How To Register A Charitable Trust Or Foundation In Kenya

This is a step by step guide on how to register a charitable trust or foundation in Kenya. A charitable trust is an entity that is established to hold and oversee assets on behalf or for the benefit of other people. They are mainly established for charitable purposes, on matters such as education, social, athletic, literary, scientific and religious activities.

Trusts in Kenya are established under the Trustees Act or Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act (Cap 164 of the Laws of Kenya).

Charitable trusts are exempted from income tax if formed for relief of poverty, distress or advancement of education and religion.

Here is how to register a charitable trust or foundation in Kenya.


  • Name of the Trust
  • Objective of the Trust
  • Physical address of the Trust or foundation
  • Residence of the Trust
  • Trust Deed
  • Names and addresses of the Trustees, copies of ID/Passport, KRA PIN certificates, statement of their accounts, seal of trust and minutes appointing the trustees.
  • Administration of the Trust
  • Financial statement of the Trust
  • Statement of donor funding (if applicable)

Procedure For Registering A Charitable Trust In Kenya

1. Preparation Of Trust Deed

The trust deed must be prepared and should contain the name of the trust, objectives of the trust, names and addresses of the trustees, powers of the trustees to change and appoint other trustees.

2. Payment Of Stamp Duty

The trust document should be duly signed by all the trustees before being submitted for stamp duty.

The trust deed is stamped with a nominal duty of Kshs 200, then later presented for registration at the Registry of Documents at Ardhi House.

3. Registration

Registration involves two stages; Registration under the Registry of Documents Act and Incorporation under the Perpetual Successions Act.

  • Registration Under The Registry Of Documents Act

The registry of documents is established under the Registry of Documents Act (Chapter 285 of the laws of Kenya).

The registration process takes about 1 to 3 weeks. At this point, the trust is not yet transformed into a body corporate trust. The trust can however commence implementation of the trust’s objects, as a simple trust.

  • Incorporation Under Perpetual Succession Act

A certified copy of the trust deed and a petition for incorporation is lodged with the Ministry of Lands for the incorporation of trust. This is after registration under the registry of documents.

It must be stated that trustees require the incorporation of trust and provide a representation of the common seal of trust which is rounded in shape and with the name of the trust inscribed.

It takes about 3 to 6 months for the issuance of a certificate of incorporation by the Minister for Lands.

Zack Abuyeka

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