8 Departments to Consider for a Start-Up Organization


The department is one of the various units in an organization that interrelate to ensure the attainment of the objectives of the organization. The number of departments found in an office/organization will depend on the strength of its personnel. Organizations such as schools, hospitals, banks, publishing houses, oil companies, telecommunication companies, etc. have different departments. In setting up a business or establishing a company, the following eight departments are very important to plan for a start-up business or company.

1. Administrative Department

The administrative department is usually headed by the company secretary and is from this department that all the activities of the organization are organized and controlled. In a university setting, it is headed by the Registrar and he works in association with other principal officers such as the Vice-Chancellor, Bursar, Liberian, and Director of works.

Functions of the Administrative Department

The following are the functions of the administrative department:

  • The department is charged with the responsibility of running day to day activities of the organization.
  • The department oversees the company’s premises.
  • The department ensures that the assets of the organization are saved and secured.
  • The department ensures that the standard canteen is available and monitored.
  • The department supervises the first aid arrangement of an organization.

2. Personnel Department

This department handles all employee-related matters and the department is usually headed by the Personnel Manager. It ensures that the right quantities and qualities of staff are recruited and retained by the organization.

The function of the Personnel Department

The personnel department includes the following:

  • The department determines the human resources requirements of an organization.
  • The department advertises for any vacant position in an organization on the media.
  • The department handles the recruitment and selection of new staff.
  • The department places the new workers into their respective departments.
  • The department handles the transfer of staff and the retirement of the staff.
  • The department gives the required orientation.
  • The department recommends staff for promotion and motivation.
  • The department deals with the overall staff welfare.
  • The department dialogues with organizations, unions, and management on the issues affecting the company.
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3. Sales and Marketing Department

This department in some organizations called is the marketing department. It is a department that makes sure the finished goods of an organization are transferred to the customers at profit. This unit is usually headed by Marketing Manager or Sales Manager.

Functions of Sales or Marketing Department

The following are the functions of the sales or marketing department:

  • The department identifies the needs of the customers.
  • The department handles both cash and credit sales of the company products.
  • The department keeps accurate records and maintenance of company’s products until there is a need for them in a store room.
  • The department seeks customers’ opinions on organizations’ products and liaises with the production and research department on ways to improve the quality of products.
  • The department places price tags for goods meant for sale
  • The department receives repairs or replaces customers’ products returned to the organization as a result of defects.
  • The finds a market for goods produced through products and advertisements.
  • The keeps the sales receipts to determine the organization’s net profit or loss as the case may be.

The above functions of the sales or marketing department are carried out by many sales representatives who are accountable to the main cashier.

4. Finance Department

This department is also called the Accounts Department and is headed by the Chief Accountant, Finance Director, or Bursar depending on the nature of the organization. The unit is charged with the responsibility of handling all financial-related matters.

Functions of the Finance Department or Account Department

The following are the functions of the  financial or account department:

  • The department handles and controls an organization’s finances.
  • The department keeps records of money received by an organization.
  • The department plans the company’s finance for some time through budgeting.
  • The department gives adequate funds to other offices/departments in an organization.
  • The department handles pay slips and salaries of staff.
  • The department settles the organization’s debt.
  • The department deduces tax remittance to the tax office where the organization operates.
  • The department prepares necessary monetary records for easy auditing.
  • The department retires invoices accordingly from various departments.
  • The department reconciles ledger accounts to prevent fraud.
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5. Planning Department

This is the department that sets goals and objectives for the organization compares these actual results with the standard set and if there are deviations, takes corrective measures at the right time. The head of this department is mostly someone that has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration/Management and it is called Planning Manager.

Functions of the Planning Department

The functions of the  Planning Department include:

  • The department sets the objectives of an organization.
  • The department finds the best ways of achieving set objectives.
  • The department monitors the organization’s activities toward achieving set objectives.
  • The department works with other departments to increase the organization’s wealth.
  • The department finds ways to ensure that an organization succeeds in a competitive environment.
  • The department takes corrective measures when there are deviations from set goals.

6. Transport Department

A transport unit is a unit or department that is saddled with the responsibility of providing all the logistics to make the products of an organization available to the final consumers. The head of the department is Transport Manager.

Functions of Transport Department/Unit

The functions of the transport department/unit include:

  • The department provides vehicles for delivery companies’ products.
  • The department makes available vehicles for purchasing raw materials needed to manufacture of the company’s products.
  • The department provides sales vans needed product advertisements.
  • The department arranges vehicles for staff traveling outside the organization.
  • The department increases sales and increases turnaround in terms of profit through the delivery of customer goods.
  • The department maintains and repairs the company’s vehicles.

8. Production Department

This department is particular to a manufacturing company and it deals primarily with the conversion of raw materials into finished goods. The head of the department is a Production Manager.

Functions of the Production Department

The following are the functions of production department:

  • The department converts raw materials into finished goods.
  • The department produces goods of the right quality and quantity.
  • The department registers the company’s products with the authorized regulatory agency such as NAFDAC in Nigeria and others.
  • The department works with purchasing department to acquire the right quality raw materials for production.
  • The department ensures the maintenance and repair of factory machines and equipment.
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8. Purchasing Department

This department is charged with the responsibility of buying the right quality and quantify all raw materials, components, spare parts, and all the goods needed by an organization at the right time and right quantity. It is headed by a Purchasing Manager.

Functions of Purchasing Department

The following are the functions of purchasing department:

  • The department obtains up-to-date information the suppliers.
  • The department must understand the market condition of raw materials and goods to be bought.
  • The department solicits for quotations and compares the prices quoted.
  • The department places an orders for the supply of goods and raw materials and goods.
  • The department ensures that goods bought are of the right quality and quantity.
  • The department certifies invoice for payment.


The departments discussed above have not been exhausted. There are other useful departments can work to the growth and success of the company, depending on the size of the company. In a large organization, there are different sections or units still under departments.

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