How to Conduct a Business Name Search in Kenya
When you want to start a company or formal
business, you should register it with the Company Registry as this gives
you more credibility as it
shows that your business is
legitimate. However, before registering, you must first conduct a name search.
This way, you get to avoid using already registered company names.
Before you perform a name search it is important to
note the following,
1. The use of Initials are not allowed e.g J.K and Brian Enterprises
Names with the word “Foundation” must
be Limited Ahadi Kenya)
Names with “Groups” , “projects” and
“Holdings” must be limited.(Ahadi group limited)
Names with “Universities” must be
limited. (Ahadi university limited)
Single words are not accepted (Ahadi)
Offensive or abusive words are not
allowed either. Offensive words in vernacular (mother tongue) are not allowed
Political names e.g (Nairobi youth
alliance) are not allowed
Numerics are not allowed not unless its
the current year eg (2015)
Names starting with the word “Kenya”
are only reserved for the government.
Names with ‘Church’ and ‘Ministry or
Ministries’ are not allowed
Names with “Trust”, “Foundation”,
Programmes are not allowed
The Registrar of Names does not
Names with “Relief” are not allowed
Names with “welfare”, Organization,
Association, are not allowed.
Now that you have a name in mind. Here is what to do:
a) Click on eCitizen and
either create or log in to your account.
Navigate to the ‘Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice’ and
click on it.
A new page will appear. Click on the
‘Make application’ button.
On the new page, find and click on
‘Name Search-Company/Business’ option.
Now a new page with the instructions
for the application process will appear. Take time to go through them
carefully. Once you are sure you have understood everything, click on ‘Apply
Now choose the business entity for
which you want to register once your name search goes through.
Now enter your proposed business name
keeping in mind the name restrictions outlined at the top of this post.
Give a short but clear description of
your business. This can include what the business will be e.g. cyber café,
nursery school, restaurant, etc.
Now go through all the details provided
and make sure everything is okay before submitting your application. Once you
are sure, click proceed.
Now choose MPESA as your payment method
and follow the provided instructions.
k) With a successful payment, you now just have to wait for a response from
the registrar’s office. This usually takes two o three days. Once the
name search is completed, you will receive an SMS notification with the status.
If the name is successful, you can log in to your
account and download your registration certificate. If not, you will be
requested to make corrections and re-submit.
In case you need support in the application, feel
free to contact us on 0726982982.