Costs of Registering a Company in Kenya

Published by Raymond

Feb 15, 2022

Before there is money, there is business.

In order to create all the wonderful things you want in life, like…

A beautiful, spacious home, a team of domestic support, and a great education for your children…

Plus, a 57-acre horse ranch where you can live with no intrusions aside from the gentle sound of birds and ponies whinnying in the distance…

Before you can have any of that, you need to do some business.

Because all these things start first with a vision — a vision that is accompanied by business calculations that helps you determine exactly how to get there. Here is how to register with the Kenya Registrar of companies

The Registrar of Companies in Kenya maintains a registry of records concerning new and old companies, which are registered with them, and allows the public to access services to register and maintain businesses through the BRS System.

Ecitizen Business Registration In Kenya

To Access the BRS, you have to have an Ecitizen profile. The Ecitizen platform is used by both Resident and non Residents in Kenya to access most online government services including Business Registration in Kenya.

Once you login to the Ecitizen Business Registration Service, you have the option of registering either of the entities below;

  • A Business Name
  • A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • A Private Limited Company (LTD)
  • A Public Limited Company (PLC)
  • An Unlimited Organization
  • A Company Limited by guarantee

On this Article, we shall dwell more on the two main forms of businesses in Kenya: A Business Name and a private Limited Company.

1. Registration of A Business Name Kenya

This is normally registered by owners of very small business looking to trade in a name that is different from their own name. This type of business is known for its simplicity and ease of setup. It is the easiest form in which one can operate.

2. Registration Of A Private Limited Company In Kenya

This type of entity is preferred because the liability of the shareholders is limited to the extent of their individual contribution. It is a separate and distinct entity from its owners and is registered for tax as a separate entity.

So what are the Costs of Registering a Company in Kenya?

The government of Kenya imposes different Cost Costs of Registering a Company in Kenya based on the entity type one is interested in.

Here are the costs of Company Registration Kenya (Statutory Costs)

  1. Registration of Business name – KES 950
  2. Private Limited Company – KES 10750
  3. Public Limited Company KES – 10650
  4. Unlimited Companies – KES 20050
  5. Company Limited by guarantee – KES 10000
  6. Limited Liability Partnership- KES 25000

Here is how to register a company in Kenya

As discussed earlier, the whole company registration process is carried out online and the sequence is as follows;

  1. Enter your proposed company names
  2. Enter the Articles of Association Details
  3. Enter the registered Office Address
  4. Add the Share Information
  5. Add the Details of all the Directors and shareholders
  6. Declare the Beneficial owners of the Company
  7. Upload Signed application Forms
  8. Make Payment

Important Facts about Company Registration In Kenya

Now that you have an idea about the sequence to register a company in Kenya, we shall now look at the major things you need to know.

1. Business Name Search In Kenya

Before we jump into the process to register a company in Kenya, it is important to understand how the business name search in Kenya works. Name reservation is part of the registration process and you are required to submit at least 3 and a maximum of 5 unique names in order of priority and the first available name will be automatically assigned to you.

If the names you have submitted are similar to an already existing company or business, you will be requested to provide other unique names. Kindly note that the words “Kenya” “East Africa” or “Africa” are not considered differentiating words

2. Company Registration Requirements in Kenya

The requirements to register a company in Kenya vary depending on the entity you are looking to register. For now, we will have a look at the requirements for a Branch Company (Foreign Company), Subsidiary (a Company whose main shareholder is a foreign company) and a New independent company.

Requirements for Branch registration in KenyaRequirements for registering a Subsidiary in Kenya (Independent Company Registration)
Notarized Copy of the Parent Company Certificate of Incorporation.

Copies of travel passport of the Directors and Local representative national ID.

Directors and Local Rep Passport size photographs Postal, physical and e-mail address, telephone number and occupation of the directors and Local representative

70% down payment of the amount quoted
Three preferred names of the proposed company

Valid Travel passport copies of all the Directors/Shareholders. Notarized Copy of the Parent Company Certificate of Incorporation (If Parent Company will be a shareholder in the subsidiary)

Passport size photographs of all the Directors and Shareholders

Postal, physical and e-mail address, Telephone number and occupation of all Shareholders/directors of the proposed company
Share Apportionment percentage

PS. If the Kenyan Company will have a Foreign Company as a shareholder, we shall then require the following details of the beneficial owners of the Foreign Company Valid Travel Passport, Passport size photograph, Postal, physical and e-mail address, Telephone number and their occupation.

3. Documents Needed To Register A Company in Kenya | Company Registration Forms in Kenya

Each entity type in Kenya has a set of unique forms completed by the subscribers as shown below.

