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Guide to Starting a Business in Kenya

Staff Reporter | 4:31 PM |


Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Kenya. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.
This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1State registration of legal entity, statistical, and tax registration with the Center for Public Registration3 daysKES 100 per name reservation
2Stamp the memorandum and articles and a statement of the nominal capital5 days1% of nominal capital + KES 2,020 for stamp duty on Memorandum and Articles of Association
3Pay stamp duty at bank1 dayKES 100 for bank commission
4Declaration of compliance (Form 208) is signed before a Commissioner of Oaths /notary public1 dayKES 200
5File deed and details with the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General's Chambers in Nairobi7- 14 daysKES 6,400
6Register with the Tax Department for a PIN, VAT and PAYE online1 dayno charge
7Apply for a business permit5 daysKES 10,000
8Register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)1 dayno charge
9Register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)1 dayno charge
10Make a company seal after a certificate of incorporation has been issued2 daysbetween KES 2,500 and KES 3,500