How to Register a Business Name in Kenya

How to Register a Business Name in Kenya

Business Name Registrations in Kenya, are commonly referred to as Sole Proprietorships, BN2, or Partnerships and are Registered under the Business Names Act. This is the most common business registration process for small businesses and Partnerships in Kenya.

You may register a Business name in Kenya as a sole proprietorship or a partnership to conduct your business in Kenya. A Business name registration is normally registered for a single line or single nature of Business or a specific Business as opposed to a limited company where you may conduct multiple objectives or lines of business.

When registering a business in Kenya, there are a few steps to go through before the actual registration process. The first steps of name searching and registration are very important and necessary. Without a registered business name, your business cannot feature in the registrar’s list of documented businesses. This is therefore a guide on how to register your business name, after completing and getting positive feedback for your name search process. Please note that once your name search comes back positive, your proposed business name remains in reservation for a maximum of 30 days. After this, you might have to conduct a new name search application.

Requirements for business name registration

  • Positive name search response.
  • True and complete details of all business proprietors.
  • Postal address for the proposed business.
  • Physical address for the proposed business. This may include the geographical location and even plot number where applicable.
  • Copies of ID cards or passports for all the proprietors and partners.
  • Clear and current passport photos of the partners.
  • Copies of the KRA pin certificates for all the proprietors.
  • Ksh 850 in your MPESA (plus transaction fees)

Steps to follow.

  1. Go to your computer and log in to your eCitizen account.
  2. Go to the ‘Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice’ tab and click on it.
  3. Now click on ‘business registration or name search’ option.
  4. Now that your name search was successful, you no longer need to make an application. Instead, click on the ‘continue’ button and proceed.
  5. Now enter all the details required including scanning and uploading all the necessary documents. Please note that if this is a sole business, you can be both the owner and shareholder. If this is the case, then only fill in your details and upload your documents.
  6. After filling in the details, eCitizen will generate a BN/2 form. You must download and print it. Then fill in the required details and have all applicable proprietors sign. Afterward, scan and upload the signed copy back to the eCitizen portal.
  7. Once you are sure of all the details, submit your application and move on to the payment process.
  8. Choose MPESA and go to your sim application on your phone.
  9. Go to Lipa na Mpesa and choose the PAYBILL option.
  10. Enter the provided business number, and account number followed by Ksh 850 in the amount. Finally, enter your pin and finish the process.
  11. Once eCitizen picks up your payment, it will redirect you to a new page where you can download the payment invoice.
  12. The application process takes about 1-2 working days for approval. You will thus have to log in into your eCitizen portal after 48 hours again to check for your approval. This means choosing the ‘Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice’ tab. If the application was successful, there will be an option to download and print the registration certificate.

Please note that this is the process for sole business registration and not a company registration guide.

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