Once you have come up with your business idea, you will then need to think of a suitable business name. It is normally recommended to come up with three or more names that can be presented to the Registrar of Companies (based at Sheria House, along Harambee Avenue, Nairobi), who will do a name search. There is a high probability that at least one of the suggested names will be available. The search takes about 3 days, and once this is done, you will need to settle on the appropriate name in your list of suggestions, and present for registration. If all the names you have suggested have been taken, or registered to other businesses, then you need to come up with a another list and present to the registrar of companies. The registration process takes approximately 2-3 weeks. For sole proprietor/partnerships, you will need to pay Sh 800 (as of 2016) for registration. In the case of a limited company, you will need to involve experts, perhaps a registered lawyer to handle the registration process. The expert will help you come up with articles of association, memorandum of association and facilitate the whole process. Eventually you will be issued with a registration certificate.
When this process is completed, you will need to open a bank account to start operating your business. For limited companies, the bank will require the following:
- Original and copy of Registration Certificate
- Original and copy of Directors’ KRA PINS
- Passport-size photographs of the Directors
- Original and copy of Articles of Association
- Original and copy of Memorandum of Association
- Directors’ resolution to open a bank account
- Company seal
You may need to consult your bank for specific requirements as it may slightly differ from bank to bank.