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An Easy Way to Register a Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenya

To operate a business in Kenya, it is a legal requirement to register it. You can register a business online through the eCitizen portal. You also need to get the necessary business permits to operate a business in Kenya. You can register the following types of business in Kenya.

Read more: Types of business permits you need in Kenya. 

  • A sole proprietorship
  • A private or public registered company
  • A partnership
  • A limited liability partnership
  • A branch office of a foreign company
  • A business society 

How to Register a Company in Kenya

You can register your business online through the eCitizen portal. Through the eCitizen portal, you can do a name search with the Registrar of companies. If the business name is available, you can register it conveniently. You will need to create an eCitizen account if you don't have one yet.

To register on the eCitizen portal, you need to have a valid email address and ID. Once you have registered, then log in and you will see different government agencies. Click Business Registration Service.

Business Name Registration

The first step when registering a business is to register a business name. You will need to do a name search before registering it. For a single business name search in Kenya, you need to pay a fee of Ksh 150.  You can make the payment using M-Pesa or debit card.

You will be redirected to a page where you can register your business name. Enter your preferred business name and other details. Once you are done, check after two days and the business name search results will be available in the portal. If the business name has been approved, you can go ahead and register it.

To register a business in Kenya, you need to describe the nature and activities of your business. Indicate the business name and the address of the company. You must also provide full details of the proprietors and their addresses. National IDs or passports and passport-sized photos of the proprietors, directors and shareholders must also be submitted. You need to pay Ksh 800 for registration and Ksh 50 as a convenience fee.

Business Registration Fees in Kenya

To register a company in Kenya, you need to pay a fee of Ksh 10,650. You can do the registration online and download the business certificate from the eCitizen portal when it is available.

To register a sole proprietorship or a partnership business, you need to pay a fee of Ksh 1,000. The registration process takes one week. The certificate is available on the eCitizen portal for download a week after registration.   

Documents to Present when Registering a Company

Documents to present when registering a business vary depending on the type of business you are registering. The following are the most common documents you need to submit when registering a company in Kenya.

  • Memorandum of association. It highlights the objectives of the company in terms of its structure, regulations, and share capital. It regulates how the company relates to external stakeholders. 
  • Articles of association. This document contains the rules and regulations of the company. It is crucial in managing the internal affairs of the company.
  • Form CR1. This form provides details about the company's share capital, number and class of shares. It contains the details of the directors, secretary and company's signatories.
  • Form CR2. This form has details of the subscribers' names and the value, number, and rights of the nominal shares owned by each subscriber.
  • Form CR8. This form provides details about the physical address of all directors of the company. It also contains the company's name and type, the liability of members and the company's share capital.
  • Form CR14. This form is essential during the whole registration process and it reserves a company's business name.
  • Tax Pin certificates. You need to get a copy of the tax PINs of the shareholders and directors of the company.
  • ID or passports of the directors. You must scan both sides of an ID or passport. Make sure that if it is an ID, all details are visible. 
  • Passport size photos. You need to present a passport-sized photo of the directors and shareholders taken less than 6 months ago. 

Read more: Business incubators in Kenya for business growth.