How To Start An Outdoor Advertising Agency Business In Nigeria: Cost Implications

This is a business any business driven individual should start considering. In as much as online advertising in Nigeria is fast rising amongst other forms of advertising, you cannot rule out the traditional method (Outdoor advertising). To be honest, outdoor advertising in Nigeria is still more effective and efficient in terms of ROI (Returns on Investment) for most companies. Most Advertising agencies have identified this need and are taking advantage of the slacks while proffering solutions to the current challenges experienced by these companies.

Advertising is the soul of any business. The need for advertising in Nigeria can never be overemphasized, needless to say, no business can thrive without Advertising. They say, necessity is the mother of all inventions, advertising is as old as man. Advertising in Nigeria cuts across various spheres of life, there is a very strong connection between advertising and sales and since the primary aim of any business organization is for the motive of profit making, new advertising agencies in Nigeria are springing up and taking over these responsibilities from the companies.

How To Start An Outdoor Advertising Agency Business In Nigeria: Cost Implications 1

Gone are those days when popular brands felt safe due to the popularity they enjoyed, now it is a different ballgame. The most popular brands now set aside huge funds for advertising alone. An example is one of the most popular brands in the world “Coca-Cola” who as at last year spent over a whooping 3.9billion US Dollars on advertisement alone, that is the annual budget of some African countries.

For the sake of this post, we shall be discussing on how to start and set up an outdoor advertising business in Nigeria, prices of the boards, required documents and the various government agencies responsible for a smooth process.

This article is most suitable for B.Sc and HND holders with passion for business, self employed individuals with aspiration to own and run a successful outdoor advertising company not forgetting PR agencies with view to include outdoor advertising as a part of their services to new and existing clients

Starting an outdoor (Billboard) advertising business isn’t as complex as others make it seem like, rather, the idea of kick starting a new business is often filled with enthusiasm and optimism though the fear of failure always creep in, take it as an Adrenalin booster towards ensuring you see the process through from start to finish.

Starting an advertising agency however comes with a lot of strategic and sensitive decisions, for example, in the area of making decisions and implementing them, it all boils down to you, as this could either make or mar your company’s image so you will need to consciously remind yourself that you are the boss of your business and the death or survival of the business is thy own making.

How To Start An Outdoor Advertising Agency Business In Nigeria: Cost Implications

At the end of this article, readers should be clear on the following;

  • Step by step approach on how to start or set-up and run a profitable outdoor advertising agency business In Nigeria.
  • Necessary documents required to start up an outdoor advertising agency in Nigeria.
  • Materials needed for installation of billboards
  • Government agencies responsible for approval of sites and sizes of billboards
  • Where to and where not to erect billboards (Government and non-government jurisdiction areas)
  • Annual rent of vacant spaces on various sizes of billboards
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Now am going to take you through on the steps needed and how to go about in starting an outdoor advertising business with little money.
I believe the reader of the post most likely would not own an outdoor ads agency, and would most likely be a interested in setting up an advertising agency business.

A) Get A Business Name

The first step towards owning your advertising agency in Nigeria, is to register a business name. This business name must include Board of Directors and please note that one of the directors has to be an APCON certified member if you as the CEO does isn’t a certified member, if otherwise is the case, you can pick up an ordinary individual or a business partner.

If you already have a business name, you can still incorporate a new member with APCON certificate as a board of director as this is a very important step towards approving your application via the registered government agency (LASAA).

Secondly, from the above requirements, i can confidently confirm that you do not have this certification, however, this should not be perceived as a set back, as there are other ways to bypass this bottleneck which is the next line of discussion below

Firstly, you need to enroll and begin the lecture and get the diploma cert while

Get someone who has a diploma in this certification and formally include him or her as a board of director in the shares of the company and you are good to go.

Using the second option is usually easier as it is stipulated in the legal procedures in starting an outdoor advertising agency business in Nigeria.

B) Register With The Appropriate Body (APCON and LASAA)

This is a major step towards starting your own outdoor Advertising Agency. As an agent, you will be required to follow due process if you are passionate about setting up an outdoor advertising agency business in Nigeria. From time to time, these bodies send out their monitoring units to scan both urban and rural areas for illegal erection of structures and penalize owners or companies found contravening the states environmental and safety laws. In Lagos state for instance, LASAA is in charge of erecting of all outdoor advertising.

