By Michelle Wanjiku
So you have a business idea and the capital to start it. You have done all your research and you know it will be a success. What next? What is needed to turn your dream into a reality? According to information collected by World Bank these are the things you need to start your business.
Think of the best place to base your business. Now if you did any research before you decided on what business to start, then you know the area that will be more beneficial to you. It needs to be in a place with potential customers. For example you can open kiosk or shop in a place where there is none. The size of the space depends on capital and how much you expect to get regularly. This can take an unknown period of time as it all depends on finding the right place.
2. Reserve a company name.
This can be done at the Huduma Centers. The process starts by paying approximately 100 bob to reserve a name and the name can be reserved for 30 days and can be extended to 60 days. The name you choose for your company should be unique to avoid any copyright infringement. This process will prevent you from being sued by another company for using their name. It takes on average 1 day to reserve a company name.
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3. Apply for a business permit
This is done at the municipal or what Kenyans commonly refer to as ‘kanjo’
Depending on the size of the business fees may differ.
For large shops, traders etc with around 21-50 employees and 300-3000 square meters, one has to pay 30,000 shillings.
For medium shops, traders etc with 5-20 employees and 50-3,000 square meters, one has to pay 15,000 shillings.
For all businesses a fee of 200 shillings needs to paid as an application fee.
Application and registration takes approximately 5 working days.
4. Register for taxes
You need to register for VAT, PAYE and local service tax at the Kenya Revenue Authority. You require the PIN numbers for the directors of the company. This is important because paying taxes is a must and failure to do so can lead to a fine. This is free and takes a day to complete.
5. Apply for company registration
This is done at Huduma Centers. You must submit a business application package at the business registration assessment desk of two of the three Nairobi Huduma Centers (GPO Branch and City Square Branch). This will cost approximately 10,000 shillings for new company incorporation and takes on average 12 days.
6. Register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)
The National Social Security Fund provides the employee with a lump-sum retirement benefit.
If your business has employees then you are required to register with NSSF because the employer is expected to pay a certain amount for each employee. The application is free and takes just a day.
7. Register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)
If your business has employees they will need to be registered with NHIF. Now in order for them to do this they will require the employers NHIF number. Therefore this is mandatory if you plan on hiring anyone. It only takes a day and is free of charge.