The Basics Of How To Register A Business In Kenya

How To Register A Business In Kenya

Venturing into entrepreneurship (starting a business) is one of the easiest ways for anyone in Kenya to earn a decent living.

However, if you want to make your business formal or make it look credible in the eyes of your customers, then there is a need for you to register it.

Unlike in the past when business owners had to present documents of their business to the registrar of companies or go through a lawyer to have their business registered, a lot has changed. The process of registering a business in Kenya today has been made easier and more affordable. Thanks to the Country’s Business Registering Service.

So if you own a business in Kenya and it hasn’t been registered, then this article is for you. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to register a business in Kenya as well as other things the registration process entails.

What Permits Are Required To Run A Business In Kenya?

When it comes to starting a business in Kenya, it is expected that you obtain a business permit from the respective county government where you want to start your business. It is the responsibility of the county government to issue a single business permit for you to operate your business.

Meanwhile, the type of permit required to run a business in Kenya depends on the type of business, the activities, the locations the number of employees, etc.

However, the most important permit required to run a business in Kenya is known as the “Unified Business Permit”. The unified business permit is also known as the single business permit. It is the type of permit that consolidates all the required licenses for running a business within the county.

This type of permit includes the following licenses: a fire clearance certificate, a trading license, a health certificate, an advertising signage license, and a food hygiene license.

Most importantly, you should know that this business license is just valid for one year, after which you opt-in for renewal.

How Much Is Business Permit In Kenya?

The cost of a business permit varies based on the type of business, size of business, and location.

For example, a mega store, and hypermarket business permits cost about Ksh 90,000. A large trader, shop, retail store, or personal service business permit costs you Ksh 8,000. A medium trader, shop, or retail service business permit will cost you Ksh 4,000. While a small trader, shop, or retail service business permit will cost you Ksh 2000.

Also, know that this cost can go higher depending on the number of employees.

How Do Foreigners Register A Business In Kenya?

When it comes to registering a business in Kenya as a foreigner it comes in two ways. Either registering a local company or registering a foreign branch. Regardless, here are the steps to follow to register your business in Kenya as a foreigner:

1. Choosing A Business Name: The first step that comes with registering a foreign company is choosing a business name and ensuring that no entity is answering it.

Once the name is approved, it will be reserved for 30 days. Meanwhile, BRS requires a minimum of 3 names to be submitted.

2. Ensure that the objectives of the business operation are legal and not against public policy.

3. The names of the directors, their contact details and email should be indicated on the application for registration as required by the KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority).

4. A means and proof of identification should be provided during registration, and note that an international passport is a must.

5. Passport photography of each director should be provided.

6. As a foreigner, you must provide a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificate copy to prove registration with the tax authority.

7. Also, the directors must sign the following forms and submit them during registration:

1. Form CR1: Company’s registration form
2. Form CR2: Memorandum of the company with share capital
3. Form CR8: Notice of registered address form
4. And the statement of national capital by all directors

However, after submitting all the required documents, a certificate of incorporation is therefore received from the Kenya Registrar of Companies. Meanwhile, if it is a foreign branch that was registered, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued.

Most importantly, to register a business as a foreigner here in Kenya, it is advisable to consult with experts to guide you through.

How Much Does It Cost To Register A Business In Kenya?

However, the cost of registering a business in Kenya varies due to the type of business you are registering and the size of the business. But all the same, you should budget between Ksh 950 to Ksh 25,000 to register a business in Kenya.

What Are The Steps To Register A Business In Kenya?

First of all, before we dive into the steps required to register a business in Kenya, let’s list out the checklist for business registration. The checklist is:

1. PIN certificate
2. Payment Receipt
3. 3 passport photos
4. Statement of particulars
5. Payment invoice for a business permit
6. Payment invoice for application fee
7. 2 copies of the application for Name Reservation (CRI4)
8. 4 copies of identity card
9. 2 copies of the name reservation letter
10. Assessed statement of particulars
11. Approved business permit application form
12. 2 copies of the business permit application form.

Now let’s delve into how to register a business in Kenya using the above checklist

1. Company Name Reservation Stage

1. First you have to register on eCitizen
2. Then apply and pay for a company name search
3. After that you obtain the company name reservation

2. Registering Your Company

1. At this stage, you apply and pay for company registration
2. You now have to submit the signed application forms
3. Next is to obtain company registration documents

3. The Stage Of Taxpayer Registration

1. The taxpayer registration stage requires you to apply for company KRA PIN (Kenya Revenue Authority, Personal Identification Number)
2. Then you submit the KRA PIN acknowledgment receipt
3. On the last stage of taxpayer registration, you now obtain the company KRA PIN

4. Obtaining Unified Business Permit

1. This involves the verification of business application permit forms, assessment of business license fees, obtaining invoices for business permits and paying for the license fees, and finally obtaining the unified business permit.

5. The Stage Of National Hospital Insurance Form (NHIF)

1. You have to apply for NHIF employer registration
2. And obtain NHIF employers code

6. The Stage Of Social Security Fund Registration

1. At this stage, you apply for NSSF employer registration
2. And then obtain an NSSF certificate of registration

After all these steps, your business will be fully registered.

Ambassador Victor Chidera
Ambassador Victor ChideraAmbassador Victor Chidera is a business consultant, writer and a blogger. He provides lots of professional and expert advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations. He has many years of experience in business, teaching field, and research work. And his aim is to provide business articles that matters to you both nationally and internationally.
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