  1. Business name – form BN 2
  2. Limited Liability Partnership – New Registration LLP 1
  3. Private Limited Company – CR 1, CR 2, Cr 8, Statement of Nominal Capital
  4. Public Limited Company – CR 1, CR 2, CR8, CR 10, CR 12 and the Nominal Capital Statement
  5. Unlimited Companies – Cr 1, CR 4, Cr 8 Statement of Nominal Capital
  6. Company Limited by guarantee – CR1, CR 3 and CR 8

4. Memorandum and Articles of Association in Kenya

The companies act allows you to adopt the model articles of association in the companies act and hence reducing the time and cost of registering a company in Kenya. This also makes the process easier because you can remotely register a company without the need for you to travel to Kenya

5. Company Registration Stamp Duty in Kenya

Kenya abolished stamp duty that was previously charged as a percentage of the new company nominal capital. This is one of the many deliberate effort by the Kenyan government to give incentives to both foreign and local investors looking to setup new companies.

This means that you can setup the company with the highest possible nominal capital depending on your company needs in both the short and long run. Any subsequent increase of nominal capital will be subject to a stamp duty of 1% of the increase in the nominal capital.

An Easier Solution to Company Registration in Kenya

While the wealth of information exists on the process and Costs of Registering a Company in Kenya, this process is tedious and time consuming. Some of the common issues experienced by individuals who take on the process alone include:

  • Loss of funds. When the registration is not successfully completed due to missing files.
  • Time spent. Following up with the registry offices without certainty on the conclusion of the process can be very devastating.
  • Choosing a non-suitable option. You may find that it would have been better to register as a company rather than a sole proprietorship. Changing this would pose a challenge for business operations.

Seeking some assistance about business registration from our business lawyers not only enables you to know which entity suits you, but how to also go about it. Our Company Registration in Kenya service eliminates the hustle, saves you time and money.

Read more about our customized process to guarantee you quality services

What you get after Company Registration in Kenya

1. Certificate of Incorporation in Kenya

This is the official document showing that the company is duly registered in Kenya. The certificate indicates the date of registration, Unique company registration number and the full company name.

2. Shareholders Certificate in Kenya | Form Cr12 Kenya | CR12 Certificate

The form Cr12 is issued upon successful registration in Kenya and it provides more details as listed below;

  • The Company’s registered address
  • A list of the company’s current shareholders, their postal address and share apportionment
  • A list of the company’s current directors and their postal address
  • Any encumbrances registered against the company

3. Company KRA PIN Certificate | KRA Pin Registration

A KRA Pin certificate is an official proof of registration with the Kenya Revenue Authority. The registration is important and a requirement when opening a Bank Account, Paying Taxes, Import and Export of goods

Things to do after you have registered a company in Kenya

1. Process a Business License in Kenya | Nairobi County Business Permit

A Business License is issued by the county government where your business is located. The costs for this depend on factors like the size of your warehouse and Number of employees.

2. VAT Registration in Kenya

It is Mandatory for companies to register for VAT if they will be dealing in Vatable Goods or Services. VAT is charged at 16% and payable on or before the 20th day of the following month.

3. Work Permit application in Kenya

All foreign employees, directors and shareholders looking to work in Kenya are required to apply for a Work Permit. Class D work permit is issued to any foreign employee bringing in a skill that is not readily available in Kenya and Class G Work permit is issued to company owners investing more that 100,000 USD into the country.

Our Business Registration Fee.

Business registration plus setup cost, Ksh. 50,000 (Kenyans), Ksh. 1, 600, 000 (Foreigners).

Here’s the package to expect from our legal and business service engagements,

We will help you to unwrap your business goals by:

  • Identifying the right business structure for your project, i.e, Business Name or Sole Proprietor, Private Limited Company by Shares, Private Limited Company by Guarantee, Limited Liability Partnership, Branch – Foreign Company, NGOs, Saccos and so on;
  • Making a business registration application with the Kenyan Government;
  • Prepare the correct business templates; Business Plan, Legal Agreements, Human Resource, Finance & Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Production & Operations and, Administration;
  • Organize and structure all departments of your business;


  • Be more efficient by smoothing business processes;
  • Guide your team tasks with standard operating procedures;
  • Save a lot of time and boost your productivity;
  • Save thousands of money in lawyer fees;
  • Grow your business and close great deals; and
  • On matters: Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration and Court Litigation if need be.


We hope that this article answered most of your questions relating to the costs of registering a company in Kenya and all the other important topics to help you make an informed decision. For your legal and business services, reach us via our online platform on this website. For our premium paid legal and business services, make your order via the ORDER NOW page.

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