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How to Get a Business Loan in Nigeria in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you an entrepreneur? do you have a business idea yet lack the capital to start?
Or do you already have a business but looking to grow the business and need funds to scale? Are you looking for how to get a Business Loan in Nigeria?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you’re reading the perfect article that will give you a comprehensive guide on:

1. Steps to get a business loan in Nigeria.
2. Where to get a Business loan in Nigeria
3. Basic documents required to get a Business Loan in Nigeria from banks, loan apps, and Microfinance Bank
4. How to increase your chances of getting a business loan in Nigeria.

We all know that small businesses play a big role in Nigeria. According to Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics MSMEs and SMEs make up over 50% of the country’s economy and provide jobs for around 80% of people. But it’s sad that many of these small businesses struggle to get the money they need to grow. Only about 5% of them can actually get loans.

You might have noticed that many business owners have to use up all their savings and borrow money from friends and family, even then, the amount raised is usually not enough to scale their businesses. This is because getting a lot of money, especially from banks, is not easy. But don’t worry, we have some good advice on how you can get loans for your business.

There are several considerations and stages involved in obtaining a Business Loan in Nigeria for your business. Here are simple steps to follow:

  1. Define Your Loan Needs
    Explain why you require the loan, including whether it is for business startup/launch, business growth, operating cash, the acquisition of equipment, or other particular requirements. Write it down for record purposes.
  2. Determine the Loan Amount
    Calculate how much money you will require for your business needs. Make sure to have a clear understanding of your business’s financial requirements.
  3. Research Lenders
    Identify reputable lenders that offer Business Loan in Nigeria. This could include traditional banks, microfinance institutions, online lenders, and government agencies.
  4. Select the Best Type of Loan: Conduct research to find the best type of loan for your business, such as microfinance loans, bank loans, loans granted by the government, angel investments, venture capital, or online lending platforms that offer business loans in Nigeria.
  5. Prepare Your Business Plan
    A well-written business plan will show that your venture is viable and that you are able to make payments. Your business model, market analysis, financial predictions, and growth plans ought to be included.
  6. Gather Required Documents
    Gather the necessary paperwork before applying for a loan for your business, including your business registration documents, personal identification documents, a business plan, financial statements, any applicable collateral, and any additional documents that the lender specifically requests.
  7. Check Eligibility
    The requirements for eligibility vary among lenders. Aspects like business age, credit score, income, and profitability may be among their requirements. Make sure you meet all of them.
  8. Compare Loan Offers
    Compare loan offers from different lenders by requesting quotations and comparing interest rates, repayment schedules, fees, and other parameters. Select the option that meets your company’s needs.
  9. Collateral and Guarantors
    Some loans may call for guarantors or collateral. Make sure you have the necessary assets or people available if you decide to apply for one of these kinds of loans.
  10. Application Process
    Fill out the loan application completely and truthfully. Include all necessary paperwork with your application.
  11. Be persistent
    When trying to get a business loan, persistence is crucial. After receiving a rejection from one or two banks, many small business owners lose hope. It’s crucial to understand that banks specialize in a variety of fields. While some banks may focus on lending to big businesses, others may be more likely to support small and medium-sized businesses. Don’t get discouraged by early losses if getting a loan is essential for your company. Keep looking for banks and other financial institutions that fit the demands and size of your company. It may take some time to locate the appropriate fit, but your perseverance will boost your chances of getting the loan you require.
  12. Wait for Approval
    As lenders review your application, the approval process may take some time. Be understanding and accommodating if they ask for more details.
  13. Review Loan Terms:
    After loan approval, thoroughly go over all of the agreements, including interest rates, fees, and other conditions.
  14. Accept the Loan Offer
    If the terms of the loan are acceptable to you, accept the offer by signing the loan agreement.
  15. Utilize the Funds Wisely
    Use the loan money for what it was intended, and handle your money sensibly to make sure the payments go through without any problems.
  16. Repay the Loan
    Comply with the repayment plan and make prompt instalments. In addition to fulfilling your obligation, doing this will help you keep a good credit history.
    Remember that borrowing money is a serious financial commitment, so it’s essential to thoroughly understand the terms, implications, and consequences before taking out a loan. If you’re uncertain about any part of the process, you can seek advice from financial advisors or business mentors.
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  1. Loan Apps
    These are phone apps that can help you get a loan quickly. They usually decide in just a few minutes if you can get a loan. You can borrow between ₦250,000 to ₦10,000,000. The good thing is, they don’t usually ask for something valuable as a guarantee. They just look at how good you are at paying back money.

