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How to Start a Chemist Retail Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike SME

To start a retail chemist business in Kenya, you must have a degree or diploma in Pharmacy from a reputable institution. Chemists are profitable businesses, but to register a business, you must meet all the set requirements. Once you have met the minimum requirements and the certifications, you can proceed to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board to get a license for your chemist retail business.

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Requirements for Starting a Chemist Retail Business in Kenya

To start a retail chemist business in Kenya, you must make an application for registration. You need the following when making an application:

  • A registered business, either sole proprietorship, partnership, or a limited company
  • Application for registration of premises
  • Copies of academic testimonials of the chemist superintendent
  • Floor plan of the chemist premises
  • A copy of the enrollment certificate from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board

You will need to fill in the following application forms for a chemist retail business in Kenya.

  • Form 27. It is an application for an annual practice license for chemist business.
  • Form 4. It is an application for registration of premises for the chemist business.
  • Annex 1. It is a confidential questionnaire for premises of the chemist business.

You can register for a license from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board in the following ways: 

  • As a partnership, if all of you or any of you have medical certification.
  • Sole proprietorship
  • A limited company

You need to state the kind of business you want to start when applying for the license.

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Retail Chemist Business License Processing

You must attach all the necessary documents and requirements and submit them to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. Once they have received your application, they will evaluate and respond in writing whether your application is successful. If it is successful, the Practice Committee of the board will schedule an interview for the superintendent. 

If the interview is successful, the next thing is the inspection of the chemist business premises. The pharmaceutical inspector carries out the inspection, and the report will be presented in the form of a report. If the whole process is successful, the applicant will be issued a certificate of registration of the premises.

If the process is unsuccessful, the applicant will be advised with reasons the application was unsuccessful. Unsuccessful applicants are given a chance to revise and reapply.

Read More: Business licenses to run a business in Kenya

Pharmacy Business Premises

The premises of a pharmacy are among factors considered during pharmacy registration process. The following are the approved pharmacy premises.

  • Premises for a pharmacist. For business operations of the pharmacist.
  • Premises for wholesale. For business operations of the wholesaler pharmacist.
  • Premises for a pharmaceutical technologist. For operations of a pharmaceutical technologist. 

How to Start a Retail Chemist Business in Kenya

Once you have applied for the licenses, the next thing you need to do is to design a chemist business plan. A business plan is essential for any business to keep track of business goals. Capture the business name, startup costs, market segmentation like the competition and startup equipment.

Cost of Starting Retail Chemist Business in Kenya

The cost of starting a retail chemist business in Kenya ranges between Ksh 600,000 to Ksh 2 million. The cost depends on the business location and the size of the business. The following is a breakdown of the startup costs of a retail chemist in Kenya.

RequirementsCosts
Annual practicing license2,500
Premises registration 5,000
Trading license  10,000
3 months rent 30,000
Equipment50,000
Stock 500,000

Besides the above requirements, you may also need the following equipment for a chemist retail business.

  • Weighing balance
  • Spatula and slab
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Measuring cylinders
  • Refrigerator
  • Reference books

Retail Pharmacy Business Location

Setting up your retail pharmacy business in a developing area is essential for business success. Also, it should be an accessible area by on foot traffic customers and near residential areas. Nairobi, Kisumu, Thika, Mombasa, Eldoret and Nakuru towns are the right places to set up a chemist. 

Is Chemist Retail Business Profitable in Kenya?

Chemist retail business is a profitable venture if set up in a high income generating areas with high traffic. Holding all other factors constant, a chemist can make between Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 15,000 daily. It implies that you can get back your return on investment within a short period. To increase your revenues, you can run your chemist retail business concurrently with money transfer services like M-Pesa.

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