Previously, the process of registering a company in Kenya was the most challenging as it was lengthy, costly and tedious. For this reason, many young people that were just starting up in life would give up halfway. This prompted the government to simplify the whole procedure of registration of companies. For once, the entire process now costs less, can be done in just three simple steps and the comfort of one’s house. This is because as from the 15th October 2017, an individual can perform a name search and register their company name entirely online on the eCitizen platform and no manual registration of businesses will be conducted by the registrar of companies. Additionally, it is now possible for a person to register a business on their own unlike in the past.
How to Register a Company in Kenya
The Registrar of Companies is the only mandated entity in charge of business registrations in the country. He/she controls the issuance of certificates of compliance for international companies, certificates of incorporation for local firms and licenses of registering for sole proprietorship or partnerships.
To open a business in Kenya, one must register with the three primary government entities including National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Business Name Reservation is made on the eCitizen platform. Once logged in, click on the Business Registration Service followed by Make Application. This will lead you to a new page where you need to tap the Business Name Registration. The next step will be to select the type of business you would like to open as well as its preferred name. For instance, if it’s a sole proprietorship you want to apply, choose Business Name registration and if it’s a private Limited company, select that option and so on.
Name searches are processed in 24 hours, and only one name can be submitted at a time. This is done daily from Monday to Friday between 8 am to 5 pm excluding weekends and public holidays. During this process, you need to have the following information as it will be required to fill the business name registration. These include business name suggestions, nature of the business, plot no or land ref number, street name, town name, your gender, Nationality postal address, full names as in National ID, age in years and residence location. Additionally, you will need two recent colored passport photographs and a copy of your KRA PIN Certificate to register a company online in Kenya.
Once your submission is approved, the preferred business name will be reserved for 30 days. During this time you can pay and register the business name. In case you get a reject, then it means that the name you selected has already been used or is contrary to public policy; hence, you will need to resubmit using a different name. The entire process of name search is sh 150. This is the first step to register a business.