Many businesses in Kenya are not registered. Statistics show that more than 80 percent of businesses in Kenya are Small Medium Enterprises (SME) but more than 60 percent of them are not registered as companies. This is because most people still think that registering a company is a “rich man’s affair.” They think that registering a company is expensive and only left for the rich.
In the last couple of years, the rules and regulations governing the registration of a company in Kenya have been made easier, and it is now a more affordable process. This means that anyone in Kenya is eligible to register a company. Registering a company in Kenya is no longer a matter of how much money one has but the interests that one hopes to achieve. For instance, previously, for one to register a company, a company had to have two or more directors. That is no longer a requirement for one can now register a company with one director. In other words, one can have a ‘one-man company’.
The advantages of having a company in Kenya are many. Some of the advantages according to Jeff Mwangi & Co. include:
The business will appear credible when bidding for tenders and signing contracts.
It is less expensive to borrow finances to expand the business due to great borrowing power when one has a registered company.
Legal protection that separates directors from their individual finances if the company goes under.
It is easier and faster to register a business in Kenya. Previously, for individuals to register a company, they needed to go through lawyers. One also needed to physically present documents to the Registrar of Companies at the office of Attorney General. This is not necessary anymore. Technology has further revolutionized the process giving individuals an opportunity to apply for the registration of companies by themselves. People can now register their companies at Huduma Centers across the country or do it by logging into the government’s e-Citizen platform.
There are three major steps you need to follow in the registration of your company online:
First, log into the e-citizen platform. The platform needs you to have an account with them. If you do not have an account, you only need an email and a password to have one within seconds.
Second, you will need to search for the name of your business. This process is called Business Name Search. This is to make sure that the business name you are intending to use is available and not being used with any other person. To search for the name, Click to Make Application icon, you will be directed to Business Name Registration icon. Click on the icon and follow the steps. The name search takes a day and you will only need to part with 150 shillings.
Third, the business registration. This takes place after your name has been approved. After the registration, the process takes a week before the certificate being issued and available on the e-citizen platform for download.
People think that registering a company in Kenya is very expensive. This is not the case. You only need to pay 100 or 150 shillings for a name search and later 10,000 shillings as registration fee and you will walk out with your company. There are also business registration agents who can help you register your company at a fee.