Do Online Businesses Need a Business License in Kenya? (Solved!)

Online business refers to the selling and buying of goods or services online. Starting a business in Kenya can be both omitted and interesting. When you want to start any business, you need to know all the requirements to operate your business officially.

Yes. To have a business in Kenya, whether online or physical, you will be required to have a business license. This is according to the Kenyan rules and regulations for the business sector. Kenya wants all businesses to follow its rules. This means that you need to register your business and get a valid permit to run it. The county government of Kenya in which your business is located always issues the business permit.

You should have a unified business license from the county government of Kenya and all the permits you need to run your business. The suitable license is valid for one year after being renewed.

Business Registration Requirements

To get registered, there are four requirements that you will need, such as:

1. National ID or Passport

2. Registered company name

3. Company PIN certificate

4. Copy of certificate of incorporate

Types of Business Licenses in Kenya

In Kenya, many different types of business licenses and permits are required to start a business. The following are three types of permits issued in Kenya:

1. Unified Business License

The County Council has made a new rule called the “unified business license” that brings together all business permits into one. If you pay for this, you will be given a business certificate that will make your business legal.

2. Fire Safety Certificate

This certificate is offered when you meet all the fire safety requirements. All businesses need fire safety precautions. Kenya’s county government will check your property to see if you’ve done the work that needs to be done. Once you have passed through this, you will be given the business certificate to run your business.

3. Food And Health Permit

When your business is based in the food industry or health sector, you must have a permit to show that the Kenyan government legalizes your business. You may need a health business if you are working on beverages and a bakery. You must visit your area’s health offices and apply for your permit. You will have to pay for the license before you can use it, and you will get a receipt after you pay.

Reasons to Have a Business License

The following are five reasons for having a business license in Kenya:

1. It is a mandatory requirement for all business

2. It is important when foreigners need to conduct business in Kenya. It shows that the business is registered.

3. It allows the government to collect taxes using the permit, and through it, you can apply for government loans.

4. It allows you to expand the business without any interruption. You can also merge with other companies without complications.

5. It is used to verify you are running a legitimate business in your location.

How Much Does Business License Cost?

The business license fee in Kenya depends on the size of the company. A single company with a range of one to five employees costs between Ksh 10,000 and Ksh 20,000. This amount is paid at the cash office in the county headquarters.

How Do I Register My Online Business in Kenya?

In Kenya, business registration is a fundamental entity that is issued by registrar companies. The registrar is a management board in charge of all kinds of businesses, companies, and organizations. They ensure that all businesses and companies have been issued the necessary certificates. Business registration is done through an online process, and all kinds of businesses pass through the same process, but they have different costs and requirements.

To register an online business in Kenya, you have to follow the following steps:

1. Choose your business name.

2. Get the business location.

3. Get registered.

4. Apply for a business license and permit.

Registration is done by visiting the Ecitizen portal. Ecitizen is a unique portal that helps you access various government services, such as business registration.

Once your company or business is registered in Kenya, you can apply for a tax identification number that will allow you to start your business by recruiting skilled employees and experts. The business and company registration staff is at the Attorney General’s Chamber.

Step-by-Step Business Registration in Kenya

The following are five steps to follow to get registered for your online business in Kenya:

1. Choose Business Structure

Business structure is the foundation of your business or company, including how your taxes are filed and how your assets are handled. It has an impact on business registration, including who and how you register. There are many different business structures, so you must choose the best one to suit your business’s needs.

The most common business structures are:

a). Partnership

b). Sole proprietorship

c). Limited partnership

d). Corporation

e). Limited liability partnership

2. Find a Location

Choosing a location is a significant step when registering your online business in Kenya. It does not matter even when your business will be working online; you will be required to find a location to allow the government to deliver their documents and file taxes.

When searching for a location, consider the cost and tax you will pay for filling at the address. If you work from home, make sure your company is registered at your home address.

3. Registration of Business Name

A business name is crucial so that your clients and customers will be able to reach you. It stops other businesses from using it now or in the future. It also lets you register your business with the help of a lawyer or an online legal service.

4. Register With State

You needed to register with some of your local and state departments, including the Department of Revenue, the Better Business Bureau, the Secretary of State, and the Kenyan Tax Board.

5. Register with IRS

The IRS stands for the Internal Revenue Service. It gives you an employer identification number. This is an important social security number for businesses. If you sole your business as 

You can use your social security number as the federal ID number for a sole proprietorship.

Types of Business Registration

In Kenya, there are various types of business registration. It will matter if you are registered for the kind of business you are conducting.

Below are five types of business registration in Kenya:

1. Public limited company

2. Private limited company

3. One-person business

4. Partnership business

5. Sole proprietorship

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