How to Start a Start-up in Nigeria

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We are about to get into a new year. With a renewed sense of hope, I believe that some Nigerians are curious about how to start a start-up in Nigeria.

Remember, to start a start-up might be easy but it takes consistent effort to start a sustainable start-up.

In this blog post, we are assuming that there is a founding team and that one of the founders is the CEO.

What is a Start-up?

A start-up is basically a company that is projected for continuous growth in the nearest future.

How to Start a Start-up in Nigeria

Starting a start-up in Nigeria can be demanding. However, to ease your stress, we have highlighted the following steps for you.

Step 1: Identify the Business Idea

The business idea can be in any field of human endeavor so long as it is profitable on the face of it. A business idea should seek to solve existing issues in the society, enhance service delivery of an existing sector and generally add value to human existence. As the CEO, do you have faith and confidence in the idea? Are you ready to fight for the success of the business idea?

Step 2: Draw up a Business Plan

Proper planning prevents poor performance

This is an age-long wisdom that is very relevant. It is very tempting to start a start-up or business without a structure i.e. a business plan. Nevertheless, by all means, please don’t. It is at the stage that you do a proper research. Your business plan should answer questions like who are the proposed investors? Who are your market? Where is the physical base of your business? What are your sources of finance? What are your marketing strategies? Your growth appraisal model? Your goals and vision for the start-up? and many other important questions.

A business plan comes in handy when you want to apply for a loan or seek a venture capital.

Step 3: Decide on Your Sources of Finance

You need money for a start-up. A lot of money actually depending on the nature of the start-up.

Image source:wikifinancepedia

Your team should agree on the ways to raise capital from any of the sources listed in the illustration above.

Step 4: Launch Your Start-up

The process of launching your start-up means that you are ready to move from your drawing board to reality. The process of launching your start-up should start with the requisite registrations. At least, you must register your start-up with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) either as a business name, a partnership or a company. Whichever form of business organization you choose, it is fitting and proper to register your start-up. You might need to register a trademark, industrial design, logo in order to ensure that nobody passes off your sweat.

Some start-ups enjoy tax reliefs and incentives from the government for at most 5 years depending on the sector of the economy you venture into. Nonetheless, it is still necessary that you obtain your Tax Identification Number (TIN).

You will also need to build a website, get on the social media, open a corporate account and open a physical office or outlets for correspondence. Thankfully, the are so many commercial workspaces available for lease and/or rent especially in Lagos if you need to cut down on cost.

Step 5: Get Your Team Ready

You definitely need skillful team players. If you need to train your team members, please do in the most cost-effective manner.

Furthermore, you need a Marketing and Public Relations team. They are to spread your good news to the world. If people don’t know your start-up, how do they patronise you? You can engage digital marketers, social media influencers, marketing experts depending on your capital.

Chinecherem Ubaka is a legal practitioner based in Lagos. She can be reached via

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