Skip to content

Distribution Business in Nigeria; how to start, requirements & profitability

In this article, I’ve covered everything you need to know about distribution business in Nigeria. That includes; how to start a distributorship business in Nigeria, requirements for starting distribution business and how profitable distributorship is in Nigeria. So if you are looking to start distribution business in Nigeria, look no further. This post is just what you need. 

Distribution Business in Nigeria
Distribution Business

The current Nigeria economy trend requires that every individual establish a business that are in high demand. One of such businesses is the distribution business.

Distribution business in Nigeria is one of those businesses that are in high demand if you can discover popular products to sell. Interestingly, I have shown you on this site many distribution businesses and popular products that are in high demand. For example, I have showed you in one of our past posts How to Start Indomie Distribution Business in Nigeria. I have shown you “How to Become Golden Penny Distributor in Nigeria”

Today, I’ll show you what it takes (requirements) to start a distributorship business in Nigeria. And then, I’ll move further to show you how to start distributorship business in Nigeria and how profitable distributorship business is. I’ll also add the best-selling products in Nigeria of which you can apply for their distributorship.

But if you don’t like our list of best selling products, look around your environment you’ll find hot products to supply. You can carry out a market survey, ask people what products they enjoy most. You can as well use questionnaire to gather information on this.  The secret success to distribution business lies on finding a product that is in hot demand.

Distribution business opportunities in Nigeria

The business of distribution in Nigeria is one of the most profitable businesses one can venture into.

Most newly emerging companies situated in the cities like Abuja, Lagos, FCT, Kano, Aba, Onitsha, and sub-urban areas are in constant search of reliable distributors. Companies in this category relax their requirements for you to become their distributor. They do this in their quest to penetrate the market. Once, they gain their feet in the market, they stiffen their requirements. Take advantage of these type of company when they are new and sign up as a distributor before they get established.

On the other hand, if you have the capital there are popular brands that have already made a name in Nigeria you can apply for their distributorship. These brands include; Coca Cola, Beer, Nest cafe, Indomie-instant noodles, Cowbell, Milo, FMCG, Chivita, Wheat flour, Dangote vegetable oil, Cement, and many more.

There are also some products with high demand you can start its distribution in Nigeria with little or no capital. Such Products like eggs, bread, bakery and many more. So, there are quite a good number of distributorship business opportunities in Nigeria.

What is required of you as a Distributor?

The main purpose of buying and selling of goods is to ensure goods get to the consumers living in far off places. As goods and services move from producer to consumer they may have to pass through various individuals. One of these various individuals is called a major distributor. A major distributor does distributorship business or wholesale distribution business.

The wholesale Distribution business is simply the buying of products from the producer of the product for the purpose of reselling to retailers for profits. Starting a distributorship business in Nigeria is a profitable venture. Being the first distributor to enter a partnership with a new manufacturing company can make you a millionaire within a few months.

You need to understand what is required of you as a distributor before embarking on distributorship business. As a distributor;

  • You are to buy goods/products directly from producers in large quantities and sells in relatively smaller quantities.
  • You are expected to sell different varieties of a particular line of product. For example, a distributor who deals on paper is expected to keep all varieties of papers
  • You may need to employ a number of sale agents for distribution of a product.
  • You need a large amount of capital to be invested in the business.

You may also be required to provide credit facility to retailers and financial assistance to the producers or manufacturers.

How to start a distributorship business in Nigeria
Starting Distributorship Business

How to start a distributorship business in Nigeria

The following are steps to start a distributorship business in Nigeria:

Acquire Knowledge of distributorship business

The number one step in starting a distributorship business is to acquire knowledge of distributorship business.

In its simplest form, a distribution business is a routine buying, storing and selling of goods and services. However, these routine activities can sometimes become confusing and complicated. You need the knowledge to be able to manage a confusing and complicated part of the distribution business.

For example, as a wholesale distributor, you need knowledge of how to handle stocks whose expiration date are close, so that it will have a minimal impact on your profit margin. You need to know when to take inventory and empty storehouse.

