to convince potential investors within minutes to invest in you, because if you don’t know how to do it professionally, investors won’t be able to understand what you’re trying to relate with them or how best to help you.

The importance of rehearsing your pitch is one thing I can’t stress enough in pitching potential investors in Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, you might think that you know your business in and out, and that when it comes to pitching it to investors, it will be easy just like singing the National anthem (is that even easy?). Well, this is not always the case most times. Cases abound where entrepreneurs freeze in front of investors while pitching, and ramble on and on. Many entrepreneurs don’t put the same effort they used in preparing their business plan to pitching their plan to investors. As such, you should take the time to acquire the needed skills of business idea pitching to pitch your business idea to investors in Nigeria with ease.

How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria

How to Pitch Your Idea to Investors in Nigeria

How to Pitch your Idea to Investors in Nigeria.

1. Start with a story, end with your solution

If you can relate your story to the problem you are solving in the market place, then do it. Nothing engages people better than a good captivating story. Start your pitch with a story that will catch your audience or investor’s attention, the complaint and address it to how your business idea will be the solution to the problem in your story.

So, don’t just keep talking about the problems all day, pitch your idea by showing potential investors how your product or service will solve the hungry market’s problem. Make it easy for the investor to understand how you plan to execute the solution with your idea.

2. Niche down to the exact market you are targeting.

Every product, service or business idea has a specific market it is made for. Don’t lie to investors saying that your product or services is for everybody on earth. It is too broad. Everybody is no market. Tell your investors the market needs your idea is meeting.

3. Analyze Your competitors

A quick analyses of your potential competitors is very important as every business has a competitor even if the competitor is located far away in another continent. Tell the investors how different your business model or approach to solving the problem is from that of your competitors and how much market share you are likely to take if your idea comes to the limelight through their support.

4. State the exact amount you need

Don’t beat around the bush about the exact amount of money you need to fund this idea. Tell investors the exact amount of money that will be required to fund the business idea to success, as well as how much have been invested (if any). Also, give a detailed breakdown of why you need the exact amount you have stated and the intended outcome of the money too. You can do this using slides, charts, tables, diagrams, etc.

These are few tips to know on how you can pitch a business idea to investors in Nigeria. I hope with this  information, you have gained clarity on how you can pitch your idea to investors in Nigeria. Go ahead and put it into practice.

If you have any questions on this topic or a related on, let me know in the comments box below.



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5 Ways to Spot Exceptional Employees in Nigeria



The Nigerian labor market is very flexible with a skilled, low labor cost, highly motivated, and productive workforce. High level of education and efficiency are common factors for spotting exceptional employees. Besides, exceptional employees are easily self-motivated and self-managed.

Another important factor used for distinguishing an exceptional employee is the personality of the employee. This informs why some people are more successful at work than others? Travis Bradberry of Forbes magazine stated that following a research done around 2016, it was concluded that the key to exceptional performance is in the personality of the employee. Bradbery (2016) stated that the results indicate that “78% of leaders consider that personality distinguishes great employees, much more than cultural adjustment with 53% and even the skills of an employee (39%)”.

However, the qualities that the leaders pointed out as part of the personality are those of emotional intelligence. Unlike personality (which never changes), emotional intelligence can be transformed and improved. So executives don’t need to look for employees who have these skills. His duty, and also that of the company, is to help the entire team to enhance their emotional intelligence to become exceptional.

In essence, a typical team does all of its planning to achieve goals, with minimal intervention from management. Exceptional employees are also known to be healthily self-critical, with a willingness to learn and a commitment to making improvements both in production and performance.

It is clear, therefore, that the key indicators of exceptional employee are high level of education, efficiency at work, self-motivation, self-management, great personality, and emotional intelligence.

However, how can we see these playing out to determine how exceptional an employee? How does one spot the level of education, efficiency at work, self-motivation, self-management, great personality, or emotional intelligence of an employee? It is by observing if the employee has the following characteristics before and after employment.

Exceptional Employees in Nigeria

Spotting Exceptional Employees in Nigeria

5 Ways To Spot An Exceptional Employee.

 Exceptional employees may be spotted using the 5 indicators below:

(1) The Employee Is Willing To Delay Gratification.

Exceptional employees work outside the range of job descriptions. Rather than expect recognition or compensation to come first, they move forward in their work, confident that they will be rewarded later, but they don’t worry if they aren’t.

(2) Exceptional Employees Tolerate Conflict.

While exceptional employees don’t seek conflict, they don’t run from it either. They can maintain their composure while presenting their positions calmly and logically.

(3) Exceptional Employees Are Focused.

Exceptional employees are not distracted by grumpy customers or disputes in the office. Rather, they know how to detect the important issues and that is why they stay focused on what matters.

(4) An Exceptional Employee Is Judiciously Brave but Courteous

An exceptional employee is willing to speak up, ask a difficult embarrassing question, or challenge an executive decision. Besides, an exceptional employee chooses the best time to do act and thinks before speaking.

(5) Exceptional Employees Control Their Ego

While the ego is part of an exceptional employee’s drive to constantly improve, they never overdo it. An exceptional employee admits when he/she is wrong and agrees to do things differently with or without correction.

Becoming an exceptional employee is a skill, an art that can be learned and practiced to efficiency. One of the ways to become an exceptional employee is to establishing open and trustworthy lines of communication with the management and co-workers.

Besides, the Human Resources (HR) department has a role to play in the building of an average employee into an exceptional employee. Rather than dismiss below average or average employees, the Human Resources (HR) team can deploy technology to improve their integration with the entity’s values. In this sense, e-learning, for example, can have great value in developing courses that convey to that person what it means to work in that company and what it contributes to society.

Another mechanism that may be used to is improve an employee’s performance is proper mentoring, that is, involving some of the people with the best reputation and knowledge within the organization to protect and accompany the toxic worker, giving them advice and offering advice whenever they need it. In this way, individual attitudes can change, although care should be taken so that it does not in any way cloud the relationship between the company and the staff.



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