Simple Business Registration In Kenya

Following our call for help, we can finally report on how to register a simple business in Kenya. It is our hope that this post will help demystify business registration in Kenya and make it simpler and more accessible to more people.

How To Register A Sole Proprietorship/Partnership In Kenya
The procedure here is pretty easy and should not cost more than Kshs 900/-. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Pick out a business name that you wish to register. Write a simple letter addressed to the “Registrar General”. This letter need only ask the registrar to confirm if your chosen business name is available for registration.
  2. Make your way over to Sheria House, and to the Registrar of Companies within the Sheria House compound.
  3. Go over to counter No 1 and hand in your letter(s). You will need to pay Kshs 100 for every name that you wish to register. This is what is called “business name search”. The process takes three days to a week, max (usually). You will receive a blue receipt.
  4. Three days after handing in your letter, go back to Sheria House and show the attendant your receipt. If your chosen name is available for registration, you will receive a letter from the registrar of companies that, basically, tells you your name search was successful. You will also receive a form, Form BN/2.
  5. What you need to do is fill out Form BN/2 as completely as possible. If you are registering a sole proprietorship, the part where it says “Particulars of proprietor or partners” will bear only one name, otherwise you can put in up to 20 partners (for a partnership).
  6. Go back to Sheria House and hand in your completed Form BN/2. You will need to pay Kshs 800/-. After a week or so, you will have to go back to Sheria House to collect your business registration certificate. Congratulations, you shall then have registered a new business!

Concerning Partnerships
The process of registering a sole-proprietorship and partnership is the same at Sheria house.

However, because of the unique nature of partnerships (the fact that one partner’s actions can make other partners equally liable) it is recommended that one also registers a partnership deed that clearly defines rights, duties and obligations of all partners.

A partnership deed once drawn up is supposed to be registered as a public document at the Ministry of Lands.

We hope that someone, somewhere, finds this article useful. We shall publish one on limited companies shortly.

The map below shows the location of Sheria House in Nairobi. You can also use this link to view the map.

View Larger Map

Please do note that we have no lawyers on the Like Chapaa team. If any of the above is erroneous, kindly help us correct it. If you live outside of Nairobi and you know what the procedure is like in your town/city, please help us incorporate that information in this post.

Additional Resources


  1. isaac kimani says:

    Thanks for the eye opener, can i be able to register online since am in Kitale ?

  2. Nyokabi says:

    Your article is still helping folks after so many years. Thank you so much!

  3. Does one spend only Ksh. 900 today to register a business?

  4. i want to register small LTD that can help me have mpesa but am individual

  5. how about the commisioner of oaths on BN2 form?..they will do it or i have to find one?

  6. Which specific counter will l go to check if the name has been approved?

  7. Anna Kanyanga says:

    Thanks for making work so much faster and comprehension of the process so much easier!

  8. Because of you, some unscrupulous dealer will not be asking me to pay ten times the amount you’ve advised me to pay on registration. Thank you 🙂

  9. This is such helpful information. Thank-you so much. Problem is, what if you are in Kisumu or any other part of Kenya, do you necessarily have to travel to Nairobi to get your company registered? is there a way to do it online, probably?

  10. I’m a Kenyan in the diaspora wishing to register an online business, what is the procedure?

  11. Hi. Your article is very useful and thank you so much for such enlightening info. One question though, how are online businesses taxed? And is there a specific registration method for an online business that imports? Hope to hear from you.

  12. Useful information. What about this hype of on-line business name search? Can somebody post those links here, if they are credible!

  13. Do you personally help folks with company registration? please let me know via my email (willing to pay what it costs)

  14. irene mungai says:


    i live in Watamu. do i have to come all the way to Nairobi to register the company name i need?

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