How to start up a business in Nigeria: Requirements
 Certificate on Incorporation

A sample of Business name certificate

Are you thinking of how to start a company in Nigeria, the steps and requirements involved, these article will reveal all you need to know in opening your own company.

Company’s Registration in Nigeria 

First,  you should decide on the nature of Business you want to go into, for example, construction, consultancy, facility management,agricultural produce, financial institution, supply or rendering of other services,
Having idea of the nature of business you want to go into, will help you to decide  the type of company you will register e.g Limited Liability Company, Public Limited company or business name etc. How to start a company in Nigeria depends on these factors above.
Then you proceed to Corporate Affairs Commission, to register your business or company’s name. Here, you will be required to submit three names for your business, they will check the name that is available or has not been used on their portal. You will equally provide business address, phone numbers etc.
At least two directors will be required for company’s registration.
Though, these days registration can be done online or offline.
At the end of it, you will be issued Certificate of Incorporation which comprises of your RC No or BN as the case may be, Business or Company’s name, year of incorporation and your address, you will also obtain Form C02 and Form C07 which shows the list of directors and shares,   Article and  Memorandum of Association which describes the nature of your business, terms and conditions etc.
Open business account using the registered company’s name with any of the financial institutions in the country,
Note, you will require the services of a verified auditor who analyses you financial transactions, with the audited account details you take it to FIRS.
Federal inland revenue services
Federal Inland Revenue otherwise known with their acronym as FIRS will be the next step, the have branches nationwide, visit their office that covers your business or company’s area to file for Tax, you will get your TCC (Tax Clearance Certificate) it will show your annual turnover of the last three years and you TIN number. You renew it annually.
Value Added Tax
Also request for VAT certificate which is Value Added Tax from FIRS take note of your VAT number as you will be required to quote it in the course of your business transactions. You also pay VAT monthly, failure to do so attracts fine from FIRS.
Pension office known as PENCOM
With these, you head to Pension office, open pension account for your staff, PENCOM requires  minimum of three people, you can open the account with any pension office like Pal pension, Sigma pension, Stanbic IBTC pension etc. You will be issued Employer Code that is for the company, RSA pin that serves as account details for each staff. After paying the required amount which is been calculated by the pension office based on what each staff earns, you will proceed to PENCOM office with your receipt and application letter requesting for PENCOM certificate.
Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund
Nigeria Social Insurance Trust fund (NSITF) ,insure you staff with them and get their certificate
Industrial Training Fund
Industrial training Fund (ITF) certificate is also required, visit their office with all these other certificate you have gotten and letter requesting for ITF certificate.
Bureau of Public Procurement
Bureau of Public Procurement, having obtained your CAC certificate, TCC, VAT, PENCOM, ITF, visit BPP website to complete your company’s registration as above mentioned certificates will be updated automatically by each office on BPP’s website.
Others are:
 Other information you will need to update will be  curriculum vitae,note CV’s of your staff with their certificate, job experience, equipment depending on nature of job. Once BPP is 100% satisfied with your compliance you can be able to generate you BPP certificate on their website.
Other certificates like Auction certificate is required for those going into auctioning.
FRCN that is Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria in some cases will be required.
NEMSA , Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency certificate is compulsory if you want to succeed in setting up rural electrification or solar street light company
DPR license for those going into oil and gas.
The above are the basic requirements in opening a company, especially when you want to bid for any government contract in Nigeria.
Other necessary requirements incase your are going to bid for contracts shall include Company’s Profile,it captures every detail of your company starting from name of your company, address, other contacts, mission and vision, what your into with photo evidence advisable,
Curriculum Vitae showing certificate and professional certificates e.g COREN, Masters, Bsc, B.Eng, CORBON, ACEN, ARCON,Annual Practising License as the case may be.
Equipment (showing proof of ownership or leased), use especially for construction jobs like road, drainage, electrifications, boreholes.
Copies of Audited Account, this is been prepared and stamped by your auditor.
In most cases bank reference letter, this you can obtain from your bank, it shows your bank willingness to assist with loan facilities, Advance Payment Guarantee if need be,
Evidence of past jobs done with their completion certificates, this is commonly available with companies that has been in existence
Finally an affidavit declaring that all documents submitted are true and correct, no shareholder or director has been convicted of any crime, the company is not bankrupt etc.
Note, apart from VAT certificate, you renew all these certificates annually. In our next article we shall write on the processes you will undergo before you can renew each of the certificates mentioned above.
You can reach us via our email for assistance on how to start a company in Nigeria.