News, articles and guides on how to start a business in Kenya

Steps for Starting a Business in Kenya

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

A business plan is an essential road-map for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. While there are various templates that can help you get started online, the best outcome would result from you personalizing your business plan to your needs. Read as many case studies online to get a better understanding of the challenges entrepreneurs face while coming up with a business plan

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

You will find that learning and growth is something that that you will need to embrace throughout the life of your business. An important step in starting your business is to get as much training as you can get from local forums, government as well as formal education about starting and running a business.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Your probably thinking that modern day businesses are working virtually. Well, you are right but every serious business needs a location where they can physically serve their customers. Selecting a customer-friendly location should be your priority. In Kenya, especially in Nairobi, the choice for location has been made easier by Co-Working spaces that not only ease your hassle but offer a range of support services that will get you started in the shortest time possible. You can even rent boardroom space at an hourly rate, can you believe that?

Step 4: Finance Your Business

Government backed loans, venture capital and research grants can help get you started.

Step 5: Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

Depending on the type of business you are operating: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, nonprofit or cooperative, it is important to know the legal structure that can influence the way you do business in Kenya.

Step 6: Register a Business Name

Register your business name with the government. Depending on the type of business you choose to operate: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, nonprofit or cooperative, you will need to register it under the laws of Kenya

Step 7: Register for Taxes

The Kenya Revenue Authority will have a few instructions for you on which taxes to pay and how to pay them once you choose to do business in Kenya

Step 8: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

You business will be requires to have the necessary licences and permits which are issued county and municipal councils to regulate how business is conducted in their jurisdiction.

Step 9: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Now that you are an employer, learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees lest you get into trouble. Some responsibilities govern how you treat, remunerate and even house you employees. Be in the know!

Step 10: Associate your Business with the Industry

Now that your business is operational, taking the next steps for sales and marketing geared towards growth should be top of your agenda. Depending on the sector or industry of business, you can join institutions that lobby on your behalf. Private sector aligned businesses might want to consider KEPSA and other organizations that can help you network and grow the reach of your business.

New Body to Handle Business Registration in Kenya

The office of the Attorney General has formed a new body that will be tasked with the registration of businesses in Kenya.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai published a list of directors to run the Business Registration Service Board on Monday stripping the State Law Office of the powers to register companies.

Ms Carol Musyoka has been appointed to head the board and will work with Michael Mugasa, Shallah Sheikh, Irene Wamakau and Ben Gaithuma as directors for three years.

The Attorney-General was mandated by the Business Registration Service Act, which removes the function of business registration from The State Law office, that is set to take effect.

The act was signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015 alongside six new legislations set to transform Kenya’s business landscape and thrust the country’s competitiveness.

Entrepreneurs should now expect a fastracked business registration process. Low foreign investment has previously been blamed on the State Law Office’s slow process that was marred by constant delays.

Services such as incorporation of companies, registration of business names and partnerships will be devolved to promote local business ideas/legal entities, cut the costs of registration and operations which are currently being offered in Nairobi only.

For better service delivery, the independent body expects to have an office in Nairobi as well branches across the country.

Register a business online in kenya

With the following online business consultation websites, the hassle of registering businesses and companies in Kenya is easy and flawless.

From filling in the forms to attaining KRA VAT and Pin, the services you get from these businesses will hasten and full proof the process of getting started with a business in Kenya.

Deal Poa is probably one of the most forthwith online registration website supported by valuable content on various aspects of registering and running a business in Kenya. For the registration of a company, this will cost you between Ksh.20000 and Ksh. 35000 depending on your prefered package.

More of their services include, Business Name, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Company, KRA PIN & VAT, Tax Compliance Certificate and AGPO Tender Certificate. (INCORPORATOR)

A brain child of Genius Executives, the company that popularized the renting of furnished and serviced office workstations, INCORPORATOR provides individuals and business owners the tools required to quickly and easily comply with government procedures and regulations.

This includes investments certificates from the Kenya Investment Authority to fast track business project implementation.

Biz Brokers Kenya

Biz Brokers Kenya like other online Business Consultation firms will help you get your ideas off the ground by helping set up a business or company. Based on their support and compliance services, they will also likely walk with your company through its life.