Advantages :

  • Quick and easy
  • You can get a good amount
  • No need for something valuable as a guarantee
  • You can do it all from your phone


  • They might not have many places you can visit
  • They might not give you the exact amount you want

2. Bank Loans
Banks used to be the main place to get money for businesses. They are reliable, but they often ask for a lot of interest (extra money) and they want you to give them something valuable to make sure you pay them back. This can be a problem for new businesses. But if you have a good record and something valuable to give, you can try getting a loan from a bank.


  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • You might be able to get more loans if you’re good at paying back


  • They ask for a lot of interest
  • You need to show them a lot of documents
  • It takes a long time

3. Government Schemes
The government in Nigeria has some programs to help and support small businesses. They can give you money to start or grow your business. Some of these places are the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, Development Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export-Import Bank, and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria. They might give you money that you don’t need to pay back or money with very low interest.

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  • They might give you free money or money with low interest
  • They focus on small businesses


  • Many people want their help, so it might be hard to get
  • Getting a loan for your business needs careful thinking. Don’t rush into it. Look at all your choices and pick the one that works best for you and your business.


These requirements help lenders assess the risk associated with lending money to your business. It’s important to note that specific lenders might have additional criteria depending on the type of loan you’re applying for, the loan amount, and your business’s industry. It’s advisable to reach out to the lender directly or review their official documentation for precise and up-to-date information on their requirements.

  • Bank Statements: Lenders often request bank statements to assess your business’s financial health and cash flow. These statements provide insights into your revenue, expenses, and transaction patterns over a specific period, helping lenders evaluate your repayment capability.
  • Personal and Business Credit Score: Credit scores reflect your creditworthiness. A strong credit score indicates a good history of repaying debts on time. Both personal and business credit scores can be considered by lenders to assess your financial reliability.
  • Valid Means of Identification: A valid form of identification, such as a national ID card, driver’s license, or international passport, is required for verification purposes. This identification ensures that the applicant is a legitimate representative of the business.
  • Certificate of Business Registration: This certificate confirms the legal existence of your business entity. It includes essential details such as business name, registered address, directors’ names, and incorporation date.
  • Time in Business: The duration your business has been operational can impact lending decisions. Lenders may consider the stability and track record of your business when evaluating your loan application.

You can agree that getting a loan for business is not easy but there are secrets to getting these loans for your business. Below are some factors and considerations banks look out for before giving out loans to businesses. These simple steps will increase your chances of getting a loan from a bank, and grow your business.

  • It is very important that you understand why banks give out loans in the first place. Banks give out loans because they expect them to be paid back on time with interest. They will therefore only lend to a business purpose that they think is sound. A bank will not lend you money unless you can show the bank that you have a solid business and that you will use the money that you are given to grow your business.
  • The second thing is your reputation. Do you have a record of borrowing from banks and repaying what you borrowed? Or have you borrowed from other banks and not paid back? If you have a track record of not repaying loans you have taken or issuing cheques that bounce, most banks will not be willing to lend you money.
  • Do you have a good accounting system in place for your business? Many banks will only lend to businesses that have a good and accurate accounting system. The accounting system must show that the owner’s accounts and the accounts of the business are separate. The accounting documents that banks like to see before they lend you money for your business are the profit and loss account of the business, the balance sheet, the cash flow statement, etc.
  • Are you familiar with your industry? It is easier to convince a bank to lend you money if you are able to show that you understand the industry that you do business in and, that you understand the value that you bring to that industry. Do you know who your major competitors are? What do you offer that they do not or cannot? How do you intend to win a bigger market share over time? If you can show that you understand your competition and how to get ahead of them, banks may consider your business a good one to support.
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Acquiring a business loan in Nigeria can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their businesses. Whether you’re in need of startup funds or looking to expand your existing business, understanding the steps involved, the different options available, and how to increase your chances of loan approval is essential. With the significant role that small businesses play in Nigeria’s economy, accessing funds to fuel their growth is crucial for national prosperity. I hope that this article has been of great help and guide on how to get a business loan in Nigeria, platforms that offer loans, and what to do to increase your chances of getting a loan.


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