Business Name Search and Reservation

Business Name Search

When the registering a new company, the first step is to get a name for the company. This involves making an application though e-citizen website, to reserve the name.

Before conducting a name search the following should be observed:

Companies Act no. 17 of 2015 Section 48(1), Companies Act no. 17 of 2015 Section 48(2), Legal notice 80 of 12th June 2003
  • That there is an application for reservation of a company name.
  • A receipt for payment/invoice of the prescribed fee.

The Registrar may, on written application, reserve a name pending the registration of the company , through online search at the Companies Registry.

The name is reserved for a minimum of 30 days, as the registrar confirms whether the name is being used by another company. The period may be extended for another 30 days, for special reasons, to give the applicant time to register the name.

One is then required to pay a fee of Ksh 150 per name, which is broken down to Ksh 100 for the name and Ksh 50 as the convenience fee.

It should be noted that there is no requirement for a minimum or maximum number of names that an application can give.

1.1 Choosing of a suitable Company Name

One must choose a company name for the business that he/she intends to run. The name cannot be the same as another company in the index of registered companies (Section 57 of Companies Act, 2015).

One must choose a company name for the business that he/she intends to run. The name cannot be the same as another company in the index of registered companies (Section 57 of Companies Act, 2015).

The Business Registration Service ensures that the names being lodged for registration do not constitute any prohibited names such as “Al Shabab, Mungiki”. Section 49 of Companies Act, 2015 expounds on the names which will not be registered if:

  1. the use of the name would constitute an offence.
  2. the name consists of abbreviations or initials not authorized by the Companies Act no 17 of 2015.
  3. the Registrar is of the opinion that the name is offensive or undesirable.

The Companies (general) Regulations Act, 2015, Section 11: Sets out the principles for determining offensive or undesirable names. The name will not be accepted if:

  1. the name includes “co-operative”, “society” or “trade union “or any variant or synonym of those words.
  2. the name suggests an association with, or the patronage of, the State or any of its agencies, unless there are circumstances that justify its use.
  3. the name suggests an association with, or the patronage of, a foreign government or an embassy, high commission or consulate representing such a government in Kenya.
  4. the name suggests an association with, or the patronage of, a county government.
  5. the name comprises an acronym that will render its use vague or uncertain.
  6. the name includes the name of a registered trade mark unless a document signed by the owner of the trademark and indicating consent to its use is provided.
  7. the name is such that the Registrar believes on reasonable grounds that there is reasonable possibility that it could offend members of a particular community or ethnic or racial group.

Steps of application


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