HOW TO OBTAIN A BUSINESS PERMIT IN NIGERIA

Foreign-owned companies that intend to start and operate businesses in Nigeria either as an individually owned company or a subsidiary of a foreign company are required to obtain a business permit and business licenses where applicable.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/13/2022 3 min read

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HOW TO OBTAIN A BUSINESS PERMIT IN NIGERIA

WHAT IS BUSINESS LICENSE?

Business license is a permit issued by government agencies which allows individual or companies to conduct business within government’s geographical jurisdiction. It is an authorization to start a business or participate in a particular industry issued by the government or it local agencies where you resides.

Foreign-owned companies that intend to start and operate businesses in Nigeria either as an individually owned company or a subsidiary of a foreign company are required to obtain a business permit and business licenses where applicable.

In Nigeria, A business permit is an approval given by the government, which authorizes the operation of a business by a foreigner or foreign entity in Nigeria. A business permit is issued through the Department of Citizenship and Business, Ministry of Interior to the foreign individual or organization. A business permit allows foreigners to commence business legally in Nigeria. However, it doesn’t remove the need for foreign individuals and employees to obtain a residential permit. Without the Combined Expatriate Residential Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC), a foreign individual cannot live in Nigeria and hence cannot work here. The residential permit is usually obtained simultaneously with the business permit since it is also issued by the Ministry of Interior in Nigeria. The focus of this article will however be on obtaining a business permit in Nigeria.

From the above, it can be deduced that before an application for a business permit, a foreigner or foreign-owned companies must have incorporated a company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) before applying for a requisite business permit or license. Both business permits and the expatriate quota are usually applied for at the same time because apart from obtaining a business permit, any foreigner who intends to work in Nigeria can only do this through a company upon making an application for expatriate quota in Nigeria. A work permit, also known as Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card (CERPAC) will then be issued to such a foreigner.

As a foreigner or foreign organization seeking to obtain a business permit in Nigeria, you must first register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The CAC is in charge of regulating the formation and incorporation of companies in Nigeria. Without registering with them, you do not have a legal business in Nigeria that you can obtain a business permit for. In registering with the CAC, as a foreign company or business, you must first have a minimum share capital of ten million naira (N10, 000,000). Here are other requirements needed in registering with the CAC.

REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN BUSINESS PERMIT IN NIGERIA

The following documents are required to obtain a business permit:

Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), is the body conferred with the power in law to grant the Business Permit and also to register companies with foreign investors and foreign participation.

All applications to NIPC, for a BP (BUSINESS PERMIT), must be supported by the following document:

  • Duly completed NIPC from 1;

  • Memorandum and articles of association;

  • Current Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC);

  • Certificate of Incorporation; · Partnership/joint venture agreement (if applicable);

  • Receipt issued on purchase of NIPC Form 1; · Project implementation programme;

  • Certificate of capital importation; if available; · Evidence of acquisition of business/factory premises;

  • Evidence of acquisition of operating equipment and machinery, such as motor vehicles, business machines, etc. (if any);

  • Feasibility study report (for joint venture companies);

  • Permit to operate in the oil industry (for oil service companies); and

  • Letter of an award of contract (for construction companies).

The prescribed fees shall be paid at every processing NIPC stipulated point.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080