Are you wondering how you will covert that idea in your mind into a business? This may be a challenging task without relevant knowledge on how to go about it. However, this article makes this process easy by guiding you on the processes you should undertake. To start with, the article guides you on the different legal documentation you need to start a business in Kenya. Therefore, you should stick to this page to be guided on how to start a legal business in Kenya.
Before going further, you should have the knowledge of the different documentations you need. Therefore, you should begin by conducting a search on the Nairobi City Council Website to know these documents. Alternatively, you can consult City Council Officers about these documents. Here are the four legal requirements for you to start a legal business in Kenya:
Registering Your Business (Business Name)
Registering a business can be done in two ways:
First is by registering the name of the business. This is ideal if you have a small capital, therefore, you cannot register a company. The process is simple as you are supposed to visit a Huduma Centre to conduct name search (You are required to give three option names for your business). Each name search will cost you Ksh. 100 for a process that takes three days. After the search, you will be able to register the name of your business at Ksh. 1,000, a process that takes 5 days. You can register an individual business, as a sole proprietor or a group. After the registration, you will be given a business permit meaning that nobody will be able to use the name of your business.
The second approach will be to register a company if you have a budget of between Ksh. 20,000 to 35,000. The process is undertaken by a certified lawyer. Therefore, you are required to choose a good and reliable lawyer to handle the process. The process is expected to take 2 weeks. At the end of the process, you will get a certificate of incorporation. Moreover, you can pay an additional Ksh. 2,500 for a company seal. The lawyer can help you in getting a Tax PIN certificate for the business.
Acquiring Health or Food Permits
Industries such as food, bakery, beverage, salon and others require health certification. If you are looking to start such a business, the regulation state that a Health Inspector has to visit you place of operation for inspection. After this inspection, the business will be certified. After making the necessary payments, you will receive a receipt after which you will get a certificate after one week.
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Get a Fire Safety Certificate
Businesses are expected to be Fire Safety Certified. With this, you are expected to have at least a fire extinguisher and other fire safety requirements. It is the responsibility of a Fire Safety inspector to advise you on this. After the inspection, your business will be certified and get a Fire Safety Certificate.
Apply for City Council Business Permits
A City Council Business Permit is crucial for you to start a business in Kenya as without it, you will not be able to do anything. The cost for this permit varies depending on the size of your business and the industry in which your business belongs to. For instance, the City Council charges Ksh. 8,000 each year for a regular-sized bakery. You are expected to engage your local city council officers on the cost. The officers will visit your business to ascertain the size of the location and advice you on how to pay. A receipt will be handed to you after payment with a certificate coming after a week.
However, the Nairobi City County has launched a Unified Business Permit that consolidates all the above requirements for running a business within the City. Therefore, after acquiring your Unified Business Permit, you will have paid for all the permits elaborated above.
We hope this guide on how to start a legal business in Kenya in 2021 has been helpful to you. With such tips, we believe you will be well-guided on your entrepreneurial journey.