Skip to content

How to start/open Chemist (Patent Medicine) Drug Store in Nigeria

Chemist business is one of the thriving businesses in Nigeria or Africa in general that can make you a millionaire in few months. Chemist store (Patent Medicine Store) is different from a Pharmacy drug store, in that a chemist store can be operated by any individual who is a trained chemist.  However, both businesses deal on sales of drugs and medications. Chemist store deals exclusively on stock and sales of over the counter (O.T.C) drugs.

Chemist Store in Nigeria
Chemist Store

One of the major challenges, a chemist business has been facing is the issue of fake drugs and counterfeit medicines. A lot of campaign has been going on against counterfeit drugs and medications by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). So, if you’re venturing into this business you must ensure you don’t get yourself involve in sale of fake drug and counterfeit medicines.

Raising capital required to start as well as the necessary license to operate the business can be huge task sometimes. But, if you can take the right steps to obtain the entire necessary requirement and permits, you will enjoy it at last. The annual ROI is over 60% if properly managed.

Related article: How to start Pharmacy (drug Store) business in Nigeria

Who can start a Chemist business?

Anybody can start a chemist business once you have undergone training in Patent Medicine. However, professionals such as:

  • Nurses
  • Biochemists
  • Microbiologists
  • And other health allied professional who have knowledge of drugs will do well in this business.

So if you are looking to open a chemist store soon, following these steps below would save you a lot of stress. Here is a step by step guide on how you can start your own chemist business in Nigeria from the scratch.


How to start new Chemist store in Nigeria (with requirement)

Undertake Apprenticeship on Patent Medicine – An apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study. Undergoing an Apprenticeship in patent medicine will enable you to acquire all necessary knowledge to practice as a chemist. You might serve as either an intern chemist or a trainee. With this, you become conversant with things like where the suppliers are, drug products, basic information on how sales are determined, pricing, as well as the various markets for the products to be supplied.

Carry out proper feasibility study – You have to carry out proper feasibility studies before investing in chemist business. Undertake the necessary research by browsing the internet to get the knowledge needed. Read books patterning to chemist business. You can also ask people who are already into the business on how they have managed over the years of operation and existence.

Register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) – This is the next step for you to follow and it would entail registering with corporate affairs department. This is so that you can get the necessary documents to be completed, as well as get the necessary legal backings before you start out in chemist business.

Register your chemist business with NAPPMED – another important step to take when starting a new chemist business is to register with the association governing Patent medicine store dealers in Nigeria. The Chemist shop just like Pharmacy drug store cannot be operated in Nigeria without due registration with the National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicines (NAPPMED). National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicines Dealers is the Association governing all chemist business in Nigeria. Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (P.C.N) approves NAPPMED to regulate and oversee the operations of private patent medicine vendors (PPMVs) across all the 36 States of Nigeria and educate its members on general principles of primary health care delivery to ensure quality service delivery.

The registration is usually a one-year one-time payment that varies from state to state or from location to location. The payment is within the sum of 200,000 naira with foods and drinks presented to the organization depending on your location. A yearly payment is usually made to. Most places charges 30,000-50,000 naira for that. New person can also get registered through PCN and gets the certificate. So, it is your choice. However, NAPPMED claimed to make the registration simple and easy and demand that you register with their association.

Put down a detailed planBefore kicking off operation, it would be business-wise to draw up a business plan. This will serve as a blueprint for your business. In the business plan, you will list the mondus of operadu, type of services and drugs you would be providing, how the business would be operated, as well as the problem it would help solve for the community and society you serve. You may include all costs associated with starting the chemist, such as the rent, electricity bill, the salaries, and cost of furnishing the space, counter construction, your profit potential as well as the type of items that would be sold. If this seems too technical for you, then you may need to consider getting an expert to draw this plan for you.

Rent a shop Once, you have acquire the necessary training and license, then you’re good to go. Rent a shop for your business. This is never a type of business you want to start from your home. So, like earlier I mentioned get an office space or shop well enough for your chemist business. Be sure it is in a busy, accessible and residential area for under the counter drug treatment.

Contact Drug and Pharmaceutical Companies – Your next step would be contacting the various drugs and pharmaceutical companies. At this juncture you would be required to establish a rapport with them by describing your pharmaceutical needs. This is so that you could determine early enough the best deals, as well as the best suppliers for procurement of the drugs and drug products at a friar price.

Hire staff – Hire qualified candidates who will work with you. You may consider putting up an advert on the local directories as well as the newspapers for the various vacant positions. These positions would include the post of a clerk or chemist attendant/sales person, a cashier, as well as stock or store keepers. If you think you need an expert to help you in the recruitment process, then you should seek for expert human resource personnel.

Put up strong promotional and Adertising Strategythe next thing to do would be to draw up a good marketing strategy on how to attract consumers. Print handbills/flyers and brochures and share to people. By words, tells people about your chemist business and the quality of products you sell, you may also want to give out free drugs to a particular sect of people telling them that you have commenced operation.

Improve your store design: You can consider improving your chemist store design to attract the attention of potential customers. On most occasions, customers start by judging outlook of your store rather than the quality of your products before getting into your store. So, improve the outlook and design of your chemist drug store.

