Most people believe the process of company registration in Kenya is lengthy and tedious. However, this is not true. Advancement in access to online services in the country has made the process easier and faster. Hence, lets look at how to register a company in Kenya.

Any Kenyan citizen is qualified to register a company as long as they provide the relevant requirements.

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There are two types of companies that you can register in Kenya. These include;

  • Private limited companies
  • Public limited companies

The key difference is that public companies can trade their shares publicly while private limited companies can’t.

This article will focus on the registration of a private limited company.

Private Limited Company

A private limited company can have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 50 members. This is the type of company that most individuals and small businesses have.

It is easier and cheaper to register as the process doesn’t have as many requirements as those in public company registration.

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Advantages of registering a company

There are several benefits in registering a company

  • The company exists as a separate legal entity. This allows the separation of liabilities between the company and the directors.
  • The company has an unlimited lifespan. It continues to exist even if the owners are no longer there.
  • It allows access to some business opportunities that you can’t access as an individual. A key example is tendering which requires interested parties to have a registered company before getting the contract.

Company Registration in Kenya Process

E-citizen Account

The first process of doing the registration is to open an E-citizen account. This is the official government services portal.

E-Citizen is the government platform that offers various services to the public. Some of these services include passport application, Visa application, Good conduct application, and marriage certificate registration. E-citizen portal

 To start the process of company registration, you will require the below documents.

  • National Identity card
  • Valid email address
  • Passport size photos
  • Phone contact details

Name Search and Reservation

To register a company, you need to give it a name. Name search and reservation is a critical process that ensures the name you want to give your company is not in use and doesn’t have a trademark. Normally, you provide at least 5 names for the search process.

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If the search is successful and the name is available, a confirmation is given by the registrar of companies.

Below are some of the requirements for a valid company name

  • The name should not start with the term Kenya.
  • It should not contain abusive or offensive language
  • It should have a maximum of 10 characters
  • The name should not be similar to a trademark registered name.

Filling the CR1 Form

After clearing the name by the registrar of companies, you are required to fill the CR1 Form by providing the below requirements.

  • Company Name
  • The registered address of the Company
  • Articles of Association
  • Details of the directors and Company Secretary (Name, Address, ID number, Contacts, Signature)
  • Share capital amount per director

Once the verification is complete, the company is registered and a certificate of incorporation is given.

Certificate of Incorporation

A valid incorporation certificate contains the below details.

  • Company name
  • Date of registration
  • Registration numbers
  • Indication of whether it is a private or a public company
  • Must be signed and sealed by the registrar of companies

Once the company registration is complete, you are supposed to get a Kenya Revenue Authority pin certificate for the company. This process is done on the I-Tax portal. I-Tax portal .Below are some of the requirements to get the KRA pin.

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Copy of CR12
  • PIN Certificate copy for one of the directors
  • Tax Compliance certificate of one of the company’s directors
  • Acknowledgment receipt

Upon submission and successful pin verification, a company pin is issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

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Depending on the nature of the company use, there could be a need to do other statutory registrations. These includes

  1. National Hospital Insurance Fund Registration (NHIF)
  2. Value Added Tax Registration (VAT)
  3. National Social Security Fund Registration (NSSF)

Conclusion on Company Registration in Kenya

As Indicated, the process of registering a company in Kenya has never been easier. However, you can also engage the services of a professional to help in handling the process. Some of these include financial consultants and law firms.


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