How to Register a Company in Kenya
Learn the essentials of registering a company in Kenya, including conducting a name search, submitting incorporation documents, obtaining licenses and permits, and more.
Kenya, known for its dynamic business environment and strong economic potential, provides an excellent platform for starting a business. While registering a company in Kenya has been made more straightforward over the years, it still necessitates a clear understanding of the procedures and requirements. This comprehensive guide will shed light on registering a company in Kenya, making the journey smoother for Kenyan citizens and foreign investors.
An Overview of Company Registration in Kenya
Starting a business in Kenya, whether by a Kenyan or a foreigner, has been made more accessible and less expensive due to the government's initiatives to streamline the process. The registration procedure, which once was daunting, can now be completed from the comfort of your home or office. Nonetheless, preparing in advance is crucial as the process can take several weeks, especially if your documents are not in order.
Online Company Registration in Kenya: Step-by-Step Guide
Registering a company in Kenya has been made simpler with the advent of the eCitizen portal, a one-stop online government services platform. Following are the steps to register your company online:
Opening an eCitizen Account
The initial step involves creating an eCitizen account. This process requires an active email address, a phone number, and a valid national ID or passport. You will also need a recent passport-sized photo in a soft copy format.
- Connect to the internet and launch your browser.
- Navigate to the eCitizen portal and create an account.
- Verify your account by entering the one-time password sent to your mobile number.
Conducting a Name Search and Reservation
Once your account is active, the next step is to conduct a name search and reservation for your company. Be mindful of the naming guidelines set by the Business Registration Service in Kenya.
- Navigate to the "Business Registration Service" and click the "Get-Service" button.
- Start your application and choose the type of your company.
- Apply for Name Search and Reservation, which takes one day to process.
Filling in Company Registration Forms
Upon name approval, the next step is to fill in the required company registration forms.
- Fill in the company details on form CR1, specifying your firm's name, type, and contact address.
- Specify your company's directors on form CR8.
- Declare your business' nominal capital on the BN6 questionnaire.
- Pay the required stamp duty equivalent to 1% of your nominal capital.
- Draft the Memorandum and Articles of Association detailing your company's objectives, rules, share capital, and subscribers.
Finalizing Registration and Collecting Business Certificate
The final registration stage involves submitting all the completed forms and paying the registration fee.
- Collect and seal all the necessary documents in a large envelope and address them to the Registrar of Companies.
- Pay the registration fee of Ksh—10,650 via the eCitizen portal or a credit card at the Registrar's office.
- Upon successful registration, download your Business registration certificate from your eCitizen account.
In conclusion, the Kenyan government has made considerable efforts to simplify starting a business. With the guidance in this article, you should be able to navigate the process with relative ease, whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner.
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