How to Apply For A Business Permit In Kenya

Procedure for obtaining a business permit Kenya

Manual Application

The procedure for applying for a business license in person is as follows:

1. Reserve a business name

  • Go to the department of the registrar of companies within the office of the attorney general and apply for a name search and reservation.
  • Provide a list of proposed company names in order of preference to enable a name search.
  • When the name search is completed, the company name is reserved for not more than 60 days.
  • Before those 60 days are over, you should register the company name.

2. Registration of business name

  • The registrar of companies will provide you with Form BN/2 Statement of Particulars Registration which you have to fill.
  • Submit the filled form and pay the required application fee.
  • A company registration certificate is issued upon verification and satisfaction of details is provided.

3. Application for a single business permit

  • Visit the nearest county ward office for a business permit application.
  • Ask for application form BR-1 Form from the ward licensing officer after which you will fill and submit.

Ensure you have the following information with you before you fill the form:

  • A registered company name
  • Physical address of the company
  • Company identification number
  • A copy of the certificate of incorporation
  • A copy of your national identification card/passport/ alien ID
  • Wait for the ward licensing officer to visit the company premise to conduct an inspection.
  • The inspection officer then determines the amount to be paid as a license fee. He or she will stamp the BR-1 form and refer you to the central licensing office at the county headquarters.
  • The licensing office approves the work permit and enters the business permit number into the single company authorization database.
  • An invoice bill is generated after which payment is done at the cash office.
  • Upon payment, the work license is signed, and you are required to collect it from a dispatch office.
  • You are good to go once you display the license on the company premises as per law requirements.

Online Application

The alternative way of applying for a company license is online and is more efficient. Ensure you know how to print a business permit before starting the process. The procedure for getting an online business permit in Kenya is straight forward and can be done by following the steps below:

1. Online reservation of business name

  • Go to the E-citizen portal and register an account to facilitate your company name search and reservation.
  • Pay a fee of Ksh. 150 for the company name search and reservation service.
  • Obtain name approval through the portal.

2. Register the business name

  • The company name will be assessed online through the E-Citizen portal.
  • Pay the company name registration fee as instructed.
  • Obtain a certificate of registration through the Self Service Portal.

3. Apply online

  • Go to your respective county and click on add company
  • Fill relevant information such as company identification, physical address and contact details.
  • Generate an invoice for your work license
  • Confirm details and make the payment determined.
  • Print the payment invoice and work license.
  • Display the license on the company premises.

Business permit renewal

Work license renewal is simple and is done annually. Follow the procedure below when renewing your single business permit Nairobi:

  • Provide a copy of the previous license to the licensing officer.
  • County officials at the cash office will inform you of the cost for renewal then you will pay the amount.
  • Take the stamped Br-1 form to the main office for approval.
  • The main office fills the information in the work authorization database.
  • You will be given an invoice and a signed authorization.
  • Display the renewed license at your premises.

Using the E-Citizen platform, you can easily renew your work license. Just click on renew and head to the check status link. You will be able to see the status of your company and the amount to be paid for business permit Nairobi county renewal. Follow the procedure to pay and renew after which you will print your license.


  • Application fee – Kshs. 200
  • Permit fees

(i). Large trader (21-50 employees) – KShs. 20,000
(ii). Medium Trader (5-20 employees) – Kshs. 10,000


  • The business permit is valid for 1 year

Documents to Use

  • Single Business Permit Registration Form BR-1 Form

How do I apply for a business license in Kenya?

Procedure for obtaining a business permit Kenya

  1. Reserve a business name. Go to the department of the registrar of companies within the office of the attorney general and apply for a name search and reservation.
  2. Registration of business name.
  3. Application for a single business permit.

How do I apply for a business license in Nairobi?

Log in or create an account on the Nairobi county self-service portal with the necessary contact details then proceed to the homepage into the unified business permit and click on renew. Fill in your business identification number then enter the year you want to Apply / renew.

How much does a single business permit cost in Kenya?

The county governments are responsible for the issuing of the single business permits which are now known as the unified business permits. Note: For a single business permit of up to five employees, you will pay Ksh 15,000. The amount should be paid at the cash office in city hall.

How much does it cost to register a business in Kenya?

Service OfferedFeesTime
Registration of Business nameKshs 8501-2 days
Limited Liability PartnershipKshs 250001 day
Private Limited CompanyKshs 106503-5 days
Public Limited CompanyKshs 106503-5 days