Starting your own company is one of the best decisions you can make in your life. However, before having the company you need to make sure that you’ve met all the legal requirements of the Kenyan government. This includes registering your company which will enable you to get public procurement.
Many young people in Kenya have tried to form companies either as groups or as individuals but the process has been lengthy and tedious. However, its now easy to register a company through the eCitizen portal. Here are the steps you must follow in order to register your company ;
1. Reserve your business name
First, you will do a search of the name and reserve it for up to 30 days. This has never been an expensive task as it takes only Sh100. It can be done at Huduma centre or via the eCitizen portal. It’s at this stage whereby you will also need to come up with one specific nature of business e.g. Tours & Travel.
Please note that you are only allowed to perform one name search at a time.
You can perform name search at any of the Huduma Centres or visit eCitizen website
Also Read: How To Choose a Good Business Name in Kenya
3. The next requirement will be to get a registered lawyer to prepare the Memorandum and Articles of Association which is modifiable.
4. Once your company name has been reserved, you will need to provide your information that will be used to prepare your company documents.
Here are some of the information that you will need to collect;
- Full names – your full names as displayed on your ID/Passport will be used on the application
- Occupation – you will need to state your occupation e.g. IT Consultant, marketing consultant, finance consultancy, consultant etc. If you don’t have any occupation, don’t worry, you can simply put either a businessman or businesswoman.
- Postal address – you will need to provide your postal address. If you don’t have one, you can register it with Posta Kenya.
- Physical Residential address – This information will be used on the Form CR8 to comply with the Company Act which requires all directors to provide their residential address. You’ll need to provide LR number or house number, building name (if any), street name, town name, country.
- Share Allocations – each director will need to be allocated at least 1 share. Remember that the total number of shares available for allocation is 1,000 shares. You can plan to allocate your 1,000 shares using percentages such as 60%/40%, 50%/50%. However, if you are just the sole director then you can have 100% share ownership.
- Proof of Identity documents – you will need to provide the following documents for registration, without them your application will be rejected.
- Copy of ID or Passport – you can scan or photocopy your identification document
- Copy of KRA PIN certificate – all Kenyan directors/shareholders will need to provide KRA PIN, however, foreigners won’t need to provide one for the registration
- Photos – must have a clear background and show all your facial features, just like a passport photo. Please avoid submitting photos that have someone wearing sunglasses, hats; this could cause your application to be rejected by the Registrar.
- Company Name Suggestions – you’ll need to come up with up to 2 company name that you would like to check its availability
- Nature of business – with the new Company Act 2015, you can now do all trade of consultancy business without any restrictions.
- Location of business premises – you will need to provide the location details of your office including LR Number or Plot Number, Building name (if any), Street name, Town name. If you don’t have a business premise yet, then you can provide your home address then make the changes later once you have secured business premises.
Once you have provided the above information, your company documents will be prepared and each director will be required to sign the Memorandum & other documents as follows;
- Form CR1 – Application Form for Company Registration
- Form CR2 – Memorandum
- Form CR8 – Notice of Residential Address of Director(s)
- Notice of Nominal Capital Share
- Cessation Form (only applicable to applicants who are upgrading their business to a limited company)
Certificate of Incorporation
Upon signing your documents, you will have to submit all the documents and forms to the Registrar of Companies and pay incorporation fee of 2800. If the registration is approved, you will receive the Certificate of Incorporation between 2- 3 weeks.
The registration fee is Ksh 10,000.
- After your company is registered, you can move forward to completing bank account opening. You can choose to open a corporate account with an internationally recognized bank such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Citibank, or with a local bank such as Bank of Africa, ABC Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya.
- Immediately after the bank account opening, you are required to deposit the proposed share capital of the registered Kenya company.
- Now you can commence business activities in Kenya with your new company