Led by a team of business consultants, formAKenyanCompany will help you all way in registering a business in Kenya. One of their unique product offerings includes Trademark Registration for KES. 35,000 with a validity of 10 years.

Also recently, Kenya’s leading mobile telecom Safaricom signed a US$175,000 deal with the Kenya State Law office to develop a tool that would allow applicants to use their mobile phones for registry. It will be interesting to see what the developments of this project will be in the coming months.

Starting a Radio Station in Kenya

To start a radio station in Kenya, you will need information on licences and physical equipments for setting up the actual station.

The first step for any investor would be to get information about licences from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK). There are differennt categories of Licences based on the type of radio station you would want to start. The three types of licences include:

  • Public Broadcasting (KBC is the only designated public broadcaster)
  • Commercial/Private broadcasting service
  • Community Broadcasting services

Other Licencing to think about are the following:

  • MCSK Licence (cost is determined by the scope and nature of the use of music)
  • Music rights

Your choice of licence factors in on the cost of licencing as well as the equipment to acquire. The following equipment will give you an idea of what your station may need to start running.


  • FM radio Transmitter
  • Antenna
  • Coaxial cable
  • Power supply
  • Equipment Racks
  • Connectors
  • Audio Equipment
  • UPS

A breakdown of audio equipment needs would be as follows -:

  • Limiter – compressor
  • Tape decks
  • Mixing tables
  • Cd players or a PC
  • Noise free boom Microphone
  • Amplifiers
  • Monitor Speakers
  • Speaker Mounts

If all the details sound too complicated for your liking, companies such as Clyde Broadcast will help you get started. In their own words, they can put together requirements for studios, technical areas, transmission and outside broadcast equipment as well as offer full installation and training before you go live.  Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Capital 98.4 and Radio Maisha are some of the radio stations they have worked with in Kenya.

Event Planning Company in Kenya

There is never a right time to start your event planning business, any time is always the right time as long as you have done your research and are prepared to start, run and grow your company.

In this article, I will be taking your through some of the things you need to prepare in order to start trading with your event planning business.

Think Big, Start Small!

When planning to start an event planning business, you need to consider how you will be sustaining the business on monthly basis. Most event planning business usually starts from home, thus enabling the entrepreneur to save on overhead costs.

To start your events planning business, all you need is a laptop/computer, internet and mobile phone. You can do so much with just these tools to begin with, and then gradually grow the business by investing in it. Eventually you will have enough monthly income that will allow you to expand business, but remember this takes time. There are no shortcuts or quick rich schemes when it comes to running a business.

In our business coaching program, we usually help business to identify their customers, developing products/services, building customer service structures and most importantly, we help our members to set up strong cash flow structure that will help their businesses have an outlook on its progress.

Naming Your Business

You’ll need to come up with a company name for your event planning business. Please note that you need to take into consideration the perception the name has. We always recommend our customers to have at least two (2) company names before starting the name search prices. This will help saving time during the name search stage and also increase the chances of at least one company name being available for use.

You will also need to take into consideration on whether someone else is using that name in another country. You can simple try and Google the name and see if anything comes up. You will also need to check availability of domain name on that company name – for example, We offer this service to our Premium Plan customers.

Choosing Your Legal Entity

When planning to register your business, you will need to know what type of business entity you want to use for your business. Here are some of the business entities to choose from;

Register A Sole Proprietor Business (one person)
Register A Partnership Business (minimum 2 people, maximum 20 people)
Register A Limited Company (minimum 1 director, maximum 7 directors, up-to 50 shareholders)

Getting Registered

Once you have decided on the right business entity, you can initiate the registration process. You can either register your event planning business at Huduma Center or you can engage us to help you register your company. This process usually takes around 2 weeks or less (depending on Company Registry workload).

If you have opted to register a limited company with us, you’ll need to collect some requirements that will be used to prepare the Memorandum & Article of Association documents. Here are some of the information that you will need to gather;

Company information – such as company name suggestions, nature of business, location of business (home or office), nominal share capital etc.
Directors information – such as fullnames, postal address, occupation, share allocation
Proof of identity documents – Copy of ID/Passport for each director (Front & Back-side), Copy of KRA PIN Certificate for each director and Passport Photo for each director.

