For decades, registering a company in Kenya was challenging and complex. The process was complicated and unstructured. This resonated with a lot of time wastage and loopholes that were prey to corruption and delays. As a result, the government took the initiative to streamline the registration process by closing in the loopholes.
Are you a Kenyan resident? Or a foreigner anticipating starting a business in Kenya? You can kickstart your business journey by registering your business at the Company Registry. and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to get a Personal Identification Number(PIN).
This article will expound more on how to go about registering a company. Beforehand, you need to have all the necessary documents for applications. The documents vary depending on your residency and the type of business you are anticipating to start. To start, log into the eCitizen portal for application. Next, follow the process below.
Step 1. Create an eCitizen Account
eCitizen is the official online platform where Kenyan citizens, residents, and visitors get access to public services. The site is free to use once you sign up. To create an account, you need to have your identification documents, full official names, and an email address. To start:
- Click on eCitizen account at https://www.eCitizen.go.ke/
- Click on” Create an Account” at the top right-hand corner.
- For Kenyan Citizens, you can use your Kenyan ID while a foreigner will need to use the foreigner Certificate Number.
- Fill in the required details and upload your recent official passport photo to complete your eCitizen profile. (To have a perfect passport photo, you should take one not less than 6 months before the application).
- Once completed, you will receive a welcoming note.
- Click on any agencies listed at the portal to access the respective services. In this case, you will click on the “Business Registration Service” Icon.
- You will be redirected to an eBusiness portal where you can start your application process by clicking on “Make Application.”
Step 2: Making the Online Application
Once you are in the business registration service portal, click on the icon select your preferred business icon. Select the icon that corresponds to what you are applying for. For instance, you can start by choosing a business name- that is, a name that your business will operate under “Business name registration.” Note that a business name is not a legal entity; it contains details of a person who owns a business and responsible for the company operations. Then click “Apply Now.” Below is the screenshot of the choices available to choose from;
In Kenya, there are six main types of business entities that are legally recognized;
- Sole- proprietorship
- Private or public limited companies
- Limited liability partnership
- Business societies and
- Branch of a foreign registered company.
Each categories above requires you to have specific documents. To get a clear understanding of what documents you will need, check out here.
Cost of Registering a Company in Kenya
The cost for registering a company varies based on the type of application you want. To enroll in a business name / sole proprietorship will cost you KES 850. A private limited company will cost KES 10,350 plus. For more information, check out here.
It is also mandatory to fill in the form CR1 that discloses the company’s share capital. In the form you have to stipulate the different shares owned by the company, and the numbers of shares the company possesses. Each year, the government expects every registered registered company to file form CR12. The form reveals any changes in the company ownership and shares in any particular year.
You have an option available to file the application online or look for available experts to help you with the process. It will take at least 7-14 working days to complete your company’s registration and get the registration certificate.
Mode of Payments Available
There is strictly no cash payment accepted. Or make the payments online either through;
- Debit Card/ Visa Card
- Credit Card
In conclusion, the government has simplified the company registration process. Nonetheless, you can engage experts and professionals such as Accountants and Company lawyers to help you through the process. The last step to complete the whole process is obtaining a company seal, which is a gadget that officiates your business documents and contracts with different companies.