Starting a business in Kenya is relatively easy; however you should be keen on the licenses and permits involved in your industry. This includes business registration documents, Local government business licenses, Health Permits.



This is usually 2 steps procedures that involve name search and business registration. The Government of Kenya has automated the business registration process and it’s done online through the Citizen portal under Business Registration service.

How do I search for a business name?

By navigating through the Citizen portal once you log in, click on “Business Registration Service”. Then click on “Make Application” which will lead you to another page, Click on “Business name Application”. You will enter your proposed 3 names starting in order of priority (your first available name will automatically be assigned the business. Proceed to the next page to submit your application and make payment-Business name search fee is Kes 150. You will then wait response from the Registrar of companies.

How to register a Business Name in Kenya Online.

After doing a successful name search the name is reserved for a minimum of 30 days before which one should complete the registration process. Proceed to the Ecitizen portal and Click on “Business Registration Service” Having completed the Business Name Search, you will click to submit the Business Registration where a search letter will be created. You will then be redirected to the payment page and you will be invoiced.  

How much does it cost for Business Name Registration in Kenya? Business name Registration costs Kes 850 which can be paid via Mpesa. After payment click on complete button and wait for confirmation from the Registrar of Companies. This may take 1-2 working days.

What are the Business name registration requirements? During business name registration you will be required to provide;  

  • Full identities of the proprietors
  • Postal address for the proposed name
  • Physical address including; plot number, town and county of the proposed business
  • Nature and activities of the proposed business
  • Copies of National IDS/Passports of the proprietors
  • Passport photos of partners and copies of their pin certificate
  • Kes 850 Business Name Registration fees paid through Mpesa.

 2. Local Government Business permit/License

This is also referred as the Single Business permit usually issued by the county government within which the business is set up. The License is renewed annually and its cost varies with nature of the business. Visit the local authorities to request for an invoice for the same.

3. PIN/VAT Registration

This is one of the most crucial legal documents required when running a business. Setting up a PIN will require the business directors to submit their personal KRA Pin Certificates, original certificate of incorporation and memorandum articles of association. Visiting the local KRA offices will facilitate your PIN application and advice on all documents required for the application.

4. Health & Food Handling Permits.

These Legal documents are requirement when running businesses among them bakeries, hotels and restaurants. The documents is issued after a Health Inspector visits your business place, inspects and once certified you will be issued with a health certificate.

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