Process Of Securing Business License And Permits In Nigeria

The Nigerian government introduced issuance of a business license and permit to find out and authenticate businesses and also to generate revenue which will be used to run the government activities.

The sole aim of operating a business is to make a profit, however, some greedy merchants in their efforts to maximize profit engage in fake and substandard products or services.

Some even go an extra mile to operate illegal businesses which most times constitute hazards to those who patronize them, and because of all these, the government established a way to minimize it through the acquiring of business license and permits.

Business licenses are approvals given by the government or its agencies to individuals and corporate organisation to transact business in a particular location; it is also an authority issued by the local government to operate a business in a particular location.

There is no unified licensing system; it varies from the tiers of government; the nature and size of the business determine its location and the type of license to be issued for its legal operations.

The license issued to a fuel station no doubt is quite different from the one issued to a liquor dealer and so on.

Opening business in Nigeria basically requires license or permit that will make the business officially and legally recognised. Citizens, who want to start a business, expand an existing business or to renovate the buildings etc. needs permits.

Business license and permits help the local government to keep track of the citizen’s tax obligations as well as providing contact information for the owners. It is a business permit that allows business transactions to be done and also to be inspected and verified by inspectors from the city where the business is located.   

Nigeria businessmen should bear in mind that there are fees payable to appropriate authority before a business license or permit can be issued. The following are steps to secure a business license after paying the prescribed fees.


·        Fill an application form

Identify with your city business license office to fill the application:

Here, the business owner seeking a license is expected to supply his contact information, business name, the local government of origin, details about the type of business he is opening and so on.


·        Display your License

Once the license is issued, the business owner should display it to the view of the public by placing it on the organisation board notice or wall. This assures customers that your business is legally recognised by the government.


·        Apply for Need Permit (Optional)

In some cities in Nigeria like Asaba and Abuja, permits are issued through the codes department. There are some projects that don’t necessarily require permits, the codes department will update you if your proposed business requires a permit or not. 



Note that an application for information from relevant authorities on the business you are about going into attracts nominal fees. And if the business owner does not want to visit the codes department for the permit, he/she may be allowed to send his/her contractor, friend etc., to take care of the permit issuance.


Obtaining a business license or a business permit is the first step a wise business man should take. This no doubt will make the business to be legally recognized and also will save you the embarrassment and possible litigation by the government or its agencies.

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