Finding a business premises in Nigeria is an arduous task and there are many aspects to study when we start the search. In addition to location and price, there are other variables that you should take into account. For this reason, it is advisable to prepare a business plan to know for sure if the activity can support the financing of the premises, whether it is going to be rented or bought.


Commercial premises: buy or rent?


Deciding between buying or leasing is a decision influenced by many factors, such as the type of activity to be carried out or the initial capital available.

In general, renting a business premises in Nigeria can have the following advantages:

  • Possibility of changing location more easily: renting a commercial ground floor allows some flexibility, since you do not commit to fixing your location in a certain place and you can move relatively easily when you want or when you need to expand your business.
  • Reduce the initial investment: when buying a commercial premises there is a fairly important initial payment, in addition to the years of mortgage that have been set. By renting, you can agree on a grace period for the first few months to adapt the premises to the activity you are going to carry out.
  • Less community expenses and taxes: in some contracts, community expenses and taxes such as the Real Estate Tax or the garbage rate are passed on to the tenant, which means less expense.

But, given the current real estate market, investing in the purchase of commercial premises can also be a very advantageous option. The economic crisis has left a huge amount of unpaid real estate with significant discounts. In addition, there are other advantages to consider:

  • Profitability: a place is a tangible asset that can be taken as a long-term investment, since when the time comes you can sell or rent it and obtain a profit in the future.
  • You are not subject to the decisions of the landlord: renting a premises, it may be the case that the landlord wants to terminate the contract at its end and you have to leave. This does not happen if you opt for the purchase. In addition, you will be able to carry out works on the premises without being authorized by the landlord, which means greater freedom.  

Tips for finding a business premise in Nigeria


The first step in searching for a commercial space is to identify what your needs are. Ideally, you should make a list of what you expect from your space and check which are the premises that best suit your needs. To do this, look at the following questions:


Select a suitable location


Undoubtedly, the type of activity is something that marks the location of the premises in Nigeria. If your business is related to the industrial sector, you can consider setting up premises in an industrial estate. However, if you are going to have a direct relationship with the public, it is convenient that the location be at street level. In the case of offices or offices you can opt for a high location.

In any case, ensure good visibility from the outside and the more barrier-free the interior is, the easier it will be to furnish it and take advantage of it.

Find out the transport links


When choosing a business premises you should take into account public transport connections, parking areas and the ease of parking. Study this carefully, since sometimes what we think is an accessible area, is not so much. 

In addition to potential customers, also think about your employees and how easy it is to get to work, as well as the range of public services available in the area.

Check the regulations and licenses

Find out about current regulations, both municipal and urban, essential to avoid problems. The most important thing is to study if the premises or office can be used for the activity that we want to develop. For this, it is advisable to carry out the following actions :

  • Request information from the town hall about the possibility of obtaining a license for the activity that interests us. Each region has a mandatory regulation on commercial premises. For this reason, you must check that the premises comply with them or if you are going to need to do some type of work. Depending on the commercial activity you are going to carry out, you may need an opening and activity license, or access for the disabled.
  • Consult the statutes of the community of neighbors in those premises that are within a community, since you need the approval of these to be able to open the business. In addition, in the statutes you can check if there are limitations that may affect the premises in terms of distribution, uses, smoke outlets, etc.

Request a simple note from the Land Registry

Requesting this documentation is very simple and can save you many problems in the future. It is a document that collects all the information about the premises, including identification, extension, limitations, owners, last transmission of the property and the possible charges that weigh on it. This document is a guarantee that the property you are going to buy does not bring with it charges such as mortgages or liens, aspects that could ruin your project.