The above are 10 great steps to start your chemist drug store business in Nigeria. Above all, if you want to succeed in this business be ready to satisfy your clients at all time.


Cost of Starting New Chemist Shop in Nigeria

The cost for opening a new chemist shop depends on your entry level. You can chose to enter the business in medium scale or large scale depending on your financial capacity but with capital of N3000,000 – N4,000,000; you can start a new standard chemist store in Nigeria. Here is the breakdown for the cost of starting chemist or Patent Medicine store in Nigeria;

  • POS retail system – N175, 000
  • 2 Fridges – N250,000
  • Drug  Counter/Shelves – N600,000
  • Inventory – N1,800,000
  • Rent – N200,000
  • Contingency – N100,000
  • Cash at hand – N200,000
  • Other expenses – N400,000


How profitable is Chemist business?

A market feasibility study we carried out in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Onitsha, Enugu and Ogun state shows that the Chemist Business is a profitable business although competitive. The net profit margin is up to 45% on many drug products and annual Return on Investment (ROI) of over 60%.


I wish you all the best as you start your Chemist (drug store) business!


144 thoughts on “How to start/open Chemist (Patent Medicine) Drug Store in Nigeria”

  1. PCN Or NAPPMED which should i go for first… secondly, will registering for PCN stop PSN from sealing my chemist shop?

  2. Pls sir is it compulsory to register a chemist with pcn and also napmmed ?
    What if I register with nappmed alone am I good to go ??

  3. Sir, is it true that if I am trained in a pharmacy, they will not give me certificate? Pls sir is it that they don’t present certificate to the trainee?

  4. Pls sir,I am a nurse n also study human anatomy can I open a pharmaceutical shop with the certificate.
    I registered cac with another business name can it cover me to open pharmaceutical shop.
    Thank u sir

  5. Sir
    Am a trainee in a medical store… I hv being trained very well ,and now I have gotten my Certificate…is there any process for me again if not of Registration Under NAPPMED.

  6. Pls sir am practicing community health but I have the knowledge of selling drugs, can I register with Nappmed first and later go for PNC for now with my school level

  7. I only have 1.2m naira can I open my own chemist shop,though am a train chemist for the past 10yrs now but I hv another money separate for napmmed registration nd licence.

  8. I have been an Administrative Office in a hospital for seven years and I know much about drugs, can I open a patent drug store in stock sales..

      1. Please sir, I am trained in a patent medicine shop. I intends to register before I start my shop, please I need advice on where to register. Thanks sir!

  9. I’m a registered nurse, do i need to undergo training and do registration ? And pls sir can i start chemist with the sum of 600k?

    1. Am a pharmacy technician and currently am on aplan to open a pharmacy store, so the question is can #500,000 start the business!?

    1. If you’re trained in chemist for two years, does that qualify you a pharmacist? You can only open a pharmacy if you’re a pharmacist. Otherwise, you can employ the certificate of a pharmacist to open a pharmacy. But they must be agreement between you and the pharmacist whose certificate you employed.

  10. Good evening Mr.Onwuka, I am an environmental health officer.i want to open up the business and employ someone.but will NAPPMED agree to register me?

    1. Thanks a lot ma, pls can you help with the OFFICE address of the NAPPMED Lagos State. Satellite town precisely as well as the office of the pharmacy council of Nig, where one can obtain training and registration. Thank u ma.

  11. Greetings sir,am an auxiliary nurse and I want to open a chemist store do I need lisence or I just have to join union .pls sir I need steps to start with

  12. Good day am a biochemist, I want to learn how to sell drug and open my own chemists. How long will it take me to learn it.I mean the years.thanks

  13. I’m an optometrist and I want to open a chemist, can I use my licence or still register with the body? And please do you know how much it cost to register with them?

    1. Please sir, as a community health practitioner,if I obtain pcn license and register with nappmed, can I seal wholesale if I have enough capital to set up?

  14. Lovely article.
    I have a question though. Suppose I already have a registered company but did not capture running a Chemist in the Article when it was being constituted, can I still use it to open a Chemist Store? What do I do or must I register a new company?

  15. Please sir can anyone coach me on how to improve on the business? Am a nurse have started the business two years ago but instead of improving it going down(sales)and am in an open place can some please tell what am doing wrong? I need help

  16. 3M Naira is way too much to set up a Chemist, unless Wholesales…but tnks for the info anyways, but. Do u have the knowledge of the products a patent medicine dealer can stock?

  17. can anybody with a diffrent discipline like accountants and bankers/engineers operate a chemist what are the mandatory qualification

    1. Anybody with a different discipline like accountants, bankers, engineers etc can operate and run a chemist. Register with appropriate regulatory body, acquire knowledge necessary and you’re good to go.

      1. Dear Emma Onwuka,
        Good day Sir, please I would like to have a phone discussion with you.
        I want to venture into the business.
        Can you send me your contact through this my number 08051959522.

        Jerry Okeke

    2. Please sir i am a liciensed nurse with 9years experience do i need to undergo training again to get licienced to open a patent store or i can go with my nursing licience

Leave a Reply

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