You probably know someone, a relative, a neighbour, or a colleague that has been talking about starting a business for some time now. Whenever I meet people like that I smile, not because it is hard to start a business, but because starting a business is simpler than many people think!

This may surprise you if you think the process of starting a business is really complicated.

A young school leaver said at a training: “I don’t want to go through all that stuff, unless I’m absolutely sure my idea is perfect.” Like a lot of would-be entrepreneurs, he was stalling because he was intimidated by the apparent complexity of the administrative and legal tasks involved in starting a business.

Let us be clear, keep in mind that I am only talking about setting yourself up to do business; not about writing a business plan, sourcing financing, developing a marketing plan, and the likes. Here are things you should do:




Get over the company name thing

Many people agonize endlessly over dreaming up the perfect company name. This need not be. If you’re waiting until you come up with the perfect name, you will probably wait longer than you think!

Instead, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too. Just pick a name so you can get the operational ball rolling.

Remember, your business can operate under a different name than your company name. And you can change your company name later, if you wish.

Register your trade name

If you do not want to operate under your own name, you may be legally required to register a trade name. In Nigeria, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) handles this.

Get a business bank account

One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the tax regulations is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.