Still talking about registering with the appropriate body, in Lagos state for instance upon visiting LASAA office, you will be given a form to fill and return, along side the required documents as listed below and you will also be required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of One hundred Thousand Naira only (N100,000), Note that this is not an automatic approval by the body.

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In addition to the above, you will have to submit relevant documents to LASAA which must include a coloured photo of the site you intend placing your billboard or signage for proper investigation, the investigation includes, testing of the soil, certifying the site is free of environmental hazards in the event of any natural or artificial disaster.

Therefore, in order to prevent such embarrassing event, you are advised to register with the approved body for regulating outdoor advertising within your state.

See below , the various government Agencies responsible for approval of Adverts and Signage  in the country.

  1. LASAA – Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency
  2. OGSAA – Ogun State Signage and Advertisement Agency
  3. OYSAA – Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency
  4. CRSSAA – Cross River State Signage and Advertisement Agency
  5. DLSAA – Delta State River State Signage and Advertisement Agency

The list goes on and on.. and this applies to all states in Nigeria.

Factors To Consider In Setting Up Your Outdoor Advertising Agency Business In Nigeria

i) LASAA jurisdiction Area (Areas In Lagos state controlled by the Lagos state government) here on any billboard mounted, a certain percentage goes to the lagos state government body (LASAA)

ii) Non-LASAA jurisdiction Areas (Areas in Lagos State not controlled by the Lagos state government, examples are FAAN, Customs Services, Immigration Services, The Nigerian Police, The Nigerian Army, The Nigerian Air force, Federal University UNILAG), maritime and the likes. Royalties are paid to the respective body, this depends on the Federal government body in question.

You could fix a board in the non-LASAA jurisdiction areas of Lagos state; in that case you do not need to through the LASAA process.
My candid advice is for you to go to either Ibadan or Ogun state, you do not need to go through the office process, even if you do, their procedures are quite lenient, or simply settle the local guys or youths in the area and then fix your board, that was exactly what I did then after sealing up an advert placement deal, with Viju milk, I paid royalties to Ogun State Signage and Advert Agency. There are various sizes of billboards,

i) Super 48 sheet size

ii) Sixteen (16) sheet size

iii) 96 Sheet size

iv) Uni-pole, (Double Face and Tri-pole)

v) Gantry

vi) Streetlight posts and so on

The advert rate is quite enticing; advertising is quite juicy but could be sometimes frustrating, though it is normal with all businesses.

Cost of Setting Up A Billboard In Nigeria

Setting up a billboard is relatively affordable, you can take one step at a time during this stage. The first is identifying the materials needed for this project and draw up a budget for this which must be strictly maintained.

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Cost of setting up a billboard differs based on the size and type of structure. For a Bus Stop Shelter advertising, all you need is an approval from LASAA or the body in charge of advert for the state to place an ad on the shelter, usually, a percentage goes to LASAA while the balance goes to you the agency though it depends on the duration of the ads campaign. Here you do not need to personally erect any structure, all that is needed is approval so cost of erection is not needed, the only cost incurred here will be logistics and installation of the campaign materials.

Street Light Pole Advertising: This type of ads also does not need your personal funds for erecting the structures as they are already properties of the state. All you need is an approval from LASAA or the body in charge of advert and signage for the state to place an ad on the street light poles, usually, a percentage in form of commission goes to the government agency while the balance goes to your agency (Your organization) though it depends on the duration of the ads campaign too. That is, the longer the campaign, the higher the amount.

On the average, the cost of setting up or building a billboard in Nigeria, you will be needing about 400,000 to 500,000 Naira for a 3 by 6 feet billboard (Super 48 sheet sized billboard) this is excluding logistics (transportation to the site, payment of laborers for installation of the board at the site and settlement of the indigenes) except you are installing it in a Non-LASAA jurisdiction area as discussed above.

Ideally, It takes less than 2 weeks to complete the frame work and fix the board if funds are available.

Upon installing the billboard, you will be required to buy a white flex (thick waterproof material) or used ads campaign, print on it “VACANT SPACE OR PLACE ADS HERE’ CALL (Your personal number).


Please from time to time, it is advisable you go check out your billboard to avoid some unscrupulous individuals tearing it off and placing their own advert on it, this is a common practice now in the industry.

Hope you gained the required basic knowledge on how to start your own advertising agency business in Nigeria. If we are to discuss word for word on the step by step procedure on how to start and set up your own advertising agency in Nigeria, this post might get too bulky and boring to read, the above information is enough details for a starter, however we are open to opinions and questions via our comment section, we shall be ready to respond to all questions.