How to Register a Company Name in Kenya: Step-by-Step

How to Register a Company Name in Kenya: Step-by-Step

Choosing the perfect name for your business is crucial, and ensuring it’s legally yours is even more important.

Registering your company name in Kenya gives you exclusive rights to use it and protects it from unauthorized use by others.

This guide will take you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful company name registration.

Prerequisites for Registering a Company Name in Kenya

  • Unique Name: Your proposed name should be distinct and not resemble existing registered names.
  • Relevant Information: Have basic details ready, such as the type of company you intend to form and the names of directors.
  • Name Reservation Fee: Be prepared to pay the name search and reservation fee.

Steps on How to Register a Company Name in Kenya

  1. Conduct a Name Search
    • Visit the eCitizen portal and create an account if you don’t have one.
    • Access the Business Registration Service (BRS) section and select “Name Search Application”.
    • Enter your proposed company names in order of preference and submit the application.
    • Pay the name search fee, currently around KSh 150.
  2. Name Reservation
    • The Registrar of Companies will review your application.
    • If a name is available, you’ll receive approval and reserve the name for 30 days.
  3. Company Registration
    • Within the 30-day reservation period, proceed to register your company on the eCitizen portal.
    • Choose your preferred company structure (e.g., private limited company).
    • Provide all required information, including:
      • Company name (your approved, reserved name)
      • Directors’ details and shareholding information
      • Physical address and contact information
      • Memorandum and Articles of Association (these outline your company’s rules and structure)
    • Pay the registration fees, which vary depending on your company’s size and structure.

Important Considerations When Choosing a Company Name

  • Memorability and Relevance: Your name should be easy to remember and reflect your business’s nature or brand.
  • Availability: Ensure your chosen name is unique and not too similar to existing business names.
  • Domain Name: Check if the corresponding domain name ( or .com) is available for your website.
  • Restrictions: Avoid names that are misleading, offensive, or suggest government affiliation.

Cost of Registering a Company Name in Kenya

  • Name Search and Reservation: Approximately KSh 150.
  • Company Registration Fees: Range between KSh 10,000 – KSh 20,000, depending on the company structure.

Benefits of Registering Your Company Name in Kenya

  • Exclusive Right to Use: Prevents others from using your chosen business name.
  • Brand Protection: Helps you build a strong brand identity around your registered name.
  • Legal Recognition: Gives your business a legal identity and allows you to open bank accounts, enter into contracts, etc.
  • Professionalism: Enhances your credibility and professionalism as a business.

Challenges of Registering a Company Name in Kenya

  • Name Availability: Finding a unique and available name can sometimes be challenging.
  • Approval Process: The Registrar might reject your name if it doesn’t meet their guidelines.
  • Time Limit: You only have 30 days to complete your company registration once a name is reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How long does it take to register a company name in Kenya?

A: The name search and reservation process usually takes a few days. Full company registration can take several weeks depending on the complexity and the Registrar’s workload.

Q: Can I change my company name after registration?

A: Yes, but it involves a formal process of filing a notice of change with the Registrar of Companies.

Q: Can I register multiple company names at once?

A: Yes, you can submit multiple names in your initial name search application.


Registering your company name in Kenya is the first step in establishing a solid foundation for your business. By following the steps outlined, choosing a suitable name, and paying the required fees, you’ll secure your business identity and gain the advantages of formal registration.

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