A good knowledge or understanding of the principles of supply chain management is needed to be able to efficiently maximize profits in the distribution business. Understanding the principles of demand and supply, scarcity and scale of preference are also important. You need to understand when to switch between commodities or deal on mix commodities. So, attain our training and workshops to acquire knowledge to empower yourself with these principles before starting a distribution business.

Raise capital

Next thing is to raise capital for the business. You cannot become a distributor of big brands in Nigeria without having a huge capital. Most big brands will demand that you purchase one or half trailer of their products as a take-off.  This is a serious deterrent to many enthusiastic distributors.

So, if you are thinking of becoming a distributor of big brand in Nigeria, you need to source for capital.

There are so many ways to source for fund to start a business. However, whichever way you think can help you raise funds to start the business, embark on that. Where capital becomes a hindrance, you can go for distributorship of new a product from a newly emerging company.

Get a warehouse and office space

You need a warehouse and office for storage and distribution. Distribution business is more like buying and selling but what sets distribution business, apart, from ordinary buying and selling of goods is the quantity of goods you are dealing on and the kind of people you are selling them to.

Without a warehouse and office, you can manage this large volume of goods and services. This is the reason why warehouse is one of the major requirements for signing up for distributorship business in Nigeria. And most companies will verify that you have a warehouse before letting you sign up for their distributorship program.

Register your business

Registering a business in Nigeria has become necessary for a successful business venture. You will see many manufacturing companies reject your proposal as a distributor because your business is not registered.

The implication of this is that you need to register your business name before applying for distributorship in Nigeria. Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the governmental body in charge of registering business in Nigeria. The registration process is simple.

Find a product niche

Finding a product niche with high demand is the hardest step in starting a distributorship business in Nigeria. Most new brand will fold up because they can’t penetrate the market. When you become a distributor of such brand, your loss your money.  This is the danger of becoming a distributor of new emerging brands.

Other the hand, big brands that have already made names are not easy to partner with. If you are not billionaire or millionaire you cannot become their distributor. For example; just try to apply for MTN Nigeria Airtime distributorship program and you will understand this very well.

To find a product niche with hot demand, first analysis the market futuristic success of the product especially for newly emerging brands. Does the brand have a future? Who is/are the brain behind it? You need to get the answer to these questions correctly. For an already established brand, you need not worry because you are joining them to leverage on the already ‘wet’ the ground for distributorship.

Apply for distributorship

Once you register your business name, get a warehouse and raise substantial capital. it is time to crack the hard nut which is applying for distributorship.  First, you may need to send a copy of your distributorship proposal to the companies you want to sign up distributorship contract with, as they may want to see it. Others may require you fill their distributorship forms online or offline.

Whichever way, you have to be meticulous. Read the company’s terms and conditions very well. Be sure you know what you are entering into. Ask question where necessary and be certain you are not going into monkey business. You can apply for distributorship in 1 – 2 or more companies at the same time to be on the safer side. So that if one company rejects you, you will get the approval of the other.

Develop a plan

Once you get a company’s approval for distributorship program, develop a plan. This may be part of what you send as a proposal to the company. All you need to do is to edit whatever plan you have on the proposal to suit your business plan.

Otherwise, draft a new business plan. This plan should be detailed and problem-solving. This is very important as it might affect your overall performance later on.

Get your distributor machinery ready

After you have developed a good business plan, get all your distributorship machineries set. This may range from getting a truck/bus/car to getting office materials.  If you don’t have enough capital, buy and start with important ones.

Some of these materials, you can start by hiring them or go on lease. When you stabilize you can purchase yours. But bear in mind that it might cost you more.

Discover your target market

Who is your target market? These are the retailers you will be dealing with. You have to scan and discover them.  During the course of your market survey, you might discover that your target market is not within your geographical location.

If your target market is not within the geographical locations you are assigned to cover then you have to do some sort of marketing to discover them elsewhere. Marketing entails a lot of strategic means you apply to discover your target market and promote your product. One strategic Marketing you can embark on involves moving to a different geographical location you are not covering to make contacts with people who deal on a similar product. Introduce your product to them and show them the opportunities they stand to gain in retailing your product.

