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:
- 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.
- Make your way over to Sheria House, and to the Registrar of Companies within the Sheria House compound.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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!
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.
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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.