Cost of Single Business Permit in Kenya

Updated on May 2, 2024 – Updated cost ranges for Single Business Permits (SBPs) in Kenya to reflect the latest fee structures and regulatory changes. Added new business types and expanded cost ranges based on updated information from county governments.

One of the fundamental steps in establishing and operating a business in Kenya is obtaining a Single Business Permit (SBP) from the respective county government. This permit serves as a legal document that allows businesses to operate within a specific jurisdiction.

If you want to operate peacefully in any part of Kenya without trouble with the county officers, then you should ensure that your business has a single business permit.

The cost of this permit varies depending on the size of the business, its location, and the nature of operations.

But is it expensive?

You will find that out in a few moments.

Single Business permit
Single Business permit for Nairobi County

What is the cost of a Single Business Permit in Kenya?

The cost of a Single Business Permit (SBP) in Kenya can vary widely depending on the type of business, its size, and the specific county where it operates.

  1. Small Businesses: For small businesses, especially those operating in less populated areas or rural counties, the cost of an SBP could range from approximately Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 20,000 per year.
  2. Medium-Sized Businesses: Medium-sized businesses operating in urban or semi-urban areas might expect to pay anywhere from Ksh 20,000 to Ksh 50,000 annually for their SBP.
  3. Large Enterprises: Larger enterprises or businesses operating in major cities like Nairobi or Mombasa could face SBP costs ranging from Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 200,000 or more per year, depending on the nature and scale of their operations.

Here’s an example of how the costs of Single Business Permits (SBP) for different types of businesses in Kenya could be presented based on general ranges:

Business Type Small Business (Ksh) Medium Business (Ksh) Large Business (Ksh)
Retail Shop 5,000 – 20,000 20,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 200,000+
Restaurant 10,000 – 30,000 30,000 – 80,000 80,000 – 300,000+
Manufacturing Plant 20,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 500,000+
Service Provider 5,000 – 20,000 20,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 200,000+
Construction Company 20,000 – 70,000 70,000 – 200,000 200,000 – 1,000,000+
IT Services 10,000 – 40,000 40,000 – 100,000 100,000 – 300,000+
Healthcare Provider 10,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 500,000+
Educational Institution 5,000 – 30,000 30,000 – 100,000 100,000 – 300,000+
Transportation Services 10,000 – 40,000 40,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 400,000+
Hospitality Business 15,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 500,000+
Real Estate Agency 10,000 – 30,000 30,000 – 80,000 80,000 – 300,000+
Financial Institution 20,000 – 60,000 60,000 – 200,000 200,000 – 800,000+
Legal Services Provider 15,000 – 40,000 40,000 – 120,000 120,000 – 400,000+
Agricultural Enterprise 10,000 – 50,000 50,000 – 150,000 150,000 – 500,000+

Factors Affecting the Cost of SBP

The cost of a Single Business Permit in Kenya varies based on several factors:

  • Business Type: Different types of businesses attract varying permit fees. For example, a small retail shop might have a different fee structure compared to a manufacturing plant.
  • Location: Permit costs can differ from one county to another. Urban areas often have higher permit fees compared to rural areas.
  • Business Size: The size of the business, in terms of workforce and revenue, can influence the permit cost.
  • Regulatory Changes: Changes in local regulations or tax laws can impact permit fees.

Requirements to Apply for a Single Business Permit in Kenya

Individuals who intend to obtain a new business permit should go to the ward office and get a BR-1 form, or you can download them online.

  • Fill the form and give it back to the ward licensing officer.
  • The officer visits your business within 1-3 days to verify the company.
  • The information obtained by the inspection team determines the fees to charge for the permit.
  • The BR-1 form is then stamped, and you are referred to the main office, City Hall.
  • The form is approved, and the data entered in the Sbps database.
  • The generation of an invoice bill follows this, and payment is made to the cash office.
  • The business permit is signed, and you are advised to collect it from the dispatch office.


Single Business permit
BR-1 Form

Before applying for a business permit, it is essential first to register your business to ensure you already have a business ID number, and address, and a business name.

Required Documents

  • Copy of certificate of incorporation
  • Proof of business ownership
  • National ID/ Passport No


  1. Once you have registered your company or business, secured a business name, and obtained the necessary documentation, you can apply for a business certificate/permit at any county government offices in Kenya.
  2. The business permit is obtained from the county government in whose jurisdiction it operates.
  3. There are fees charged for registering a business but which vary depending on the number of employees or size of the establishment.
  4. The business permit is renewed annually.

Required Information

  • Business Name
  • Personal ID name
  • Land zone and plot number
  • Number of employees
  • Business physical address
  • Postal Address of the Business
  • Activity code for the business
  • Details of whoever is obtaining the permit

Importance of SBP Compliance

Complying with SBP regulations is essential for businesses as it ensures:

  • Legal operation within the jurisdiction.
  • Avoidance of penalties and legal issues.
  • Access to government services and support.
  • Transparency and accountability in business activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Single Business Permit?

A Single Business Permit (SBP) is a document issued by local authorities that allows a business to operate within a specific jurisdiction. It consolidates various licenses and permits into one, simplifying the regulatory process for businesses.

How can I calculate the cost of a Single Business Permit for my business?

To calculate the cost of an SBP, identify your business type, size, location, and check the official website of the relevant county government for the current fee structure.

Do permit costs differ between urban and rural areas?

Yes, permit costs can significantly vary between urban, semi-urban, and rural areas in Kenya. Urban areas often have higher permit fees compared to rural areas.

Are there additional fees besides the basic permit fee?

Yes, besides the basic permit fee, businesses may need to pay additional fees such as inspection fees, levies, and penalties for non-compliance or late renewals.

Can the cost of a Single Business Permit change over time?

Yes, the cost of an SBP can change over time due to factors such as regulatory changes, economic conditions, and updates in county government fee structures.

What happens if I fail to renew my Single Business Permit on time?

Failure to renew your SBP on time may result in penalties or legal consequences. It’s crucial to comply with renewal deadlines to avoid such issues.

Where can I get more information about the cost of Single Business Permits in Kenya?

For more detailed information about the cost of Single Business Permits in Kenya, you can contact the business licensing department of the relevant county government or visit their official website for comprehensive fee structures and guidelines.


A Single Business Permit (SBP) is required for the smooth operation of any business in Kenya. It ensures that a company complies with the established rules for that specific type of business.

The procedure for obtaining a business permit is the same, but the cost might vary depending on the size, type, and location of the business. The license will also come in handy when acquiring a loan and applying for government Tenders.

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Brian is a founding writer at Urban Kenyans. His work is focused on how to improve the digital literacy of Kenyans online. He has been able to do so with his mastery of Kenya and the English Language.

7 thoughts on “Cost of Single Business Permit in Kenya”

  1. I believe the process is too expensive for the common mwananchi…. A small shop cannot be expected to remove 5000 shillings over a period that does not ensure its success. To open a barbershop requires 11k jameni. A barbershop within the slums is being expected to remove 11k surely for startup….. The government should look into this.

  2. Comment:my business is worth 5k how am i expected to pay 5k for it surely the goverment is not serious they should consider us


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