How To Start a Simple Online Business in Kenya – Part 1

So I just got off the phone with a Like Chapaa reader who was pleading with me to show her how to start a simple online business. I personally do not think it is something that is simple enough to explain on the phone – is it? I believe that doing business is a personal journey that you must take on your own. But then again, I also believe that everyone should be doing their own business – enough with this employment maneno. You know?

I talked the reader into letting me sit down and send her an email with a very basic guide on what to do but as I was doing that email I thought, “Hey other people might like this too”. So here I am, readying myself for mission impossible. Basically, this week – on this very website – we are going to write a series of articles that attempt to show you how to start an online business from scratch. Sounds fun?

The idea is to write a very simple guide that anyone can follow to set up a small, extremely simple online business in ONE WEEK. To make it easier to understand, and follow, we shall be attempting to start an online business in this one week and show you everything that we did. In other words, as we try and show you how to start an online business, we shall be applying what we talk about on an actual real life business* that we will be starting up this week. I think that will work. You?

So this is what we hope to cover:

  1. How does a business work?
  2. Online business Vs Offline business
  3. Deciding what to do
  4. Building a simple website for your online business (a.k.a. web design 101)
  5. How to get customers (a.k.a. how to do this ‘internet marketing’ thing)
  6. Legal & tax issues
  7. Final thoughts & conclusion

The list may change as we go along because right now it is all coming off the top of my head.

Finally, I must say that I, and the Like Chapaa team, have some experience doing online business. We have had some satisfying successes and many failures. While I am very proud of what we have achieved, you are advised to take what we say with a pinch of salt! We do not pretend to be experts on anything.

Also, this series of articles is meant to give the basic bare-bones ideas on doing online business. To achieve real, long lasting success you must do much more than what we shall be talking about.

Anyway! So who’s up for this? Please comment below, click the “Like” button and tell all your friends. Cheers!

*The ‘actual, real life, business’ we shall be starting as part of this series has not been thought-up yet. We’re currently putting our heads together for an idea that won’t embarrass us.

Subscribe to Like Chapaa today, or sign up to receive free email updates so that you do not miss any updates on this!

Additional Resources


  1. Nice idea but you forgot the most important “how set up a LEGAL online business in Kenya”… Personally, would be more interested to know how to register company as auto-entrepreneur.

    Someone told me that it is very easy, just need to register a name somewhere than keep your balance sheets and do your annual tax declaration, that’s it ??

    So ??

    • Hmm – added it to the list! Though I must say that “online business” is very much a grey area in our legal and tax structures. Thanks for the idea.

  2. I look forward to seeing how this plays out. Thank you.

  3. A nice PDF I have in my office –

    You said “online business is very much a grey area in our legal and tax structures. Thanks for the idea.” – Yes, that’s why many of us would be pleased to know what’s the procedure to set-up a LEGAL (online or not) business in Kenya as self-employed/auto-entrepreneur.

  4. Nice !! Thank you Kelvin, this is exactly what I was looking for !

    Now, see “Paras Gudka” comment about taxation and your reply “KRA PIN for you and your business and keep all your books in order. However, I shall write an article on this”. Any article about this I have missed ??


    • Unfortunately it must have slipped out of my mind so I have actually not written about that. But basically, as I said, KRA does not really have any structure for this thing – so just doing the basics will suffice: just get PINs for you and your business and file your returns when you should. We expect that at some point in the future they will have clearer guidelines so the best way to go is to keep on the right side of the law.

  5. Good stuff there. Do you have to have a website to do online marketing or you can just start with a blog?

  6. well, just starting out. I checked out the simple steps of doing it on like chapaa. I am now getting around it.

  7. It’s great to see someone sharing some honest info. Great read and I will be back for more. Thanks.

  8. Would you please just do a post on legal/tax issues?

  9. HI, like chapaa, I would like you to assist me by letting me know the process of registering an idea in kenya.l

  10. kindly explain, give more info on Legal & tax issues!! for an online business. plz!

  11. Mkulima Patrick says:


    The responses on here are quite helpful, I appreciate.
    Well, there is no doubt that the hottest and most lucrative business in Kenya at the moment is agribusiness.

    So, do you want to make 600,000 Kshs in the next 3 months with FARMING?

    Its possible and this 74-page manual, explains it all. And gives you exactly what to grow, where to grow and even how to SELL. This helpful manual is available for you to download instantly.

    Text or call me – 0722 644 368



  1. […] Btw, this is Part 2 of How to Start An Online Business in Kenya. […]

  2. […] So, basically in this post we’re going to think about what makes an online business different from an offline business. This is Part 3 of How To Start an Online Business in Kenya. […]

Speak your mind