Recruitment in Nigeria

Recruitment in Nigeria: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in Nigeria? 

5% with a min of $600 USD per month.


What is the cost of a Work Permit in Nigeria?

$2750 for British and US nationals, $2400 for others not including the STR visa which is paid directly to the Nigerian Consulate in the applications home country

How long does it take to get a work permit in Nigeria?

4 to 10 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in Nigeria for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

Depends how it is structured. From 60-85%.

What is the estimated net retention in Nigeria for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depends how it is structured. From 60-85%.

Read more about the work permit process.

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Recruitment in Nigeria can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in Nigeria: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in Nigeria generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with Nigeria tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in Nigeria. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the Nigeria client could be liable for withholding tax under Nigeria tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in Nigeria. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in Nigeria (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of Nigeria work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As Nigeria tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in Nigeria and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in Nigeria, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

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Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions


What documentation is required for a Nigeria work permit?

CV, passport, passport photos, employment contract, copies of degree/diploma/professional certifications (notarised).

What is the work permit process in Nigeria?

Local company obtains Quota approval letter (up to 6 weeks if the company sponsoring the visa doesn't already possess a Quota for the candidates skill set), then applicant must lodged application in their home Nigerian Consulate for the STR (Subject to Regularization) which can take 3 weeks. The STR is valid for 3 months. On arrival local Nigerian company commences the process for the Resident and Work Permit (CERPAC) which is approved in Nigeria and lasts for 12 months. It takes 6-8 weeks to approve. 

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in Nigeria?


Can we organise Business Visas in Nigeria?


How long does it take to process a Business Visa in Nigeria?

Up to 2 weeks.

How much does a Business Visa cost in Nigeria?

$400 USD. Extension for 30 days $400 USD, extension for 90 days $600.

Can nationals of certain countries enter Nigeria without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?

Nationals of ECOWAS countries.

$4000 USD.

What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in Nigeria?

 5% with a min of $600 USD per month.

How does payroll work in Nigeria?

Tax and social security are deducted at source, payroll paid monthly.