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Foreign Sole Proprietor

How To Register A Foreign Sole Proprietor Business In Kenya

Are you a foreigner and looking to start a business as a sole trader in Kenya? Well, it is possible. It is easy to start and affordable to set up foreign sole proprietor business.

If you are planning to have your business registered while you are outside Kenya, you will need to make sure you have the following information;

I) Business Name Search

You will need to perform a Business Name Search to find out whether the business name is available to be registered. This process takes 1-3 days to be completed. It will cost you Ksh. 150 per name.

II) Business Name Registration Form (BN/2)

Once Business Name has been approved, you will need to prepare the following information in order to fill out the form;

  • Nature of Business –  You will need to come up with one specific nature of business e.g. Tours & Travel, Computer Repairs, Mobile Phone & Accessories Shop etc. General words such as “shop” or “retail”, trade” are not sufficient for Company Registry to proceed to register your business. You will need to avoid things like “General Supplies” which is popularly used but it will not be approved)
  • Date of Commencement – You will need to write down the date in which you started your business using that name. If you haven’t yet started, then you will need to indicate when you will begin using that Business name to trade. Make sure that the date is not too far in the future, this could affect your application and you might be told to apply at a later date.
  • Address of the principal place of business (Plot No./Land Office Reference Number, Section, and Name of Street or Road, Name of Building) – For the plot number, please find the electricity bill or water bill of your business premises. If you don’t have 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
  • Address of any other place of business (Branch Office under the above name) – Only applicable to businesses that are currently operating a business in other counties or have other branches under the same business name.
  • Full Names of you and any other partners – Any person who has changed his name must give all former names unless the change occurred before he attained the age of two years. For Sole Proprietor Business, it only requires 1 person. For Partnership Business, it only requires a minimum of 2 people and maximum of 20 people).
  • Nationality – You will require to enter your nationality as indicated on your identification e.g. Kenyan, German, British, American, Chinese, South African etc.
  • Age – Make sure you give your correct age.
  • Gender – Male (M) or Female (F).
  • Usual place of residence – Where you currently reside e.g. Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, London, Paris 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”.

Update: All you will need to do now is to submit the documents to eCitizen.

Duration: up to 2 weeks

We no longer offer sole proprietor business registration. We only carry out limited company registration.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Is the procedure the same if one of the partners is the Kenyan and the other is the foreigner?
    How is this procedure (explained above) relative to work permit (types H or G)

  2. Hello Dealpoa,
    I got a friend we to partner with. He is US and am in Kenya. How do we go about? What will be required of him in terms of documents. I need to register business name as soon as possible.

  3. I have a foreign friend who is in Kenya on a work permit and wants to start a construction business. what is the requirement for business registration and licence fee

  4. I am us citizen and I want to start Heavy/light construction equipment rental business in Kenya.
    Please advise me ?

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