Starting a Business
Additionally, companies must register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Depending on the business type, a business permit from the relevant County Government is also required.
All company and business registrations, including sole proprietorships and partnerships, are now conducted through the eCitizen online platform.
Starting a local company
A local company is a company incorporated in Kenya. It may take the form of:
A company limited by shares
A company limited by guarantee
The registration process for the various forms of local company is the same though the requirements and costs vary.
Registering a branch of a foreign company
Companies incorporated outside of Kenya can do business in Kenya by registering a branch. The registrar of companies issues a certificate of compliance once all the requirements have been met.
Registering a business name (sole proprietor)
Business name (sole proprietorship) is a business structure operated and owned by one person. The owner is the sole decision maker in the business and is liable for all the losses and returns of the business. In most cases it is usually a business structure for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Registering a limited liability partnership – LLP
A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a unique business association provided for in the Limited Liability Partnership Act which combines the characteristics of both a company and partnership. Once it is registered, it gains a corporate legal entity different from its members and is able to own property in its own name. In addition, it is effective from a tax perspective as the partnership income is taxed in the hands of each partner.
The various county governments in Kenya are responsible for issuing single business permits to the various business types operating within the counties.The type of business permit to be issued depends on factors such as the geographical location of the business, the number of employees,business type, activities of the business among others.
Single business permit (Nairobi County)