Guidelines on Starting a Business in Kenya

By Vera Shawiza / November 1, 2016


Economies around the world have taken steps making it easier to start a business. This includes streamlining procedures by setting up a one-stop shop, making procedures simpler or faster by introducing technology, and reducing or eliminating minimum capital requirements. Many have undertaken business registration reforms in stages, and often as part of a larger regulatory reform program. Among the benefits have been greater firm satisfaction and savings and more registered businesses, financial resources and job opportunities.

In Kenya, a number of changes were made in the business sector, especially for starters including removal of stamp duty fees required for the nominal capital, memorandum and articles of association. Kenya also eliminated requirements to sign compliance declarations before a commissioner of oaths. However, Kenya also made starting a business more expensive by introducing a flat fee for company incorporation.


With this, it does not mean that it is as easy as one may thing. Becoming an entrepreneur in Kenya, is never an easy decision to make. When one makes the decision however, it’s important not to rush into a business without taking a few steps in preparation. Business plans don’t always work as planned, but they are a great guideline to follow. Here are tips that might help upcoming entrepreneurs:

 Research the industry well

Whatever industry you’re in, you should ensure to research it thoroughly. This is so that you find out who your future competitors are and what they are doing specifically, in terms of marketing and what products or services they are offering. You should find out how the market is doing whether it’s profitable or declining; is it a fad that has run its course? It’s also good to find out if it’s too saturated a market; if everyone is doing it.

 Decide what your niche in the industry will be for your business

Every successful business in Kenya has a certain need it addresses in its industry. Finding a niche in an industry is important since it helps a business focus on solving that particular problem.

Find out the necessary requirements to run your business legally in your location

After you’ve decided what your business will be, you need to find out all the legal requirements to run that kind of business in Kenya. Whether it’s registering the business name or a company; to city council permits and certificates for the business premise. Find out all the necessary documents and start working towards getting them before starting the business.

 Find out the equipment required in your business

It’s necessary to know the basic resources required in your business to get started with. For example, if you’re starting a cyber cafe business; you should know the least number of computers you’ll need to get started, printers, chairs and tables and any shelves required. You should also have money for expenses for at least three months; however, if you can get money to cover expenses for six months – it’s preferred. If you’ll need to hire anyone to help you run your business, decide the kind of skills you require them to have and then start looking for someone to hire. Find out what all your operational requirements will be and plan accordingly.

Write a business plan

It is very important for a serious entrepreneur to have a plan. Whoever is in the process of starting a business need to come up with a plan on how everything will be carried out. A business plan not only helps you be organized, but it also guides one on how to go about the business and procedures of the business today and the coming days.

Read: Seven Things to Consider Before Starting a Business


About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing. Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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