The Nigerian Business Permits, Licenses and State Regulations

Nigerian Business Permits

The Nigerian Business Permits, Licenses and State Regulations

To operate businesses legally in Nigeria, every Nigerian and foreigner must be licensed to carry on businesses, including obtaining the Nigerian Business Permits.




Lesson five: The Nigerian Business Permits, Licenses and State Regulations



Irrespective of the nature and location of your business, you need the business permits.

A home business will need an online business license as this in same cases is similar to having a physical office location.

This article will discuss the key Nigerian Business Permits required for both local and foreign participation in the Nigerian Business Environment.

However, depending on the type of business and its activities, it may need to be licensed at the local, state and federal levels.

Most states have different requirements for different business structures, and there could be different requirements at the municipal level as well.

As a Nigerian business person or intending foreigner who want to invest in Nigeria economy, below are some of the laws that may affect you.


The Nigerian Business Permits

A business permit is a formal document that allows for the local operation of a business especially operators with foreign interest.

The Nigerian Business permit is issued by the Federal Ministry of Interior.


Some of the Requirements for Obtaining Nigerian Business Permits include:

  • Certificate of Incorporation of the applicant company;
  • Copies of the Tax Clearance Certificate of the applicant company;
  • Copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
  • CAC Forms CO2 and CO7
  • Joint Venture/Partnership Agreement where applicable.
  • The shareholding of the Company.


Notwithstanding the above, there are several numbers of industry laws and regulations that are applicable to business investments in Nigeria.


Some Laws That May Affect Nigerian Businesses

  • The Custom Duty Act
  • Factory Act
  • Health Care Act
  • Trademark Act
  • Nigerian Standard Organization Act
  • Companies Income Tax Act
  • Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Act, etc


The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and your local/state revenue agencies will also need to be notified of your business.

The federal and state ministries of industries are the custodians of all the laws and regulations governing investments in the country.

As you choose your business structure, understand that the state and industry you’re in may differ and it’s your duty to do the research and find out what is applicable to your environments and situations.


In addition to ensuring that your business entity is legally registered, you may also need specific permits.

An attorney will be able to help with:


Further Requirements for Nigeria Business Licenses.

  • Including particular labor laws,
  • illegal aliens,
  • temporary work permit
  • workplace safety rules,
  • Expatriate quota
  • Residence permit
  • Certificate of capital importation (CCI)
  • filing employment and income tax returns,
  • building codes, contract holding
  • health department requirements and
  • environmental laws.


It is best to consult with professionals to determine which laws will be applicable to you, what permits or licenses you will need to stay in Nigeria, start your business and where to go to comply with the various laws.


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Comments (6)

  • Daniel Ibizugbe Reply

    Good day,
    I based in Spain, planning to come back fully. Where can I obtain license to operate here in Nigeria.? Planning to build a cooking gas depot where I can liaise with gas turban and others. Your information will useful.


    February 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm
    • Abbakin Reply

      Hi Dan
      Getting a licence to start a gas plant business in Nigeria is now easy with the ‘easy of doing business’ initiative. This is as simple as starting up other kind of small and medium size businesses, SMEs in Nigeria. All you have to consider is the industry and environmental requirements or safety standards.

      February 4, 2018 at 11:05 pm
  • Engr Steve Reply

    hello please how can i obtain a license in Lagos state Nigeria for a small business like repair of electrical TV e t c and selling imported used once. how much it will cost to obtain the licens

    March 20, 2018 at 8:56 pm
    • Abbakin Reply

      Steve all you need is to register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission and start doing your business. There is no special license you need sell your goods. Read our post on how to register a company in Nigeria.

      March 24, 2018 at 1:30 pm
  • Emmanuel Aiyetin Reply

    Hello.please I run a cleaning company in lagos Nigeria. I have registered the company with CAC 6mouths ago. What should I do next??.
    Is they any cleaning association/body/institution or ministry, I need to sign into? Before we can start operation fully?

    May 31, 2018 at 12:34 pm
    • Abbakin Reply

      Hello Emma! As a registered business, you can start your business right away. However, you may be required to pay for local government business premises levy if you have an office space. Cheers!

      June 1, 2018 at 6:24 pm

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