Connect with potential customers and build strong relationship for continuity

The final step to starting a profitable distributorship business is to connect with your potential customers or retailers by taking their contacts. The contacts should include phones, business address and email address.  Build a strong customer relationship with them for continuity in the business by calling them on phone to find out their challenges.

Where there is a need, you can assist them by teaching them tips to successful retailing and brand awareness building. You can also organize workshops and training for them.

You can repeat step 9 and 10 weekly, monthly or quarterly to stay ahead of your competitors.

How to Become Distributor of a Product without Capital

You can become a distributor to many companies without having a kobo.  All you need to do is to:

What most of these companies does is to request for a guarantor or surety who will stand for you and if you meet up with that, you become their distributor. That so simple!

That’s how one of my friends started a distributorship business at Onitsha and today she is controlling over 20 million naira. That lady as of the time of writing this article has built and furnished her 3 storey building in Enugu metropolis.

Requirements for Distributorship Business in Nigeria

Here is some of the major requirements to be a distributor of products in Nigeria:

  1. Warehouse or shop 

Most company when you apply for distributorship, the first thing they want to know is how you intend to store their product so that it will not get spoil by either rain or sun. In most case, they will maintain they see your shop or warehouse before they release their products to you. So, you need a storage room or warehouse if you want to go into the distributor business.

For someone who wants to start small, you can store the products in your house if you have space or leave them in your truck if you have one. The truck must be well secured.

  1. Registered Business name 

Some company require that your business name is registered. They will prefer dealing with you as a company rather as an individual. This is not applicable to most companies.

  1. Startup deposit

Some established companies will require you to deposit some amount of money with their company before giving you their products. Some others will require you to start with a half trailer of their product. But for new companies who are still in need of distributors, you may only need a surety to qualify.

As I said earlier, it is better you start with new companies that are not yet popular if you don’t have enough money. The only thing you need is selecting best-selling products before signing any agreement with them.

  1. Means of Transportation and sales agents

To succeed as a big distributor you need a truck or space car as well as sales agents. This truck or space car will be needed for taking the products from the production company to your warehouse and to retail stores across cities. You can hire a truck if you can’t afford one.

It is advisable you take the products to the retailers than to wait for them to come to you because when they have another distributor that offer to bring the same products you sell to them to their shops; they will quickly abandon you. So, be wise and make use of your sixth sense.

  1. Certifications, License and Permits

Sensitive products like drugs, chemicals required that you must get a permit or be certified by regulatory bodies in the industry before you will be allowed to be a distributor. This is to ensure that you have acquired the skills and technicalities that will enable you to handle such products.

  1. Knowledge of the market

You need to go for a market survey; know who need your product and how to market it to them before you start the distributor business. Knowing who needs the product will give you a sense of direction and the focus you need to succeed.

Read also: How to Start a Soft Drink Wholesale Business in Nigeria

Tips for successful distributorship business

Whether you are just starting or already into the distributorship business, some of successful tips for a distributorship business include:

  1. Always try to maintain a good customer relationship.
  2. Build a large customer base.  The most important thing you need is not the products you distribute but the people who buy of the products.
  3. Concentrate more on the turnover rather than on cost. The distribution business is a game of volume.
  4. Always reach out to your customers whether in the name of advertisement or marketing.

For more detail on the tips for a successful distributorship business, read 7 secrets to starting and running profitable distributorship business

How profitable is distributorship in Nigeria

In general, the distributorship business in Nigeria is a profitable enterprise. However, how big you started, the product line you’re distributing and your daily sales volumes will determine your profit at the end of the day. As a distributor of a product line, you can be making up N500000 to N1 million per month as profit if you are a major distributor covering a geographical zone.  At the end of the year of the company’s sale, the company might still pay you commission as their major distributor. If you are starting on a low scale, I will not guarantee that you make profit or much profit on earlier months.

Here you are, ready to get started with distribution business, which product can you apply for its distributorship?

