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:

Remarks:

  • 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 : info@nairobicity.go.ke
townclerk@nairobi.go.ke
Tel no : (020) 202214323
Website : www.nairobicity.go.ke
Kenya Revenue Authorities
Times towers
E-mail : callcentre@kra.go.ke
Tel no : +254 (020) 4999 999
+254 (020) 4998 000
+254 (0711) 099 999
Website : www.revenue.go.ke
Registrar of Companies
Sheria house
Website : www.attorney-general.go.ke
NSSF
National social security fund building
E-mail : info@nssfkenya.co.ke
Tel no : 0722-204192
0734-699926
0734-333238
(020) 2729911,2710552
Website : www.nssf.or.ke
NHIF
NHIF building (city centre) Other branches country wide
E-mail : customercare@nhif.or.ke
info@nhif.or.ke
complaints@nhif.or.ke
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.

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