Do you feel tired working for someone else? Are you frustrated being jobless after finishing your studies? Do you want to work for yourself? Well, you can start small by registering your sole proprietorship business that will enable you to turn your passion into income.
I will guide you through what you need to prepare before starting trading as a consultant in Kenya. Before starting a consultancy business, you will need to have a registered business. You will need to gather the following information before hand so to make the registration process seamless.
You will need to come up with business name suggestions that will require for name search to be performed at Company Registry. This process usually takes up-to 3 working days for the results to be released.
Business Name Registration Form (BN/2)
Once your preferred business name is available, then you will need to prepare the following information that will be used to fill the BN/2 form so it can be submitted to Company Registry for registration.
- Nature of Business – You will need to come up with one specific nature of business e.g. Energy consultant, Food consultancy service, IT consultancy, Research consultancy etc. General words such as “consultant” or “consultancy” alone are not sufficient for Company Registry to proceed to register your business. You will need to avoid things like “General Consultancy” which is popularly used but it will not be approved. Remember, be very specific.
- Plot number/Land Reference Number – For the plot number, please find the electricity bill or water bill of your business premises. If you don’t have a business premises, you can use your home residential plot number/land reference number for registration that’s if you are starting your business from home, but you will need to update the records at Company Registry once you have a Business Premises.
- Postal Address – If you don’t have one, you can register your very own postal office box for Ksh. 2,500 at the nearest Postal Office or ask a family or friend to allow you to use their P.O. Box temporary for the application then later on update your registration certificate once you acquire your own P.O. Box Address.
- Street Name/Road
- Address of any other place of business – Only applicable to businesses that are currently operating business in other counties or have other branches under the same business name.
- Full names – Make sure the full names you submit must match your ID/Passport in order to avoid challenges later on when you want to open your business bank account. Any person who has changed his/her name must give all former names, unless the change occurred before he/she attained the age of two years. Avoid using abbreviation for your middle name if you have one. For example names like Enock K. Kiprono is not allowed, instead it should be Enock Kipkolele Kiprono. This will save your time and money during the registration process.
- Age – Make sure you give your correct age based on your ID/Passport
- Gender – Male (M) or Female (F).
- Nationality – You will require to enter your nationality as indicated on your identification e.g. Kenyan, German, British, American, Chinese, South African etc.
- Usual Place of Residence – Where you currently reside e.g. Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, London, Paris, Hong Kong etc.
- Other Business Occupation – You will need to enter your occupation e.g. engineer, farmer, hair stylist, web designer etc. If you don’t have one you can simply write either “Businessman” or “Businesswoman”.
Proof of Identity Company Registry has introduced new rules that will require every sole proprietor to provide proof of identity documentation as follows in order for the registration to take place. 1. Copy of ID/Passport – You will need to provide a copy of your ID/Passport 2. Copy of KRA PIN Certificate – This applies to Kenya citizens or residents. If you are a foreigner then you won’t need to produce KRA PIN, however it is crucial to acquire one eventually because you won’t be able to open a business bank account without it or make Tax Returns. 3. Passport Photo – make sure it has a clear white background
Proof of Identity
Company Registry has introduced new rules that will require every sole proprietor to provide proof of identity documentation as follows in order for the registration to take place.
1. Copy of ID/Passport – You will need to provide a copy of your ID/Passport
2. Copy of KRA PIN Certificate – This applies to Kenya citizens or residents. If you are a foreigner then you won’t need to produce KRA PIN, however it is crucial to acquire one eventually because you won’t be able to open a business bank account without it or make Tax Returns.
3. Passport Photo – make sure it has a clear white background
Once your BN/2 form and proof of identity documentation have been submitted to Company Registry, you will need to pay for the registration cost. The registration process will take 1 working day for Company Registry to process your Business Registration Certificate. Please note that this is subject to Company Registry workload & working hours.
What’s Next After Registration
- KRA PIN – if you are register a sole proprietor business, you can use your personal KRA PIN to act as your Business KRA PIN. However, if you are charging VAT to your customers, then you will need to enable the VAT Tax obligation on your personal KRA PIN.
- Business Bank Account – you will need open a bank account for your business in order to receive payment from your customers.
- Business Permit – allows you to trade your business in the counties. Cost varies depending on the size of the business. It takes 1 day to acquire a business permit in Nairobi County.
- AGPO Certificate – if you are interested in registering for Government Tenders, then you must acquire AGPO Certificate.
- Company Profile
- Logo Design
- Business Card Design
- Domain Name & Web Hosting – you will need to create professional email accounts to use for your business e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Courtesy of lwdp.org.uk