September 06, 2018

Starting a business can be one of the most exciting and yet challenging decisions you can make. It is exciting because it’s an opportunity to create and bring your many dreams and aspirations to life. But its important to note that no matter how exciting this accomplishment may be, there are some basic steps you will need to follow to make the business start off on a good path. So, once you have figured out your business plan, financing and even location, then it’s time to ensure that you take care of these 5 things;

  1. Pick the right business structure;

Before you make that business official, you must first decide on the most suitable business structure for your business, the structure that is most beneficial based on the ownership structure of the business, risks to be involved, limited liability, taxes as well as other statutory requirements. The following options are available when deciding on the right structure to register;

i. Sole Proprietorship – Ideal for one individual who is personally responsible for the business debts.

ii. Limited liability – generally protects personal assets from company debts.

You may also organize as a non-profit (NGO) or form a partnership, but you must make sure you choose a structure that best suits your kind of business.

2. Choose and register your business;

After you decide on the business structure, choose a suitable business name, check for its availability and then get it registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. With a registered business/company name, you can then open a corporate account and properly start business operations.

3. Get set up for taxes and obtain the necessary business licenses and permits

Obtain your Tax identification Number and Value Added Tax Number. Also depending on the kind of business/service you render and the location of your business, you may need to obtain some business licenses and permits. For example in Lagos State you require a permit to use a Signboard outside your business location, while for a Money Lending business you require a Money Lenders License. Getting the necessary permits and licenses is important as it keeps you in the right part with the law of the land and enables you focus on growing the business without any disturbance from the authorities.

4. Trademark your name and/or logo

After working so hard to create a unique name and/or logo for your business, you don’t want to risk that others can use it as their own to damage your brand and business reputation. The best possible way to prevent this from happening and to properly protect your business name and logo is by registering it.

5.  Protect and grow your business by employing training and retaining the right staff

Many businesses may have started out very well but lose it along the way by having the wrong team on board. To maintain the quality of your product or service, you must continually train employees. They must understand teamwork, be encouraged to self develop themselves and treated right. Remember that as your business expands, you will always need staff and continous training is not only required but necessary for business growth. When employees are treated right, they will in turn treat customers right.

If it’s a business where you are working alone, then self improvement is necessary, get the necessary training you need, get resources that relate to your business. There are lots of free resources available online, find them and use them

Finally, I know starting a business can be very exciting and challenging at the same time, but it is well worth it if you are ready to put in the work and also get a few basics right from the start.

Best regards,

Efe Ugboro

CEO, 618 Bees


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, no information contained in this post should be construed as legal advise, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advise from the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer.

 This post is protected by intellectual property law and regulations. It may however be shared using appropriate sharing tools provided that our authorship is always acknowledged and this Disclaimer Notice attached.


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Frequently Asked

  • Why must I file Annual Returns?

    It is a mandatory statutory requirement under the Companies and Allied Matters Act to file Annual Returns yearly. 

  • Must my Company Secretary be a Lawyer?

    Although it’s ideal to have a lawyer as a company secretary, it is not compulsory for small private businesses.

  • What are the benefits of Registering with SON?
    1. Product traceability in the Nigerian market
    2. Detection of counterfeit products
    3. Barriers to the circulation of substandard goods
    4. The official SON Product Registration Logo and number are displayed on registered products.
  • How many shareholders do I need to start a company?

    A minimum of two (2) shareholders is required to form a company.

  • Why do I need a trademark?

    You need to register your trademark because if you don’t register it, someone else can! It helps identify you as the source ad indicates a consistent level of quality of your products and services. Securing a registered trademark protects your brand, and provides you with tools to prevent someone else from using similar signs and riding off the back of your business.

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