What is A business Name
It is now easy to register a company in Kenya through the eCitizen portal. A Business Name is also referred to as Sole Proprietorships, BN2, or Partnerships and is registered under the Business Names Act. It is the simplest business form under which one can operate a business. It is also a Name/Title under which a person or an entity conducts a business.
It is also a Name/Title under which a person or an entity conducts a business. Remember that, a Business Name is not a legal entity, it simply refers to a person who owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts.
The Registrar of Companies is the only person responsible for business registrations in Kenya. He/she is responsible for the issuance of certificates of compliance for foreign companies, certificates of incorporation for local companies and certificates of registration for sole proprietorship/partnerships.
A Firm must obtain registration from National Social Security Fund (NSSF), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). A business permit is obtained from the County Government offices depending on the business type.
Registrations of companies such as sole proprietorships and partnership are done through the eCitizen platform. For limited liability partnerships (LLPs), registration is still done the old-fashioned way at the registrar of companies office.
How to Register as a Sole proprietor in Kenya online
Business Name Reservation
This is the first step of registering your sole proprietor and there is usually one way to go by performing a business search on eCitizen from the comfort of your home or office.
Login to your eCitizen account, fill in the forms with the required information and pay the registration fees online. If you don’t have an account click here to learn how to create one and sign up immediately.
Note: you will be required to collect requirements that will be used to fill the business name registration form(BN/2 Form). Here are some of the information you are required to fill
- Business Name Suggestions – select your preferred business name.
- Nature of Business – e.g Car rental, Cyber cafe, a Consultancy firm, Chemist, Wine & Spirit.
- Plot No. or Land Reference Number
- Street Name
- Town Name
- Postal Address
- Full names (As shown on National ID or Passport)
- Age – (in years)
- Gender – (Male or Female)
- Place of Residence
With the introduction of new requirements by the Company Registry, each applicant who wants to register a business is to provide a proof of identity with the following documents;
- Copy of ID/Passport
- Recent Passport Photo
- Copy of KRA PIN Certificate
Once the registration is approved, a certificate will be available for download at eCitizen. Company registration submission takes about 3 – 5 Days depending on eCitizen workload.
- Select Business name from the drop down list “select Business Type”, and enter your preferred business name. It is advisable to provide three unique names to ensure availability. Read about legal Justification for Registration of Business Names Act 2012 Section 17 and Legal Notice No.89 of 2003 (Registration of business names Act)
- If rejected, it means that your name is already in use or is contrary to public policy. You should, therefore, reapply using a different name.
- Review your application and select a payment mode, to pay Ksh 100 for the search and a convenience fee of Ksh 50.
- Click confirm payment after you have paid, the click on the back arrow to print your invoice
- If your application is successful, your registered name will be reserved for 30 Days. Therefore, you will be able to apply and pay for the registration of our business name.
Business Name Registration (cost Ksh 850)
An email is sent to you confirming reservation and availability of your business name. It’s, therefore, time for you to register your business name.
- Sign in back at eCitizen, select business registration service from the dashboard.
- Click on add business button, then enter your business name to search for it.
- Select it and click on next button
- choose your role, then click continue to Pay for your Registration
- Download the payment invoice and the statement of particulars, sign it and submit it back to eCitizen. You will receive a submission notification
- Download and print your certificate of registration.
- You can then submit your certificate of registration to the registrar of companies office or to the nearest Huduma Centers for authentication.