e-commerce-in-kenya

How to Conduct a Kenyan Business Name Search Using Mobile Phone

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Conducting a Kenyan business name search using this method will only take you 5 minutes using only your mobile phone. You do not need to visit any Kenyan Government office or Huduma Centre.  In order to perform a Kenyan business name search you need your “cool business name.” The purpose of conducting a business name search is to avoid two or  more parties having the same business name, for obvious legal reasons.

To perform a business name search you will need to pay Ksh 100 to an MPESA pay bill number (that I will list below) plus make sure your phone has at least Ksh10 as airtime. Only one Safaricom line/number can perform this process.

The payment part

  • Go to MPESA menu
  • Go to Payment Services and then Pay Bill
  • Enter business number 945050
  • Enter Account number as NS
  • Enter Amount as Ksh100
  • Wait for Confirmation from State Law Office

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The SMS Portal Part

After you have received a message from the State Law Office confirming payment of a hundred shillings, you can proceed:-

Use the same phone number you used above for this process. The SMS portal consumes Ksh10 only.

  • Dial *271#, select the first choice for The Companies Registry

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  • Select 1 for Name Search

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  • Type the Business/Company name you want to search send

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  • You will receive a notification on the availability of “Your Cool Name” from State Law Office. If available, it will be reserved for 30 days
  • If “Your Cool Name” is not available just the repeat the whole process again (Note: Each name search costs Kshs.100)

Note that you should pay only Ksh100 for one name search each time. Some people pay Ksh300 or more and try to search 3 or more names at a go, Do not do that.

Hope I helped you, the next post will be about registering the business name you searched for above. So keep it here

More resources (info from Attorney Generals office at ag.ecitizen.go.ke)

The Company Registry under Attorney General requires all applicants to request for a business name here. Currently, It takes one(1) day for the business name search to be processed.

Before you perform a name search it is important to note the following,

  1.  Business with the word “Enterprises” at the end cannot use Initials e.g J.K and Brian Enterprises
  2.  Names with the word “Foundation” must be registered as Companies limited by guarantee
  3.  Names with “Groups” , “projects” and “Holdings” must be limited. (Ahadi group limited)
  4.  Names with “Universities” must be limited. (Ahadi university limited)
  5.  Single words are not accepted (Ahadi)
  6.  Offensive or abusive words are not allowed either. Offensive words in vernacular (mother tongue) are not allowed either.
  7.  Political names e.g (Nairobi youth alliance) are not allowed
  8.  Numerics are not allowed not unless its the current year e.g. (2015)
  9.  Names starting with the word “Kenya” are only reserved for the government.
  10.  Names with ‘Church’ and ‘Ministry or Ministries’ are not allowed
  11.  Names with “Trust”, “Foundation”, Programmes are not allowed
  12.  The Registrar of Names does not register clubs
  13.  Names with “Relief” are not allowed
  14.  Names with “welfare”, Organization, Association, are not allowed.

For more info you can call Kenya State Law office call center on 0701 155 955

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  • Catherine Mong’ina

    Hi nice article

    Check out really cool online marketing tips including how to market your business through text messages.

    http://www.e-techafrica.co.ke/

  • Now you can also register a limited company in Kenya with only one director as the sole shareholder.Read more here http://biasharapoint.com/blog/register-kenyan-company-ksh10-000-no-advocate-required/

  • Ska

    Your info is incorrect … so somebody had a chai on us.

  • Robert Seeker

    I paid 150 shillings on ecitizen though you have stated it is 100 shillings!

    • John Muteti

      This was an old post. Right now its 150 since if you pay 100 and take into account the USSD cost it will come down to a150 or something more

  • Amani

    Can this information be updated? Otherwise someone is “eating” people’s money!

  • Prince Mesh

    i did new business name search using ecitizen and the message i got is incomplete business name..what should i do

  • Uddi Malenya

    THESE POEPLE ARE STEALING OUR MONEY, *271# IS NOT WORKING WHY PUT UP A USSD WHILE YOU KNOW IT IS NOT WORRKING I HAVE LOST MY 100 KSH SO IF 100 POEPEL DO THAT HOW MUCH IS THAT??

  • Bady Okita

    please update this information
    If the service is no longer available pull down this post