How to register a business in kenya
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You are here mainly because you are wondering how to register your business in Kenya so you can conduct business legitimately. 

You can register three types of businesses; a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a company which are registered on Kenya’s ecitizen platform. The e-citizen platform is your gate-way to government to citizens services. 

Because the ecitizen business registration process can be complex, we wrote you a step to step guide on how you can register your business in Kenya seamlessly.  

Before registering that business however, here is a checklist of things you should already have: 

BUSINESS REGISTRATION CHECKLIST

  1. Passport photos
  2. 2 copies of application for name reservation
  3. Statements of particulars
  4. Double copies of reservation letter 
  5. Four copies of identity card
  6. Pin certificate
  7. Assessed statement of particulars 
  8. Payment receipt 
  9. 2 copies of business permit for application and approved business permit. Applied under www.nairobi.go.ke (click on the E-services, the system will give you options where you have to go straight to eDevelopment permit system)
  10. Invoice for application Fees
  11. Invoice for business permit payment  

Legal

Registration of a company has been made easier in Kenya via the citizen portal at the comfort of your home or anywhere the platform allows one to carry out the business registration process at your own convenience this is after manual registration was abolished in October 2017.

How to register a business in kenya
The E-Citizen Platform Kenya

Business name search 

  • First one has to log in their eCitizen account following the link  www.ecitizen.go.ke that’s if you have an account already, if not you can sign up there (there is a sign up button which will guide you there) after some few minutes you will receive an email for verification just click on the link shared and you will have your account within minutes
  • Once you have logged in, you will be able to see different government agencies, you can interact with there, click on the business registration services button which has various options
  • There you will be directed to a tab where you will have to register your business name first
  • Enter your preferred name 
  • Then you have to pay Ksh 150 by your preferred method either by mpesa /debit/credit cards   for every name search (this is to ensure there is no other company with the same name and its often advised that at least have 2 more names just in case) 
  • The name will be available on the portal within one or two business days, once your name is approved now you move on to register your business 

Registering your business is where one need to have documents which will help to register

  • A completed registration form (available for download on the portal)
  • Your capital statement 
  • Memorandum and article of association 
  • Shareholder’s details, one can be required to upload scanned copies of your ID cards or passport, Kra pin certificate which is found under www.kra.go.ke  and a recent coloured passport photographs. Registration of the shareholders have to done on iTax platform.
  • Yours physical residential address of directors 
  • Company registration fee which equals to Ksh 10,650

Registration takes a week or 2 and your business certificate will be available on the eCitizen platform for download

Note that you can now register a company with one person as both the shareholder and director.

Sole Proprietorship Registration

  • Login and go to the business registration tab, click on the partnership Go to the Business registration tab and click on the sole proprietorship tab.
  • The system will direct you to an empty BN2 form which you will have to fill with correct details 
  • Upload scanned ID card or passport, KRA PIN certificate and recent coloured passport photographs of partners.
  • Sole proprietorship registration fee – Ksh 1,000

Ps. The registration will also take a week and the certificate will be on the platform for download

Company registration 

  • You create an account at the government services website a ( ecitizen.go.ke ).
  • Go to the Attorney General section ,do a name search
  • Upload 3 scanned passport photos,application for name reservation (CR14), 2 copies of name reservation letter,4 copies of ID , 2 copies of business permit.
  • Upload also the Taxpayers registration,KRA PIN certificate.
  • You need to state the primary activity of the company,when the company is starting,number of employees and reason for starting up the business 
  • Company registration fee Ksh 10650 

Partnership registration 

  • Registering a liability Partnership  is a fairly simple procedure.
  • Go to business registration tab and click on the partnership
  • You will be redirected to an empty BN2 form which you will be required to fill with the relevant details. 
  • Upload ID card or Passport, KRA PIN certificate and recent colored passport photographs of partners.
  • Statement of particulars (form LLP1) is then filled with the relevant information. 
  • Signed by the partners and the manager.
  • Registration fee Ksh 25000

The following are follow-up steps you should take when waiting for your business certificate

  • Register for VAT (value added Tax) this is the consumption tax on goods and services 

 Charged to the consumers, this will help your company to earn trust from customers and it will also help you apply for tenders and contracts

  • Keeping your financial and records up to date

Managing finances is something a lot of people struggle with and if you have a business, you need to be well prepared, opening a bank account for your business will come in handy here.

You wouldn’t want to mix your personal money and business money. 

  • Have your accounts updated, all your financials progress should be recorded this will also help when you need some goods returned.
  • Know your tax requirements and the deadlines. 

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