IMPORTANT! We currently only register limited company at the moment. If you are looking to register sole proprietorship and partnership business, we recommend that you visit Huduma Center for further assistance.

Please note that the entire process can take more than 2 weeks should you take longer in signing relevant documents or delaying of requirements needed to carry out the registration. If there are any deadlines we should be aware of, please contact us immediately so we can help you register your company through our fast tracking service.

KRA PIN Registration

Upon receiving the company certificate and your memorandum and article of association, you will need to perform data loading and register your event planning company KRA PIN online. If you have registered your business through us or our partner company Dealpoa, then we will be able to help you with your company KRA PIN.

Getting Your Business Online

Every business needs to setup an online presence for their business. To build credibility to your customer, it is important that they can go online and find who you are, what you offer and how to reach you. Through our partner companies, we offer our customer everything they need to get their business online such as domain name registration, web hosting service, website design, logo design and business card design. These services are only available for our Premium Plan Customers.

CR-12 Letter

This document usually contains the list of directors’ particulars and shareholding details. For event planning businesses looking to apply for Government Tenders, then you will require to apply for your CR-12 Letter. You will need a copy of your certificate of incorporation and a written letter to Registrar of Companies to request for the CR-12. We currently offer this service to our Premium Plan members only.

Business Permit

Every business that has a business premises in Kenya will require a business permit in order to run their business. It is very crucial to acquire one before start trading in your office to avoid penalties from the county government.

Register Your Company Today!

If you would like us to help you to register your limited company, please fill the form below and we will be happy to getting your registered so you can be trading soon.

Online Form

Here is your success in starting your event planning business in Kenya.

Photo Courtesy of bentobusiness

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For every startup business that intends to pursue government opportunities, the AGPO program that is the avenue for government tenders and opportunities is a must join.

The Presidential Directive on the women, the youth and persons with disabilities access to 30% of government procurement opportunities is been implemented within the context of a program called AGPO (Access to Government Procurement Opportunities) which was officially launched by His Excellency the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, on October 16th, 2013 in Nairobi County.
The Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) program is founded on the Presidential Directive, the Preference and Reservations Regulations 2011, the Public Procurement And Disposal (Preference And Reservations) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 227 on the fair equitable, transparent and cost-effective public procurement of goods and services, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 55 on affirmative action, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005, and the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations, 2006.

What is the aim of the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) Program?
The aim of the AGPO Program is to facilitate the enterprises owned by women, youth and persons with disability to be able to participate in government procurement. This will be made possible through the implementation of the Presidential Directive that 30% of government procurement opportunities be set aside specifically for enterprises owned by women, youth and persons with disability. It is affirmative action program aimed at empowering women, youth and persons with disability by giving them more opportunities to do business with Government.

The process of registering a Limited company in Kenya will usually take a minimum of 7 days with all the proper documents provided.

The following steps and process will usually be taken into consideration when getting started.

Name Search & Reservation

The first step to registering a business in Kenya is conducting a business name search that will cost around Kes. 600 and in the event that it is available reserving it for registration. This should be done with regards to the law in writing and accompanied with the prescribed fee.

Fees is dependent on the nominal share capital of the company. The average cost is Kes. 35, 000.


Documents for incorporation of a company (i.e. memorandum and Articles of Association) should be drawn by a lawyer, who should submit the same to the Registry together with the prescribed forms and fees. These forms are obtainable at the Registry.

Applicants who are willing to register a Private company would need to fill in the following forms.

Form 203 – Particulars of Directors and Secretaries.
Form 201 – Notice of situation of Registered Office.
Form 208 – Declaration Of compliance.
Statement of Nominal Share Capital form.

Download forms

On the other hand, applicants who are willing to register a Private company would need to fill in the following forms.

Form 209 – Consent to act as Director of a company.
Form 210 – List of persons who have consented to act as directors.
Form 212 – Declaration that the provisions of sec. 111(2) b have been complied with Statement in lieu of prospectus.

Download forms

Company Secretary

All companies must appoint a qualified certified public secretary as company secretary to act as the manager of the private or public company.

Company Seal

A company seal is an official stamp for companies. You can buy this from many places such as Seal Honey. Also check classified website for sellers, some of whom will deliver directly to your place of business or home.

For a fee, these online consultation websites for business registration in Kenya will handle the process for you