There are thousands of Businesses being set up every day in Nigeria by individuals, companies and associations. Setting up a business is the first step towards being an entrepreneur and owning a highly successful venture. Setting up a business requires that you follow these steps.
What type of Business
Deciding what type of business you wish to go into is the first tough decision you have to make. A lot of people often find it difficult to settle into a particular type of business as they often find themselves clogged by multiple ideas. If you however, wish to start a business then it is important that you quickly decide on the type of business you want to do. It is also important to decide early as several businesses operate under a legal and regulatory frameworks that may require further stringent rules before registering.
Do you need partners or wish to start solo?
The next decision you should be making is whether you want to fly solo with your business or if you need a partner. Whilst most entrepreneurs do not require any partners or shareholders to start their businesses, there are some businesses that may require unique expertise that you may not have. Even if you decide to start solo nothing stops you from adding new partners or shareholders in future.
What is the legal form of the business?
A business can take so many legal forms. It can either be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a limited liability company. It can also be a company Limited by Guarantee (NGO) or a non for profit business. Each form operates under a unique legal framework and tax jurisdictions. For example, if you want to start a business and do not want any shareholder or partner then a Sole Proprietorship may just be the right way to go. With a Sole Proprietorship you do not need a shareholder and your tax jurisdiction will be with the state government where you reside. Sole proprietorship also do not have the acronym “Ltd” after their business names.
How much capital do you have?
Starting a business also requires some form of capital. If your business is one that you want registered then you will have to set aside some cash for the incorporation of your company. Unofficial price for this can range between N40,000 to N100,000 depending on how you are getting it done. You can also register online from what we understand. Company Registration fees can be found here.
Do you have a business name?
The next thing on the plate will be a business name. A business name is important for any form of business that you want to venture into. For your business name to be registered it will have to be unique to you at least within the same industry. As such before you get a business name you will have to run a search in the website of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) or go through your lawyer. Once the name is approved you can pay to reserve it.
What is your registered address?
Part of the requirements to fill during your application to the CAC will be the registered address of the company. The registered address is the official address of your company and will also likely be the basis for deciding your place of residence by the tax authorities.
Get a lawyer & Register your company
With all of the above in place already, you can get ready to meet your lawyer. Hand the documents over to the lawyer along with the fees. Your company should be registered within days if it is not a company limited by guarantee.
Get a logo
Once your company in registered you should start thinking about branding and publicity. Get a catchy logo for your company and make sure it is in every material or thing that represents your business. With a good logo your brand can be immensely boosted.
Get a stamp and a seal
Every business MUST have a legal stamp and seal which is unique to it. Seals in particular will come in handy when filing application forms or signing important contractual documents for your business
Get a letter head
A letter head is the official piece of paper used by the company to communicate official messages or information to third parties. Your letter head will include logo, company address and name as well as the board of directors.
Open a Bank account
Once your company is registered, you should take the incorporation documents to a commercial bank and have them open a corporate account for you. Corporate accounts can sometimes take time to be set up, however banks are more efficient at opening one and should not take more than 48 hours. You may need to get a family member or friend who has a corporate account nos to provide reference for you. It is preferable to get a reference from someone who has an account in the bank of your choice.
Get a TIN
A TIN is a Tax Identity Number for individuals and corporate organisations. New businesses can easily obtain a Tin from the local branch of the tax office where the registered business is located. Without a TIN it can be difficult to get contracts or get deals from the private or public sector. It can also mean that the company is not tax compliant resulting in potential tax liabilities.
Get a website & social media account
Now that your business has been registered, the next thing to do is to have a website for it. Your website and social media handles help give your businesses the much needed visibility it requires to flourish. Your web accounts will also help set up official email for you and your staff.