The ultimate guide on how to build a bottled water business in Nigeria – iBottling

Discover how to build a successful bottled water business in Nigeria with this ultimate guide covering requirements, types, and more.

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Introduction to water business in Nigeria

Water is one of the most critical resources on earth; many people turn to this resource for their living because it is abundant and can provide food security. But, water has become a costly commodity that cannot be afforded by everyone around the world. The distribution of water, even within a country, is not fair.

Nigeria is one of the countries still having problems with access to clean drinking water for many people. Although Nigeria has abundant water sources, there are some considerable challenges in accessing it because it is not safe to drink. Because these problems are occurring, some business opportunities can be taken advantage of.

One of these most mentioned opportunities in the water business in Nigeria deals with the supply of clean drinking bottled water for Nigerians and other people worldwide to drink. This kind of business is very profitable because not only does it provide safe drinking water, but bottled water itself is also considered to be healthy.

To set up the water business in Nigeria, it is essential to choose a suitable area for setting up the business, whether rural or urban. Then, you can register your business with your desired authority that deals with this kind of specialization. You must also carefully think of how to start marketing your products and services to make your business successful.


What are the requirements for starting my own water business in Nigeria?

– You need to get registered with the relevant government authority depending on your line of sales. If you sell bottled mineral water for commercial purposes, register at the Nigeria Drinking Water Standard (NDWS) regulation of bottled drinking water. If you are selling potable water, it gets a little more complicated, depending on the type of business. For instance, if you supply packaged drinking water for non-commercial purposes (e.g. handing it out to passersby), register with your local government authority as a temporary food vendor.

If you plan to set up a central filling station, you must register with the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC). This is to ensure that product safety standards are met throughout the network.

– You need an office space where you can receive customers and do your work. You could also use one of the offices at your home for smaller set-ups though it is not recommended.

– You will need to start collecting some money as working capital, preferably running into hundreds of thousands of naira that would enable you to meet emergencies and boost your business operations.

– You will need to advertise your products, an integral part of any business. Start by impressing existing clients and continue building on the relationship.

– You will need to have a website, Facebook page or Instagram account where your customers can follow your updates and promotions.


How do I know what type of business best suits me?

There are various types of water businesses that you can set up. Some require a lot of money as an investment, while some others are less so. It is also important to note that some water businesses do not need financial support from the owner as they earn directly from their activities. For instance, if you consider setting up a central filling station, you would not need to buy products from anyone. However, suppose you intend to sell bottled mineral water from a temporary business. In that case, you will have to make a business agreement with a supplier of choice before your start-up capital is applied.


What are the available water businesses in Nigeria?

There are various types of water business in Nigeria, some of which include:

• Water vending machine

• Central filling station

• Bottling and selling water to hotels, schools, hospitals etc.

• Retail water business – selling bottled/ packaged mineral water for commercial purposes. This involves setting up a temporary station where you display your products for sale to the public.

• Retail water business – selling potable water. This involves supplying non-commercial packaged drinking water (handouts) and is not as common as other types of water businesses in Nigeria because it requires a lot of money and specific licenses to meet safety standards.


What are the steps involved in setting up a water business in Nigeria?

– Find the type of water business that suits you and your current ability. You can take your pick from those mentioned above.

– Acquire all the relevant documents and licenses for setting up your own water business in Nigeria (see below).

– Get an office space where you will receive your customers and do your work.

– Arrange for working capital.

– Advertise your products.

– Set up a website, Facebook page or Instagram account to advertise your products and engage with your customers.

– Carry out a market survey/feasibility study on the profitability of setting up a water business in Nigeria.

– Apply for permits and licenses from the relevant government authorities.

– Start your business operations!


What are the documents needed to set up a water business in Nigeria?

To operate a water business in Nigeria, you will need to meet all the necessary government requirements, including:

• Registration of the company (if you intend to set up a company) or sole proprietorship (if you do not have a water business plan to incorporate your business).

• Registration with the NBC to ensure that water products meet safety standards.

• Apply for operating licenses from local government councils and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).


What are the procedures involved in applying for a water business license in Nigeria?

The procedures vary from one state to another and depend on the type of water business you plan to start. You may either:

• Start your business while waiting for all the required documents and licenses, then apply for them later.

• Appoint an agent who will help you get all the licenses and permits within your location.


How much will start a water business cost me?

You may now be wondering about the investment involved in starting a water business in Nigeria. It can range from ₦300,000 to several million nairas, depending on the type of business you want to create. For example, if you’re going to set up a bottling plant, it would be advisable to have at least 20 million nairas to compete with the big brands. However, suppose you are just starting out and find bottled water too expensive for your budget. In that case, you may want to consider setting up a vending machine instead.

Please see the following list of overall bottled water plant costs if you want to know more about the equipment’s price.



How much money can I make from a water business in Nigeria?

The amount of money you stand to make will depend on the type of water business in your water business plan. It will also vary from one location to another. However, suppose the experience is anything to go by. In that case, your average daily gross income should be around ₦15,000 for a vending machine and between ₦80,000 and ₦100,000 per day for a kiosk.


What training do I require to set up a water business in Nigeria?

The only requirement is some form of entrepreneurship or business management course. However, if you plan on setting up your own bottling plant, you will need to sign up for a class on water treatment and purification techniques.

Alternatively, select iBottling as your equipment supplier. We will provide all information and training on marketing strategy, machine operation, and machine maintenance for TOTAL FREE.


How long does it take to set up a water business in Nigeria?

It all depends on the type of water business you intend to start, your location and available funding. Setting up a vending machine may require just 1 week while setting up your own bottling plant can take several months.

One of our clients in Abuja, Nigeria, went from contacting us to having their water business up and running in 45 days! Their secret? A strong focus on planning and accountability.


How do I market my water business in Nigeria?

The best way to market your water business is by word of mouth. Additionally, you can also get some help from government agencies involved in poverty eradication or health campaigns. They will often help you set up promotional stalls at local events where you can offer free samples to interested individuals.

Another good way to market your water business is by getting an agent. You can find someone within your location and split the profit of selling water business with them.

Marketing also involves getting a social media presence. Create a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel for your water business and use them as platforms for sharing information or educational videos on water usage.

For customers who walk into your business, you can use classic marketing techniques such as loyalty cards or offering free gifts to customers that buy a certain quantity.

If you want to have a complete marketing strategy for your bottled water business, please check the below.



Where can I go for more information about starting a water business in Nigeria?

The internet and your local government council office should provide you with everything you need for your bottled water startup. You may also hire an accountant or lawyer if you feel overwhelmed by the process.

If you want some help from iBottling, simply submit the below form for more information on all necessary equipment needed for bottled water production.


Are there any fees involved when setting up a water business in Nigeria?

Yes, water business owners have to pay the following fees:

• Water Board Distribution Assurance Charge (WBDC).

• Business License Fee.

• Rent for office space.

• Consultants’ fees.



As you can see, setting up a water business in Nigeria is not as complicated as many people think. All it takes is some planning and preparation, getting the right equipment and giving back to your community. If you follow this guide step-by-step, you will be on your way to starting your own successful bottled water business before you know it!

Please contact us for more information. You can also get a free quote from us by filling out this form below:

Please check the bottled water productoin line we’ve made.

Picture of John Lau.
John Lau.

John Lau, oversea project manager, an engineering graduate with expertise in optimizing beverage production equipment during his university studies, is now at the helm of global projects in the industry. Committed to educating clients on the benefits of customized equipment solutions that notably boost operational efficiency, Lau views this specialization in tailoring bottling machines as a key facet of his professional commitment.

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