Apixaban is a novel oral anticoagulant. Synthesis of apixaban intermediate from nitroaniline and 5-chloro-valeryl chloride is described through four steps, including acylation-cyclization, chlorination to the dichloro-intermediate, condensation-elimination of the chloro groups and cyclization-elimination. The total yield of the 4-step procedure is 58.1%. The raw materials are easily available, the reaction steps are less, the reaction condition is mild, and the high product purity (by HPLC) reaches 99.5%. The procedure provides raw material for synthesis of apixaban.