How To Register a Company in Kenya? Not so many Kenyans are familiar with the process though if you ask anybody on the streets about what they will want to do and they will tell you, “I want to start a business”. Everyone wants to be their own boss, own a small business that will grow into a big company and employ people and make our lives better.
To own a business legally in Kenya, you will have to register it as a company. There are many classifications of companies and the procedure for registering each is a bit different. In Kenya, the registration process is done at the Registrar of Companies. I have compiled the process of registering a company in Kenya. This will help you prepare everything before you visit the registrar and the process will go on smoothly.
How to Register a Company in Kenya
I will focus on two types of companies and talk on How to register a company in Kenya, these companies are the limited type of companies and the sole proprietorship or partnership types of companies, the process is almost the same but the limited company registration process is more engaging than the other one but both processes begin with a name search.
This is the first step for you to register a company in Kenya which is mandatory to all new businesses that need to be registered in the country. It costs Ksh. 100 per name and will take up to three working days. Smart Kenyans usually search for more than one name to save on time. Once your name is approved it is reserved for 30 days.
1. Limited Company Registration Process
Memorandum and articles of association
These are the documents that set out the goals of the company and the internal constitution of the company. You will need these documents in order to register a company in Kenya. There will be 3 copies of the Memorandum & Article of Association that you will be required to sign. The first copy will remain at the company registry, the Second copy will be used to open a bank account and you will remain with the Third copy.
If you are not sure of how to go about this it is recommended you seek for the services of a registered lawyer in the country who might charge between Ksh. 4500 – 10, 000. I can help you with the drafting of the Memorandum and articles of association all you have to do is contact me and will link you up with the best lawyers I know.
The lawyer will fill the following forms for you:
- Form 208 – This is a compliance form and should be filled by the lawyer registering the company.
- Form 201 – The form notifies the registrar of the registered office of the company.
Filling Form 203:
This form is filled and signed by a Certified Public Secretary of Kenya (CPS) who must be a current member of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries (ICPSK). This form covers the particulars of the company directors and company secretary.
Once the memorandum & Articles have been prepared, you should lodge the documents with the registrar of companies for payment of stamp duty. This may take 1-3 days. Stamp duty will cost from Ksh. 3,150 depending on the Nominal Capital of the company.
Once the stamp duty has been paid, you should send the documents to the Registrar of Companies together with forms Form 203, Form 201 and Form 208, You will need to pay Ksh. 2,800.
The process for the registration for a limited company normally takes between 3 to 4 weeks.
2. Partnership / Sole Proprietorship Registration Process
For most aspiring entrepreneurs, starting a sole proprietor company is more ideal. It is easy to set up and require less financial requirements.
The process of registering a sole proprietorship and partnership is the same as the limited company and is a follows. This one is easy and might not need the services of a lawyer, though if you are not in the country or are far from Nairobi I can again help the registration process for you.
This is the process basically:
- Name Search: as said above the process is mandatory and it is better to have three options for the name to save time.
- Fill Form BN/2 which is available at the registrar of companies. For a sole proprietorship, the part where it says “Particulars of proprietor or partners” will bear only one name. For a partnership, this part can have up to 20 partners.
The registration process for Partnership / Sole Proprietorship takes between 2 to 3 weeks.
Well, that is it the process of how to register a company in Kenya fully outlined, I Welcome questions in the comment section.