Many Lawyers/Advocates have messaged me asking me to shed light on what one needs to know before starting a law firm in Kenya. Registering a Law firm is the same as registering any other company in Kenya, and to avoid repeating what you already know, I will only state the basics that apply to Law firms. However, for the other parts, I will share links for anyone who will need any clarification. Here are seven things that you should know before starting a Law firm in Kenya;

1. Make a Decision of What Kind of Law firm you want to Establish

Do you want a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, or a Limited Liability Partnership?

This is very important because this will either make or break your business. There are many Lawyers who I know have started a partnership and have ended up separating in very bad terms despite the fact that they started out as friends.

It is therefore very important to make a very wise decision because all these types of businesses have their pros and cons the decision actually lies squarely on you to choose your poison.

2. How Much you will need for Registration

Depending on what type of Lawfirm you will want to establish this is approximately what you will need minus the 150 Kenya shillings for Name search and Reservation during registration.

  • Sole Proprietorship

If you want a sole proprietorship the registration fee is 850 Kenya Shillings which entails the convenience fee of 50 Kenya Shillings. For detailed information check it out here https://eregulations.invest.go.ke/procedure/153/103?l=en

  • Partnership

For a partnership, it is the same process as the sole proprietorship except for this one you will need to provide a partnership deed and it will cost you about 25,000 Kenya Shillings. For detailed information check it out here https://eregulations.invest.go.ke/procedure/156/97?l=en

  • Limited Liability Company

For a Limited Liability Partnership, it will cost you about 25,000 Kenya shilling. For more information click here https://eregulations.invest.go.ke/procedure/270/170?l=en

For more information about the three types of businesses or company you can check it out here https://www.companysecretariesafrica.com/business-registration-kenya/

3. You must Procure a Letter of No Objection from the Law Society of Kenya

This is a new requirement whereby you will be required to have a letter of no objection from the Law Society of Kenya. It is one of the documents that you will need to attach to be able to register your law firm.

This is a very simple process, when I went for my letter of no objection it basically took me less than one hour at the Law Society offices.

4. You must have a Practicing Certificate

This is mandatory, I know how the money for securing a practicing certificate can at times deem difficult to raise. Especially for the people who are jobless or have just been admitted. The best part is that they normally accept your previous year’s certificate because you are required to attach your latest certificate for the people who are not securing it for the first time. For instance, if you are registering in early 2021, you can use your 2020 certificate.

5. You must have Identified a Location

Remember, when registering your Law firm you will have to key in your location, however, I know Most people while registering their law firm do not have the location already Figured out. This, however, should not discourage you.

There are many offices in town whereby you are given everything from a table, a desk, a file cabinet, internet and there is even a boardroom and you only come in with your laptop or desktop and your files at an affordable price. This is perfect for a person just starting out and does not have much money at their disposal. In addition, there are advocates who sublet their offices at an affordable price which is also very perfect for a person just starting out.

6. You Must have Obtained an Address

Again, remember while registering your Law firm you must key in your Address so you must have this already figured out before registering your Law firm.

Originally an Address could cost you 10,000 Kenya Shillings, but there is a new way that you can use Mpost whereby you are allowed to use your phone number as your address, this is something that has been introduced by the postal corporation of Kenya and it will cost you only 300 Kenya Shillings Yearly. 

7. Taxation

You must also register your business with Kenya Revenue Authority, luckily for those registering a sole proprietorship; you can use your personal pin and do not have to register a separate pin for your business. For more information visit https://www.kra.go.ke/en/business/companies-partnerships/companies-partnerships-pin-taxes/companies-partnerships-pin-registration

I hope these tips have been helpful, for any questions or clarification you can feel free to leave a comment in the comment section

All the best as you begin this journey of starting your own Law firm.
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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