For any business to operate and without hitches and interference from the authorities you as the business owner must comply with the rules set for the specific business type whether by the central government or by the local authority.

In Kenya there is a range of trade licenses and business permits that an entrepreneur is expected to have for them to be considered to be running a legitimate business. Any person desiring to engage in a commercial activity shall submit to the appropriate authority application for Trade license by completing an application form.

Doing business in Kenya requires business registration and licensing. The Kenyan government with the objective of improving the existing commercial registration, implementation and business licensing rules the Kenyan Company Registrar and Business Licensing Trade Licensing Act 497. The Ministry of Trade and respective trade bureaus in different regional administration of the country are responsible bodies for business registration and license. The Trade Act of kenya provide for the establishment of the Trade Licensing Committees, Control Authorities and the Regional Appeals Boards. The issuance of licences has been decentralized to the Local Authorities.
  1. No person shall conduct any business, except under and in accordance with the terms of a current licence.
  2. No person who is not a citizen of Kenya shall conduct a business -
    •  in any place which is not a general business area; or
    • in any specified goods,unless his licence specifically authorizes him to do so.
  3. No licensee shall enter into any business transaction unless the business with which the transaction is entered into is carried on under a licence.
  4. Any person who contravenes subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for term of one year or to a fine not exceeding ten thousand shillings or to both.
  5. Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the Minister may -
    • where he is the holder of a licence, in writing revoke the licence; It is important to note that most of these business licences and permits vary depending on size of business and number of employees. Before a business can begin operating, owners must first obtain a license to trade. Following are procedures on how to apply for a trade license.

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