Simple Guide to Business Name Search and Registration in Kenya

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Simple Guide to Business Name Search and Registration in Kenya
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Business Name Search and Registration in Kenya

Author: Nixon Aswan

The Registrar of Companies in Kenya is in charge of the registration of all businesses and companies in Kenya. This role involves the issuance of foreign firms with the certificate of compliance, issuing local businesses their certificates of incorporation, as well as offering the certificate of registration to partnerships and sole proprietorships. All firms are then required to be registered with the Kenya Revenue Authority, and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Furthermore, the firms are required to obtain business permits form the County Government according to the type of business.

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Registration for all companies and businesses (partnerships and sole proprietorships) can be done via the e citizen platform. However, registration for Limited Liability Partnerships is still done manually at the company registry. All registered companies in Kenya go through a similar registration process, although the costs and requirements vary. This includes unlimited companies, companies limited by guarantee, and those that are limited by shares.

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Companies that have already been incorporated outside Kenya can register as a branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation. They will receive a certificate of compliance as proof that all the conditions have been met.

Business name search in Kenya

Online business name search in Kenya has made it easier to conduct a business name search. The office of the attorney general handles the process. To do the business name search online, you will have to click on the Office of the Attorney General on your eCitizen portal. Note that you can only submit one name per application. You’re also not allowed to modify an existing business name. Moreover, business names are processed on weekdays between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. This process is essential as it also offers business contacts in Kenya.

Business name registration in Kenya

To register a business name in Kenya, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Submit the proposed name of the business for a name search approval.
  • Explain the nature of the proposed business and the activities that the firm will be undertaking.
  • Present the names of all the proprietors in full.
  • The postal address for the proposed business name.
  • Highlight the physical address of the proposed business. This includes the plot number, name of the adjacent road, town, and county.
  • Present copies of the partners’ or proprietor’s national ID or Passport.
  • Present the proprietors’ passport photos.
  • Present copies of the proprietor’s PIN Certificate.

Here’s how to register a business name in Kenya online

In Kenya, it is official that you can conduct a business name search and registration online in less than seven minutes. All you have to do is open and follow the following steps:

Step one – Register at

Key in your first name exactly the way it appears on your national ID or Passport. You will then follow by entering your ID number as well as your phone number. To activate your account, you have to open the link sent to your email.

Step two – Confirmation of registration

You will receive an SMS on your phone confirming that your e citizen account is active and valid. You will then go back to the homepage with a dashboard having five agencies. These include:

  • Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development
  • Department of Immigration Services
  • National Transport and Safety Authority
  • Office of The Attorney General and Department of Justice

Step three – Submit your business name

Select Office of The Attorney General and Department of Justice. Click on business registration or business name search. Since you will have completed the business name search, you will only click Continue, then review and submit your entry. A name search letter and Ksh. 150 invoice will be created.

Step four – Pay the invoice

This step involves making payments for the application. You can use M-Pesa, credit/debit/prepaid cards, or an eCitizen agent. For MPesa, you will use the business number 206206.

Step five – Get confirmation of business name registration!

After receiving a reply from Mpesa, you can click on the complete button. Your application will be queued, and you will get the feedback on whether yours is among the registered companies in Kenya within one working day.

Clearly, it is now easy to have a registered company in Kenya compared to a few years back when you could take months to get that certificate of registration.

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