Updated 25 May 2019. I have added Ksh50 to the charge. E citizen calls this a convenience fee
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 150 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 Ksh150
- Wait for Confirmation from State Law Office
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
- Select 1 for Name Search
- Type the Business/Company name you want to search send
- 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,
- Business with the word “Enterprises” at the end cannot use Initials e.g J.K and Brian Enterprises
- Names with the word “Foundation” must be registered as Companies limited by guarantee
- 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 either.
- Political names e.g (Nairobi youth alliance) are not allowed
- Numerics are not allowed not unless its the current year e.g. (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 register clubs
- Names with “Relief” are not allowed
- Names with “welfare”, Organization, Association, are not allowed.
For more info you can call Kenya State Law office call center on 0701 155 955