Here are few tips on how to register your business in Kenya
Process: Obtain approval for the company name from the Registrar of Companies Proposed name must be reserved pending registration (Name can only be reserved for 30 days). Apply in writing, should be accompanied with the requisite fee.

Docs Required:

Fees Payable: This costs Ksh100 per name reservation.
Remarks: This process takes 4 days.

Incorporation of company

Process: Forms for incorporation of company should be drawn by a lawyer, who should submit the same to the Registry together with the prescribed forms and fees.

Docs Required: Documents for incorporation of company (i.e. memorandum and Articles of Association). Forms available at the Registry.

Fees Payable:


  • All companies must appoint a qualified certified public secretary as company secretary
  • Certificate of Incorporation is processed within 7(seven) days of presentation of PROPERLY completed forms
  • Refusal of registration is communicated in writing to the applicant

This process takes 7 days.

Pay stamp duty

Process: Two copies of the document go to the Lands Registry, one is retained by you and the other by the bank.

Docs Required: You begin by collecting four forms from the Kenya Revenue Authority at Times Towers.

Fees Payable: The amount of money that you pay depends on your declared nominal capital There is also a bank charge of Ksh100.

Remarks: This process takes a day to complete.

Declaration of compliance

Process: According to the Companies Act (Cap. 486), an advocate engaged in the formation of the company or a director or company secretary named in the Articles must sign Form 208, the declaration of compliance, which accompanies the registration documents to be submitted to the Registrar of Companies.

Docs Required: Document required for this process is form 208

Fees Payable: This costs Ksh200

Remarks: This process takes a day to complete.

File Deeds at Registrars office

Process: You will be required to file the incorporation deed and the required documents and forms (listed below) with the Registrar of Companies (located at the Attorney General’s Chambers), which includes:

  • Stamped memorandum and articles of association
  • Statement of capital
  • Form 201, Notice of Situation of Registered Office
  • Form 203, Particulars of Directors and Secretary
  • Form 208, Declaration of compliance with the Companies Act
  • Copy of the company name approval

Docs Required:
Fees Payable: Filing fee for three forms: Ksh600 (ksh200 per form) Fee schedule:

  • For the first Ksh100, 000: Ksh 2,800
  • For every Ksh20,000 after the first Ksh 100,000: Ksh 120, subject to a maximum of Ksh 60,000

Remarks: This process takes 7-14 days. The fee schedule is dependent on the declaration of compliance.

Register with the Tax Department for a PIN and VAT

Process: Registration for a personal and a company identification number (PIN) is required to register for the VAT (PIN certificates of at least two directors or 2 shareholders or a director and the secretary are required).

Docs Required: This can be done online or at the KRA offices at Times towers.
Fees Payable: There is no charge.

Remarks: This process takes a day. Due to new online reforms, the application for a PIN and VAT registration can now be done concurrently on-line. Unless the KRA has already received confirmation of incorporation of the company from the Companies Registry, one must still submit the Certificate of Incorporation and receive log-in details from the KRA for the purpose of applying for a PIN and VAT registration.

Apply for a business permit

Process: The fee to apply for a business permit varies by type of business, number of employees, and size of the company’s premises.The fee is payable to the Nairobi City Council, Licensing Department. You will need office space prior to submitting this application.

Docs Required:
Fees Payable: Fee schedule for business permit:

  • Medium trader, shop, or retail service from 5 to 20 employees and/or premises 50–300 sq. m. (fair location): KES 5,000
  • Mid-size business of 50 employees and premises 300 sq. m.: about KES 20,000 to KES 50,000, depending on the nature of the business

Remarks: Applicants having obtained a business permit to operate from one local authority will not be required to obtain another business permit in another local authority. In addition, business permit applicants will have an opportunity to elect whether to apply for a 1- or 2-year permit. The 2006 law also eliminated the requirement to obtain a trading license in addition to the permit. This process takes 5 days.

Register with the national social security fund (NSSF)

Process: The National Social Security Fund provides the employee with a lump-sum retirement benefit. Historically, the rate of return paid by the state is considerably less than that achieved by private schemes, but participation is mandatory.

Docs Required: Documents are available at NSSF building.

Fees Payable: The employer pays a standard contribution of about 1% of salary, subject to a maximum of KES 400 per month. Half the contribution is deductible from the employee’s salary. The precise amount of the contribution (where less than the maximum) is determined by reference to salary bands.

Remarks: This process takes a day.

Register with the national hospital insurance fund (NHIF)

Process: The employee contributes a fixed sum to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), which must be deducted by the employer from the employees’ salary.

Docs Required: Forms to be filled out at NHIF offices.

Fees Payable: The maximum contribution is KES 320 per month.

Remarks: The contributions to NHIF are used to offset the costs of medical treatment, but they only cover a fraction of actual costs. You might consider getting medical insurance for your employees.This process takes a day and there are no application charges.

Register for P.A.Y.E (pay as you earn)

Process: This is done at times towers and can be done alongside the pin and Vat registration.

Docs Required:
Fees Payable: There are no charges.
Remarks: This process takes a day.

Make a company seal

Process: Seals are made by private entities who require sight of a copy of the certificate of incorporation.

