VAT and Franchise Businesses: Strategic Considerations for Nigerian SMEs.


Franchise businesses have become increasingly popular in Nigeria’s entrepreneurial landscape, offering a unique opportunity for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to tap into established brands and business models. However, while franchising offers numerous benefits, it also brings specific challenges regarding Value Added Tax (VAT) compliance. In this article, we will explore the key considerations and strategies that Nigerian SMEs engaged in franchise businesses should keep in mind to navigate the VAT landscape successfully.

Understanding VAT in Nigeria:

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied on the value added to goods and services at each stage of production or distribution. In Nigeria, the VAT rate currently stands at 7.5%, and it applies to various goods and services, including those offered by franchise businesses.

VAT Considerations for Franchise Businesses:

  • VAT Registration: Franchisees must determine their VAT registration status based on their individual turnover. In Nigeria, businesses with an annual turnover exceeding ₦25 million are required to register for VAT. This threshold applies to each franchisee separately, not collectively with the franchisor.
  • Input VAT: Franchisees can claim Input VAT on eligible business expenses, such as rent, utilities, and marketing costs. Proper documentation, including invoices and receipts, is essential to support these claims. It’s crucial to ensure that Input VAT is only claimed on allowable expenses directly related to the franchise business.
  • VAT Invoicing: Franchisees are required to issue VAT-compliant invoices to their customers for taxable services rendered. Invoices should include essential information, such as the franchisee’s VAT registration number, a detailed description of services, the amount charged, and the applicable VAT rate.
  • Record-Keeping: Maintaining meticulous records of all financial transactions, including income, expenses, and invoices, is essential for VAT compliance. Proper record-keeping facilitates accurate calculation of VAT liability, Input VAT claims, and ensures transparency during tax audits.
  • VAT Returns: VAT-registered franchisees must file VAT returns on a regular basis, depending on their annual turnover. Filing can be done monthly or quarterly, with the frequency determined individually for each franchisee. Timely and accurate filing is critical to avoid penalties and interest on outstanding VAT liabilities.
  • Franchise Agreements: Reviewing franchise agreements is crucial for understanding the VAT implications of the franchise relationship. The agreement should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the franchisor and franchisee regarding VAT compliance and reporting.
  • Consult Tax Experts: Due to the complexities of VAT regulations and the unique nature of franchise businesses, franchisees should consider seeking guidance from tax professionals with expertise in VAT compliance. These experts can provide tailored advice, ensuring that franchisees meet their obligations while optimizing VAT benefits.


VAT compliance is a vital aspect of financial management for franchise businesses in Nigeria. To harness the full potential of the franchise model while staying compliant, SMEs engaged in franchise businesses must thoroughly understand their VAT obligations, registration requirements, and the implications of their franchise agreements. By partnering with experienced tax professionals and maintaining meticulous records, franchisees can confidently navigate the VAT landscape. This allows them to focus on building successful franchise businesses while ensuring compliance with Nigeria’s VAT regulations.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, online accounting support, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at Lagos, Ogun state Nigeria offices, . You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.