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How to Reserve a Company Name in Kenya

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How to Reserve a Company Name in Kenya by Kenyans247(1): Mon 16, March, 2020 01:01pm
Pick the Form for Reservation of Name at the Business Registry or download it.

Reserve a unique company name

Checking whether the name of the Company fulfills the requirements of Article 24 of the Commercial Registration and Business Licensing Proclamation No. 686/2010 is mandatory.

The search is conducted at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The entrepreneur completes a simple form, proposing 5 different company names, and submits it to the agent at window No. 1. The service is fully computerized and the search is quick. A Letter of Recommendation (LR) will be given by the agent and must be attached to the Memorandum and Articles of Association for authentication.

The requirements of a company name are as follows

a) is not identical or misleadingly similar to the trade names previously registered; or

b) is not misleading other business persons and the society, in spite of the fact that it is not previously registered; or

c) the part of the trade name desired to be owned solely by the applicant is not a descriptive or a generic or a common name; or

d) that the trade name is not represented only by numbers; or

e) is not similar to the names of public bodies or public enterprises; or

f) is not similar to the name of any political party or labor union or any other association or aid organization; or

g) a proper authorization has been obtained to use as trade names the names of renowned people or leaders of countries, if the name is so represented; or
h) the trade name of the business operated by a sole business person indicates the type of business carried on; or

i) is not among trade names well known in other countries or is not the one that has international recognition, unless an authorization by the owner to use it has been secured, even though not registered as a trade name in Kenya; or

j) is not submitted by adding prefix or suffix to an already registered trade name; or

k) where the trade name is an acronym that it is meaningful or is representative of the name of the applicant or where it is composed of the names of the members of a business organization that it contains the beginning letters of the members; or

l) where it is intended to use the names of countries as trade names of business organizations, that citizens coming from the countries are establishing the business organizations; or

m) where it is intended to use a trade name of a business organization or a sole business person registered in another country as a trade name of a business organization or a business of an individual business person, that an authorization is obtained and that the same is authenticated in Ethiopia; or

n) does not have similar reading sound with an already registered trade name; or

o) is not contrary to morality or public order

Authentication of the company documents
Authentication of the company documents and the lease agreement at the Documents Authentication and Registration Office (DARO)

Article 11 (1) (e) of Commercial Registration and Business Licensing Proclamation No. 686/2010, the Memorandum and Articles of Associations must be authenticated.

The entrepreneur deposits the documents and will be given an appointment for the next day.

The Documents Authentication and Registration Office verifies the in-kind contribution stated in the Memorandum.

The partners appear in person at the appointed date, with an original copy of their letter of appointment (power of attorney) and a valid identity card. The officer checks the validity of the documents, the authenticity of the signatures, and the genuineness of the identity cards.

All partners sign the documents before the notary public and pay a stamp duty flat fee of Ksh 1000, as well as a service charge of Ksh 500 for 4 copies of the Memorandum of Association. Payment is done in the same office where the documents are being registered in the books. An authenticated lease agreement for the office premises of the company is a mandatory requirement as well. An additional fee of 0.1% of the lease is payable for the lease agreement authentication.

Submit documents
Submit documents and obtain a letter from the Commercial Registry to open a bank account.

The applicant presents the Memorandum and Articles of Association, relevant IDs and power of attorney (if done through one) in order to obtain a letter from the Commercial Registry addressed to a chosen commercial bank so that an account may be opened under the new company name.

Open a bank account
A bank account has to be opened and the minimum capital requirement has to be deposited. Upon presentation of the letter from the Commercial Registry, the applicant opens a bank account under the new company name and deposits the capital. The bank provides the applicant with a confirmation letter stating that the deposit has been affected.

Register and obtain the commercial registration certificate.
Evidence of capital deposit is required for private limited companies. This requirement is imposed by the Article 11 (3) of the Commercial Registration and Business licensing Proclamation No. 686/2010, issued in 2010 and entered into force immediately after publication. Under this Article, the applicant needs to submit a bank statement that the capital of the business organization to be contributed in cash has been deposited and all appropriate documents relating to contribution in kind. Once the applicant submits the proof of deposit, a Commercial Registration Certificate (also commonly referred to as the Principal Registration) is issued to the applicant. The applicant registers the Memorandum and Articles of Association. After reviewing the documents, including the lease agreement, the Commercial register delivers a registration certificate and the appropriate license. Payment is done at the same time.

Make a company seal

While the law does not specifically require a company to have a seal, it is required and commonly used in practice.

Register with Kenya Revenue Authority for income tax and VAT.

A newly established firm must register for income tax, payable at the end of the companys fiscal year, and pay municipal and license renewal fees and withholding taxes on their employees. Once registered, the Tax Identification Number (TIN) is provided along with the VAT certificate.

Obtain a business license.
The applicant presents Principal Registration, proof of the new Tax Identification Number obtained, a certificate of competence in the field of commercial activity in which the applicant is seeking a business license (indicated under Article 32 Sub-article 8 of the Commercial Registration and Business Licensing Proclamation No. 686/2010), and pays the relevant fees. The Business License is usually issued on the same day these documents are submitted.

Register a new business via phone.
Kenyans can now can register new businesses instantly using their mobile phones as opposed to going to the Registrar of Companies at Sheria House where applicants spend weeks waiting for their certificates.

In this new programme launched recently, applicants are required to dial *271# while in Kenya to be able to access services offered at the State Law Office which include company search name, business registration and marriage certificates among others.

Under this system, people will not need to visit the office of the register a company. They will be able to do so online, you can do name searches and reservations using *271#. You can also call the contact centre at 070115595.

Required Documents
Proposed Business name for name search approval.
The nature of Business / activities the business shall undertake.
Names of the Proprietor/s in Full.
Postal address for the Business Name.
Proposed Physical address of the Business. Address includes road, plot number, town, county.
Copy of ID / Passport of the Proprietor or Partners.
Passport photo of the Proprietor/s.
Copy of PIN certificate of the Proprietor/s or partner/s.
Completed application form
Statement of authorization
Valid (unexpired) Identity card or passport

Office Locations & Contacts
Kenya revenue Authority
Times Tower Haile Selassie Avenue

P.O.BOX 48240 - 00100 GPO Nairobi

Tel 020-310900, 020-2810000

The person who will be applying for the reservation of a company name must be the one responsible for or authorized by the firm or company.

You may file for reservation of company name for a period of 5 or 180 days

Processing Time
It may take 21 days to process your application.

1.Applicants must be aware that reservation of company name in Kenya can be done both manual and online

2.Applicants must ensure that the names chosen for their companies are simple and not confusing;

3.Chosen names must not be similar to any registered company names;

4.Hard copies are accepted for reservation of a company name;

Required Information
1.Names and addresses of applicant

2.Sex, Age and marital status of applicant

3.Proposed business and address of the Company.

4.Names of shareholders.

5.Sex, Age and marital status of each shareholder.

6.Proposed company activities.

Need for the Document
This page contains information on how to reserve a company name in Kenya. This a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Kenya. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in reserving a company name, launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

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