What is the procedure for registration of a business?

 What is the procedure for registration of a business?

By registering a company in Kenya that is the greatest achievement you can get because there are less employment jobs in Kenya hence it’s better to own your business or company. The government through the Registrar of Companies developed an online platform; eCitizen, to ease the registration process.

So, before you begin the process of registering your business, make sure you have done enough research, gathered the right team and have the resources to shoot for the sky. Seek advice from mentors and have a business plan.

There are 4 main types of businesses

  • A sole-proprietorship is the simplest form of business which involves one person running the business. The owner and the business are regarded as one entity. The owner thus assumes liability to all risks and his or her assets are put at risk.
  • Partnership business is where two or more people come together to form a business. Each member contributes their share of expertise, assets and funds. Every partner is liable for any debts taken by the business or other partners.
  • A Limited Liability Private Company brings the concept of separate entities. It’s a business which is registered for tax as a separate entity from the owners. It has its rights, obligations and life separate from the founders
  • Limited Liability Public Company is a business in which the public can participate in buying and selling of shares. The company is also separate from the owners and assumes rights, and responsibilities separately.


registrations in the country must be conducted through the eCitizen portal.. All you need is

  • an Email address,
  • phone number and
  • ID number.

Business Name Search

conduct a business name search. Originally, there was a button on eCitizen labelled Name Search and Reservation which would be used to conduct a business name search.

However, this feature was removed, and instead, you are given five sections to include alternative names for your business while registering. Three of these sections must be filled. These names will be considered by the Registrar of Companies and the most unique according to priority is selected.

The removal of the name search feature presented the challenge of choosing a unique business name. From experience, almost every name has been used to register a business in Kenya and it might be hard to find a unique company name without access to the names database.


How to register a business in Kenya

  1. Log into your eCitizen account
  2. Click on business registration service.
  3. Log in once again using the same details.
  4. Click on Make Application
  5. Select Business Name Registration
  6. Enter your preferred business names in at least 3 of the 5 slots provided, click Save and Continue
  7. Type in your details and Nature of business
  8. Enter office addresses, location, Phone number and Email address of the company. Save and Continue
  9. Click on Add Proprietor. Add your details to register as a Sole Proprietor. For Partnerships, add proprietor item for each partner. Save and Continue
  10. Download the BN-2 Form which contains the Statement of Particulars. You will have to a magistrate or commissioner of Oaths to sign the document after which you can upload and continue with business registration
  11. Once you upload the signed document, click on Submit and Review
  12. Tick the declaration at the bottom before clicking on Finish
  13. Select the method of Payment, preferably through MPesa and follow the instructions to submit your payment. It costs Ksh 950 for Business Name registration.
  14. Upon successful payment, the eCitizen portal should reflect the payment.
  15. Now, wait for a response from the Registrar of Companies.

Your application for business registration will be reviewed within 2 days. Your business names suggestions will be considered and the most applicable used to register your business. Hence there is no need to reserve names as it was the case before.

The Registrar of Companies probably got tired of numerous name reservations without consequent business registrations and combined the two processes. In case a name for your business cannot be picked from your choices, your application will be unsuccessful.

Business Registration Fees

The various types of businesses provided by the government through the eCitizen portal have unique fees for registration. Here is the breakdown

  • Reservation and Registration of Business Name: Ksh 950
  • Limited Liability Partnership: Ksh 25,000
  • Private Limited Company: Ksh 10,650
  • Public Limited Company: Ksh 10,650
  • Unlimited Companies: Ksh 20,050
  • Company Limited by Guarantee: Ksh 3,000 (1-25 members), Ksh 7,500 (26-100 members), Ksh 15,000 (Over 100 members) + additional Ksh 2000 for each additional 50 members.

Finally, you will be awarded a certificate of incorporation or business registration certificate which you can download from the eCitizen Portal.

As you can see, to register a business in Kenya especially as a sole proprietor or a small number of partners isn’t as hard as it seems.

contact ocl business associates for company registration in kenya