How to Register an Export Company in Kenya: Step-by-Step

How to Register an Export Company in Kenya: Step-by-Step

Kenya offers a diverse range of products suitable for export markets, from agricultural goods to manufactured products. Establishing a registered export company is the first step towards tapping into these global opportunities. Let’s delve into the steps on how to register an export company in Kenya.

Read also: No. 1 Guide To Register a Company in Kenya

Understanding Regulatory Bodies

Several regulatory bodies govern export procedures in Kenya. Familiarize yourself with these key institutions:

  • Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA): Responsible for customs clearance, tax compliance, and export documentation.
  • Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS): Ensures the quality and safety of agricultural exports by issuing phytosanitary certificates.
  • Relevant Commodity Boards: Certain sectors have specific boards. Examples include the Tea Board of Kenya, Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD), and Coffee Directorate, which provide guidelines and certifications.

Procedure for Registering an Export Company

Here’s a breakdown of the primary steps involved:

  1. Standard Business Registration: Follow the regular company registration process through the eCitizen portal as outlined in the “How to Register a Company in Kenya” blog post. Choose a legal structure suitable for your operations (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company).
  2. KRA PIN and Customs Registration: Obtain a KRA PIN (Personal Identification Number) for tax purposes. Register with KRA’s iTax system to handle tax declarations and payments. Register on the KRA customs portal to facilitate the export process.
  3. Export Licenses and Permits: Depending on your specific export products, you’ll need to obtain the relevant licenses and permits:
    • Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) Export License: Required for exporting fresh produce.
    • Specialized Commodity Permits: Obtain necessary permits from the relevant commodity boards.
  4. Specific Industry Certifications: Some sectors require additional certifications, such as organic certification or quality marks. Research certifications specific to your type of exports.
  5. Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA): Explore KEPROBA’s services ( They offer market research, trade promotion, and capacity-building programs for exporters.

Essential Considerations

  • Export Markets: Thoroughly research target markets, including regulatory requirements, demand, and distribution channels.
  • Export Standards: Ensure your products comply with international quality and safety standards.
  • Export Financing: Investigate financing options for your export venture if needed, such as export credit guarantees, invoice discounting, or loans.

Tips for a Successful Export Company Registration

  • Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with export experts or lawyers for tailored advice, especially if dealing with complex products or regulations.
  • Logistics and Shipping Partners: Form reliable partnerships with shipping companies and freight forwarders to handle smooth export logistics.
  • Trade Fairs and Missions: Participate in these events to connect with potential buyers and explore market opportunities.

Information Resources


By following these steps and understanding the regulatory landscape, you’ll pave the way for a successful export venture. Kenya’s diverse offerings hold the potential to reach markets worldwide when you navigate how to register an export company in Kenya effectively.

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