How to register a company in Kenya

Before you start a company in Kenya, you should clarify for yourself whether you want to become self-employed on a part-time basis or not. The burden of starting a company can gets on your nerves. Your bid to self-employment must not be at the expense of your main job.

Requirements of establishing a company in Kenya

Below are the major requirements of starting a company in Kenya

  1. National Social Security Fund (NSSF) card
  2. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) certificate
  3. National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) membership
  4. A national ID or passport
  5. An active email address
  6. Phone number
  7. A passport-sized photo in soft copy format
  8. Computer
  9. Active internet connection
  10. Browser
  11. Business name
  12. Company details such as directors
  13. Registration fee and
  14. a payment method such as a Visa card.

Further details on requirements to register a company in Kenya

You cannot start a company overnight. Many self-employed people spend several months pregnant with an idea before they implement it. For a solid planning you should consider the following points:

Your personal traits or characteristics

Perhaps the most important prerequisites when starting a company are your personal qualities. As a self-employed person, you will have to do a lot yourself, especially in the beginning. There can always be setbacks, which is why tolerance for frustration and perseverance are essential. You want to get your product out there, so you need some sales talent. As your business grows, you should have leadership skills.

Business idea

Doing what many do can be successful (see franchising). But if you don’t analyze exactly where there is a need, you may find yourself in a saturated market. Ideally, a successful business idea tries to provide a solution to an existing problem.

Business model

Next, you need to think about what your business model should look like. How will your business work, where will the money come from? What will you offer, who are your customers? Suppose you have a certain product – for example fashion – and are now thinking about how to get it to the man and the woman. To do this, you have to determine the sales structure: Do you go to stationary retail or do you want to limit yourself to online retail? You can also look for certain niches, such as oversize, ecological or regionally produced fashion. This is how you stand out from the competition.

Business plan

The business plan is elementary when founding a company . This will convince potential financiers and give you a framework for how to proceed. It contains a summary of your idea, a competitive analysis, who is involved (if you are not founding yourself) and of course very important: a financial plan. It brings together everything you need and what you intend to generate when and how.


Numerous platforms offer their services as start-up advice. You should definitely take advantage of this advice because you will find important legal and organizational information.

Location considerations

Anyone who builds up a second mainstay alongside their job will probably start small in the back room. It is possible to set up a company in your home office if, for example, you do not need storage space . However, you should then have enough self-discipline to spend each day purposefully at your work. If you prefer one size larger, you have to rent a suitable shop. That means you have to think about the location: what rents are affordable, what are the transport connections like, is it attractive for customers as well as potential employees and managers?

Naming of a company in Kenya

Even if you want to start your own company: you can’t just use any name for it. The legal requirements for a company depend on the company form. The name search and reservation process in Kenya can be done:

  • at any of the Huduma Centers countrywide,
  • online using the E-Citizen platform and
  • on a Safaricom mobile phone by dialing *271#

Legal form

The respective legal form not only plays a role in the name when you set up a company. Minimum capital and liability are other important points. In order to know which company you want to set up, you should deal with the differences between the individual types of company. Here you should pay attention to tax, legal and organizational differences.


If you want to found a company, you have to take various costs into account. Some are already in place when the company is founded. For example, the costs for registration in the company register of a limited liability company. Depending on the type of company, you must also be able to show that you have a minimum capital. There are also costs for the business registration. Other costs include various acquisition costs such as business liability, company legal protection and business content insurance.


Depending on the type of company, you will have to deal with various authorities. As a trader and freelancer, you have to go to the tax office. There you can apply for a tax number. The trade office for the trade registration is only decisive for tradespeople. If you are planning to set up a corporation, you must also go to the notary and the district court. If you are unsure which offices are suitable for you: You can find out such details from the start-up advice service.

3 classic ways to start a company in Kenya

The leap into self-employment can be realized in different ways. There are three typical ways:

self-founding (from scratch)

Self-establishment is the dream of many employees who want something of their own. They may have tremendous expertise in a field and be willing to take responsibility for a company. And you want to decide for yourself where to go, what decisions are to be made next. Since you not only have great self-confidence, but also various ideas, this path is suitable for you. But as indicated, you don’t have to start from scratch if you want to start a business. There are also the following options:

corporate succession

Another option is to buy an existing business: perhaps the previous owner wants to retire or make some other change. The advantage here: You also have a company that is established on the market and has a solid customer base. It could be disadvantageous if the customers are used to a certain treatment or procedure and you now proceed differently. A lot of instinct is therefore required for the transition phase . The company succession is not directly a new foundation, but you can give a company completely new and individual impulses.


If you are considering franchising , you are building on an existing concept. You don’t need your own business ideas and you don’t have to worry about marketing either. And here you are spoiled for choice: there are almost 1,000 franchise systems in Germany. Of course, it is best to choose one that matches your qualifications and wishes in terms of content. With this model, you benefit from a strong brand and have a manageable risk. Disadvantage: At the same time, you remain contractually bound to the franchisor for the duration of your business.

Commonly asked questions about starting a company in Kenya

  1. How much does it cost to register a company in Kenya? The registration fee for all companies is KES 10,000. 1. Application and reservation of name.
  2. Can I register a company alone in Kenya? Yes it is possible to register a company as a single director.
  3. Do I need a company secretary? Private companies with a share capital of less than KES 5,000,000 are not required to have a secretary. However, all public companies must have a secretary. A company secretary must be qualified under the Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya Act.
  4. How long does it take to register a company in Kenya? Setting up a company in Kenya can take anywhere between 1 day and 30 Days. This depends on the type of business you wish to establish, as well as the type of registration required.
  5. What are the types of companies in Kenya? In Kenya, there are two main types of corporations (registered companies) that can be set up:
    • Private limited corporation.
    • Public limited corporation.
  6. What is the business registration service customer care contacts? Use the contacts below to reach out:
    • Phone number 1: +254 020 222 7461
    • Phone number 2: +254 020 225 1355
    • Telephone number: 0900 620 206
    • Email:


The procedure on how to register a company in Kenya online is that simple. You only need to create an account at, then search for a unique name, fill in the required information, and finally pay the registration fee.