Procedure for Starting a Business in Kenya

The principal types of business enterprises in Kenya are:

  • Registered Companies (Private and Public)
  • Branch offices of companies registered outside Kenya
  • Partnerships
  • Sole Proprietorships; and
  • Societies

In order to register your company, you will need to;

  • Reserve a company name and get it approved Registrar of Companies
  • Prepare the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
  • Complete various forms including Statement of Nominal Capital, Particulars of Directors and Shareholders, Situation of Registered Office and Certificate of a Lawyer involved in the Formation of the Company,
  • Stamp the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association and the Statement of Nominal Capital at the Lands Office together with payment of stamp duty on Nominal Capital.
  • File all the forms together with one stamped copy of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association with the Registrar of Companies.

You will then be issued with a Certificate of Incorporation by the Registrar of Companies. For public companies, in addition to the Certificate of Incorporation, the Registrar will issue a Trading Certificate

  • An overseas company wishing to open a branch office in Kenya should deliver the following to the Registrar of Companies:
  • A certified copy of the Charter, Statutes or Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company, or other instruments defining the constitution of the company;
  • A list of the directors and secretary of the company, giving full names, nationality and other directorships of companies in Kenya;
  • A statement of all existing charges entered into by the company affecting properties in Kenya;
  • Names and postal addresses of one or more persons resident in Kenya authorized to accept, on behalf of the company, service of notices required to be served on the company;
  • Full address of the registered or principal office of the company in its home country and;
  • Full address of place of business in Kenya.


  1. Obtain approval for the company name from the Registrar of Companies (takes 3 days  and name reservation 30 days)
  2. Stamp the memorandum and articles and a statement of the nominal capital (takes 8 days 1% of nominal capital + KES 2,005, stamp duty on Memorandum and Articles of Association)
  3. Pay stamp duty at bank ( takes 1 day , costs KES. 100 bank commission)
  4. Declaration of compliance (Form 208) is signed before a Commissioner of Oaths /notary public (takes and costs KES. 200)
  5. File deed and details with the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Nairobi (takes 7-14 days, see detailed comments on link below)
  6. Register with the Tax Department for a PIN (takes 1 day, no charge)
  7. Register with the VAT office  (takes 1 day, no charge)
  8. Apply for a business permit (takes one day, see details on link below)
  9. Register with the National Social Security Fund – NSSF (takes 1 day, no charge)
  10. Register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund – NHIF (takes 1 day, no charge)
  11. Register for PAYE (takes 1 day, no charge)
  12. Make a company seal after a certificate of incorporation has been issued (takes 2 days, costs KES 2500 and KES 350 )

Please visit this link for detailed information on the requirements.
For additional information on doing business in Kenya, visit