Law 101 for Nigerian Start-Ups

For the last five years and counting, there has been more than a significant increase in the number of software developers, designers, animators, UI/UX Designers and this number keeps increasing daily.

Some of these professionals have gone up to the stage of starting and building their start-ups. Your start-up is your business and to be successful at it, you must always think like a business man. As a Start-up Founder or Aspiring Start-Up founder in Nigeria, whether you are at the stage of bootstrapping or you have prospective investors, here are the essential things you must do to protect you and your start-up.

  1. Create an Entity Structure: choosing the correct business structure for your start-up will ensure that your start-up succeeds in the long run. You can google the much-celebrated case of Salomon v Salomon. You can choose to run as a business name, partnership or as a company (limited or unlimited).

While running as a business name or partnership does not protect you from liabilities that may arise, incorporating your start-up as a company limits your liabilities, protects your name and prevents any person, business or company from using a name similar or identical to the name of your start-up. One person is only required for the registration of a business name. Under the Nigerian Law, you can register a private limited liability company if you have a capital as low as 10,000 Naira or a public limited company if you have a capital of 500,000 Naira. However, you need to be at least two persons to form a company. You will also be required to conduct a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission to ensure that you are not infringing on an already registered business name, company or trademark. For more information and legal advice, consult a legal practitioner to obtain competent advice on how to register a company.