Best-Selling Products in Nigeria to Distribute
Best-Selling Products

Best-Selling Products in Nigeria to Distribute

Here are best-selling products you can actually apply for their distributorship;

  1. Sachet and Bottle water – This is one of the most selling products and profit-making business. Starting Sachet and bottle water distribution business is very easy and requires little or no capital. The major thing you need to start sachet and bottle water distribution is a space car or truck.
  2. Soft drink and Alcoholic Beverages like beer – This is another top-selling product in Nigeria that you can apply for its distributorship.
  3. Skincare products
  4. Sanitary
  5. Drugs and Pharmaceutical products
  6. Poultry feeds and eggs
  7. FCGM
  8. Instant noodles
  9. Food beverages
  10. Electronics
  11. POS Machine
  12. Food like Rice
  13. Aluminum roofing sheets like ALUMACO

See: 15 Fast Moving Consumer food products in Nigeria


The business of distribution is a profitable enterprise in Nigeria and there are so many distributorship opportunities. We have covered all the detailed steps to start a profitable distribution in Nigeria. We also added secrets to successful distribution business and hot products you can start its distribution, all that is required of you is to apply what have you have learnt. You can always come back to this site to ask questions or use our business ideas to build your business or develop new business.

Please note: The selection of these products as the best-selling products in Nigeria is based on our Market survey and public opinions as of the time this article is written. So, we can remove any of the products from our list of best selling products and new ones added at any moment. We advise you check this page regularly for updates for best-selling product in Nigeria.

19 thoughts on “Distribution Business in Nigeria; how to start, requirements & profitability”

  1. Please,send addresses and phone numbers of companies/poultries where I can get regular supply of eggs and quality poultry fields in Abuja .I want to sign up distribution business with them

  2. This is a great write up. Thank you sir.
    Calendar Integrated services is a food processing company with the trademark name, Ivan’s™️. Factory is based in Abuja and we produce natural peanut butter products. We are looking for major distributors in major cities in Nigeria. We have a growing community of online customers already so you won’t be starting from scratch.

  3. Thank you for the deep insight on distribution business.
    EMMAJO TROPICAL FOODS & VEGGIES ENTERPRISE is a Food processing company, processing Rice FLOUR (swallow)
    Contact the company for as reliable distributors in any of the six zone:
    South South
    South East
    South West
    North central
    North East
    North West

  4. Nice job sir👍👍👍
    Please I need more idea on wholesale drinks business (beer, soft drink, malt), I want to buy directly from the companies, any idea on how to go about it, please?
    Thanks for your help🙏🙌✌️

  5. Please, I want t start mini.. Importation business on handbags. With 30 k, a friend introduced me.. I want to know if it can be legit.. Its actually Chinese site . your advice is needed

  6. EGGS DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS: A Hidden Gold Mine In Nigeria. WHATSAPP OR CALL☎ +2348158322657

    Eggs distribution is a hidden gold mine but unfortunately, not everybody knows that this business can make you a millionaire in a very short time. Invest in egg distribution today and see your money grow big in the nearest future. The first thing to do if you want to invest in egg distribution Business is look for a reliable and trustworthy farm like our farm that is capable of supplying you steadily and without transportation cost.

    We have Fresh Eggs Available At a Cheap Farm Rate direct and fresh from the farm… Buy At a very cheap Farm Gate Price and resell to make a lot of profit. We offer free nationwide delivery.


    LARGE: ——————–N650 Per Crate
    MEDIUM: —————–N550 Per Crate
    SMALL: ——————–N 450 Per Crate

    We will make sure you get your products as specified and in time. We guarantee you of “zero risk purchase” experience in our farm. We do our best to ensure every customer is very satisfied by our products. We ensure you get exactly what you order for and also make sure you get your items in time. We accept returns if you send us a message within 24 hours of receiving our products. If your message comes later than 24 hours, we would have to strike a bargain.

    WE HAVE: Quality Poultry Feeds, Day Old Chicks, Broilers, Layers, pullets, Cockerels, Day Old Turkey and poultry farming equipment available for sale at a very competitive price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *