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Guide to Starting a Business in Nigeria

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Nigeria. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Check the availability of company name with the Corporate Affairs Commission5 daysNGN 200 application form
2Prepare the requisite incorporation documents and pay the stamp duty7 days0.75% stamp duty paid on capital
3Notarize the declaration of compliance (CAC 4)1 dayNGN 500
4Register the company with the Corporate Affairs Commission & pay fees at the bank desk at CAC11 daysNGN 59,592 legal fees + NGN 500 incorporation forms + NGN 20,000 incorporation fees + NGN 500 for each additional copy of Memorandum and NGN 500 for additional copy of the Articles of Association stamped + NGN 3,000 for certified true copy of memorandum and articles of association + NGN 2,000 for certified true copy of particulars of directors +NGN 2,000 for certified true copy of particulars of shareholders.
5Register with the Federal Board of Inland Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance for income tax and VAT4 daysno charge
* 6Register for personal income tax PAYE at the State Tax Office2 days, (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* 7Receive inspection from local government7 days, (simultaneous with previous procedure)included in procedure 8
8Pay fees at a designated bank1 dayNGN 18,500
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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