Registration of Businesses and Companies in Kenya Ongoing despite COVID 19 Challenges;

Millions of Kenyan employees are working from home for the first time, as the nation tackles Covid-19 . The Pandemic has not to spared essential government services and as such, government agencies have had to adapt quickly to meet the growing demand for services in this COVID Era. The Agency in charge of registration of Businesses, the Business Registration Service has ensured that there is business continuity during the COVID 19 period albeit at a reduced level.

BRS and COVID 19

The BRS is running skeleton staff and only limited staff and services available during this time. The online services (which are available through the link are ongoing with minimal interruption in the turnaround time of service delivery taking into account that we have put in place skeleton staff working in rotation to support our operations during the period. The efforts to ensure service continuity have been documented in this Notice dated 26th March 2020 by the BRS.

More About The BRS

The Business Registration Act in 2015 established the Business Registration Service (BRS) which is mandated to oversee the operations of the Companies Registry, Movable Property Security Rights Registry (Collateral Registry), Insolvency (Official Receivers) Registry and the Hire Purchase Registry.

Functions of the BRS

  1. carries out all registrations required under the BRS Act including Private and Public Companies, Business Names, Limited Liability Partnerships;
  2. maintains registers, data and records on registrations carried out by the Service;
  3. Implements relevant policies and guidelines and provide the Attorney General with the necessary information to guide the formulation of policy and amendment of existing policy and guidelines;
  4. carries out research and disseminate research findings in the fields covered by the relevant laws through seminars, workshops, publications or other means and to recommend to the Government any improvements in the relevant laws;
  5. collaborates with other state agencies for the effective discharge of its functions;
  6. charges fees for any service performed by the Service; and
  7. performs such other functions as may be necessary under the BRS Act.

Changes by the Companies Act 2015

In addition to the above, the Companies Act, 2015 brought a transformation in the registration process by allowing the adoption of electronic platforms to streamline the process. This has seen a shift from manual registration and lodgment of documents to an online registration system on the e-citizen platform. It is now possible for one to make the following applications on the e-business-

  1. register business names, companies, and limited liability partnerships,
  2. make changes through the online platform,
  3. obtain the Status Reports of companies (formally referred to as “CR12”) which is auto-generated,
  4. File annual returns, and
  5. Cessation business.

Due to the aforementioned transformation of the Companies Act and in implementing the statutory mandate of maintaining registers, data and records on registries, the Service has introduced a process known as “link a business” as part of a records clean-up exercise and an audit trail. This will help eliminate the issue of missing files and reflection of wrong information to the Registry. The application is a free service done by the proprietor of a business, a director of a company or the company secretary. Link a business has further made the process of obtaining the “CR 12” easier since it has been automated. This has also led to the improvement of Kenya’s rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index by the World Bank. Kenya’s ranking improved by 5 positions to #56 in the 2020 report with a score of 73.2, from #61 in the 2019 report.

For more information on registration of companies in Kenya please send us an email on We look forward to being of assistance to you.

This article was written by Victor Mulindi. Victor is the managing partner of the firm. He has specialized expertise in commercial and corporate law practice, with particular expertise in intellectual property asset finance, corporate governance, equipment leasing, capital markets transactions, energy, corporate advice, commercial contracts, mergers and acquisitions and private equity.

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