STARTING A BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is no doubt a great nation with vast human resources and natural resources. A little wonder why her colleagues in Africa call her the “Giant of Africa” the fact is indisputable as she is endowed with resources. Nigeria has been a fertile ground for both local and foreign companies to flourish in the past years and she is still in the business of birthing new businesses and expansion of the already functioning businesses. Foreign investors leave their countries to start-up a business in Nigeria. This has made me wonder why they will leave their “comfortable zones“ as we Nigerians call it to come start-up a business in this our hot and scorching weather-conditioned nation as defined by nature. This has made me to conclude that Nigeria is still in the business of sustaining businesses! For she has not fallen apart! As most of us think. But, for any business to survive and flourish in Nigeria, it goes beyond the availability of huge amount of capital. To shock you, some businesses that are making it today did start with little or no capital. Business is the activity of making money by producing or buying and selling of goods or providing services. What then must you put into consideration while starting a new business in Nigeria? There are no hard rules on how to enter and become a giant in Nigeria market. Here are some steps that have proved the test of time, enjoy!
Procure a good business concept: Having a good business concept that is properly drafted out in a business plan is the first step towards starting any kind of business that has the prospect of flourishing in Nigeria. To be successful in any business in Nigeria you must have a business idea. Ideals rule the world of business in Nigeria! Having an idea of what you want to venture into and putting it down in a business plan is a good point to starting a business in Nigeria. Your idea must be potentially backed up with a good feasibility study to know what your targeted audience want. Hence, ideas are just not enough! Support your ideas with the necessary business fundamental pillars such as; good action plan, budgeting, good feasibility study, business plan, article of association, memorandum of understanding and so on.
Then Get yourself prepared! To survive in the Nigeria market requires enthusiasm, constant upgrading, perseverance, having a good information or feedback sources and so on. You as the sole proprietor of a business for instance must play a major role in the success of the business. If you decide to take a break without proper planning of how the business will survive in your absence, the business definitely will go on break as well. Your role as an entrepreneur is very essential. Nigerian business world is a very competitive one but the gain (profit) is worth it! If you can take the pain to push through the hard times with a determined mind-set to succeed no matter how hard the business world push at you. You can get yourself prepared by attending seminars, workshops, online training or online courses, seeking legal counsel or information on the chosen line of business you wish to venture into and getting all the necessary information you need to fuel yourself through. Prepare your mind not to fear failure! In case you do fail get yourself together and try again. Winners don’t quit! Keep your hope alive and never lose your faith on that business idea. If it requires you to do strategies again, do and implement again.
Write down a business plan: This is the blue print of your business! It shows where you are going right from your starting point and the route you will take in achieving your business set goals. A business plan will save you the wear and tear of starting a business without knowing where it is heading. It will help you see into the future of the business!
Register your business and have a company account: to illustrate: there was a carpenter who was very good at his job! He got a link to a company and won a contract worth millions. After the contract was sealed. He was asked to provide an account for advance payment. All he did was to present his personal account details. This action terminated the contract! So unfortunate! He has his company named and registered but without a company account, to compound the situation. Endeavour to register your company with the “Corporate Affairs Commission“ (CAC). Your business could fall into any of these business categories you can register in Nigeria which are; sole proprietorship, private limited liability company and public limited liability company.
What are the steps you can take in registering business in Nigeria? Decide on the ownership structure of the business and then chose under which of the above three business categories you want.
Go to the office of the Cooperate Affairs Commission close to you to make enquiry about your preferred business name, to know if no one is with such business name you have come up with, better still you can seek the help of a legal practitioner.
Provide the details of your proposed company such as MOU, details of directors, articles of association. You could present these to the office of the CAC if they require more documentation they will inform you.
Proceed to make payment for the necessary fees. upon verification of the necessary fees and compliance, you will be issued certificate of ownership and you can then commence operation of your business
Tax registration: you need to visit and register with the Federal and state inland revenue services (FIRS). The FIRS are those you forward all the value added taxes (VAT) to, while the state collect the ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) taxes.
Obtain necessary license permits: obtaining licenses and permits depends on the type of business you want to venture into. This is why you need legal help (legal information) as regards the necessary steps you are to take.
Familiarize yourself with the market and then develop a market plan
Secure a good location and work on branding and then Source for external capital sources if you don’t have enough fund from the internal source.
STARTING A BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
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