Docs Required:
Fees Payable: Costs depend on the entities creating the seal.

Important Contacts
Important Contacts
City Council of Nairobi
City Hall, 1st Floor
E-mail :
Tel no : (020) 202214323
Website :
Kenya Revenue Authorities
Times towers
E-mail :
Tel no : +254 (020) 4999 999
+254 (020) 4998 000
+254 (0711) 099 999
Website :
Registrar of Companies
Sheria house
Website :
National social security fund building
E-mail :
Tel no : 0722-204192
(020) 2729911,2710552
Website :
NHIF building (city centre) Other branches country wide
E-mail :
Tel no : 0800 22135649
(Toll Free) : (020) 2723255/56
(020) 2714793/94
(020) 2722527
Entrepreneurial Learning

Business registration is probably a big process to deal with. But it is necessary that you register it, as if you don’t it can lead to problems. The steps appear to be simple, you got to first register the name of your business, incorporation of it, stamp duty and all the paper required. After which you got to register it with the registration department and also with the income tax department. Then follow up with the other procedures like applying for business permit and getting the company seal. So consult a legal expert, find out about the procedures set by your government and the country.

You may also like

Growing a Business

Want Great Guidance ? Find yourself a Super Mentor


They are the gods of small businesses, those inspired individuals who have achieved the highest levels of success. They can be the shining beacons who light up the path of running your business with their vision, wisdom and wealth of resources and contacts. They are The Mentors.

If you are fired with the passion to take your business to great heights, the best thing to do is find yourself a super mentor. Here are some tips to help in your quest

Pinpoint your Need

Sit down and focus your thoughts on your business growth strategy. Which area of the business needs a lift. Is is staffing, is it the finances, is it the production, is it the your lack of customers or is it the business as a whole that needs a makeover. Once you’ve zoomed in on the sore spot, this is where you need…

Read More
Growing a Business

Dreaming Big? You can Move Mountains with these Business Productivty Tips


You may be full of admiration for some people who seem to manage themselves and their work so usefully and efficiently. They seem to fit in so much productive work into the same number of hours which everyone has.. Let’s look what makes them tick and take a few tips.

Learn to identify your most productive hours

Its true, most productive people know which time of the day they can be most creative and efficient. They identify and allot these hours for the best part of their work. This way they are able to give their 100% awareness to the job and business productivity.

Early to rise- A winning habit

Waking up early is a personal habit that has all the plusses on its side. You need not necessarily go to work that early. It’s a habit that gives you more time for personal care, like mediation, exercise, walking,…

Read More
Growing a Business

Leadership Qualities that can make you an Icon


You may have reached the leadership position through sheer dedication to performance and a do or die attitude . Now that you are at the top, your viewpoint needs to change. You have to now be a role model, one whom others will look up to and follow. Here are some tips that can shape your leadership and management skills

Be Competent: Employees will look up to a leader who has good industry knowledge and management skills. If you do not possess these skills you should surround yourself with knowledgeable people who can offer good counsel. Competence is a trait all employees will admire.

Be Trustworthy: No one will look up to a person they cannot trust. Your employees will want to rely on you and count on you. In difficult situations, leaders are expected to apprise their employees of the situations and find solutions on how to address…

Read More
Raising Money

Are You offering Your Services Using the Right Pricing Strategies?


In these times of fierce competition, business people , mostly those that offer services and belong to the service based industry, are finding it a challenge to implement the right pricing strategies. It is virtually a struggle to set the right business price that will retain and attract the customers, and not drive them away. Follow these tips, the crucial dos and don’t s and you may be in a much better position to offer your services at the best price.

Maintain your Business identity and Dignity

If you are offering a unique or special product or service, don’t underrate it just because you want to build a better relationship with the customer. This will just cheapen your offering as another run of the mill. If its something special you are offering the customer, then communicate this fact to the client and get the equation right with the most…

Read More
Raising Money

What is a Fair Wage? How Do you Assess Fair Wage?


How do you figure out a fair wage?

This is a very common question for startups and small businesses. They can’t seem to decide or understand how to set wages and manage reputations at a time. They are determined to pay well but they also have to think about encouraging their employees to stay with them for a long time. This is why there is a need to think strategically.

Listed below are a few expert tips to help you decide:

Don’t Focus Only on Money

Money should never be the main focus for you or for your employees. You should decide on the wages in such a way that your employees are tied to your business. When your business does well they should be able to taste that success and vice versa.

Also, think about additional perks such as exclusive benefits and time off. Many employees value this more than the overall…

Read More
Raising Money

Tips to Winning Hard Negotiations With Ease


While some negotiations are easy, others are quite hard to win. If you stumble you will lose.

Whether it is a potential client or an investor, negotiations can be very tough and frustrating. The problem is that the moment you let your frustration overwhelm you, you will lose the deal and you will give in to whatever is being offered to you. In order to avoid that, here are tips to overcome tough times and to win even the hard negotiations:


Know your opponent as well as possible. This is the rule no matter what you do. You should understand your opponent to the T. Who the person is, what his culture is, what he thinks, what he stands for, how is his network, etc. are the questions you should ask yourself and answer through research before meeting up for the negotiation. Understanding the opponent will give you a great advantage.


Read More