|In 2016, the Companies Registry set up a digital Business Registration Service (BRS), which is hosted on the E-citizen portal.
Since the BRS system has gone live, all company incorporations have been done online and a company is automatically linked to the E-citizen portal when incorporated. Entities established prior to 2016, under the manual system, now need to be linked to the E-citizen portal.
The requirement to link to the E-citizen portal applies to all companies, including public limited companies, companies limited by guarantee, foreign companies as well as limited liability partnerships and sole proprietorships.
It will no longer be possible to undertake the following at the Companies Registry if a company has not been linked to the portal:
a) Carry out a company search;
b) File changes such as changes to shareholding, directorship, registered office and share capital; and
c) File annual or interim returns.
For a step by step guide on how to carry out a company search click here.
It is important to note that presently a company search does not show encumbrances registered against a company but we understand that it is the Registry’s intention that these searches will reflect such encumbrances in the near future when the collateral registry is streamlined to the BRS system. This is particularly relevant to lenders who may be financing a company and will want to know what securities have already been created.
|The following processes are still being carried out manually:
a) Conversion of companies;
b) Increase of nominal capital;
c) Splitting of shares;
d) Changes relating to the registered details of foreign companies;
e) Obtaining certified copies;
f) Official searches of business names;
g) Amendment of Memorandum and Articles of Association; and
h) Registration of debentures and discharges.
The Companies Registry is configuring the E-citizen portal to support the above services after which they will no longer be done manually.
The process of linking a company must be undertaken by either a director of the company or the company secretary. A director or company secretary will begin by going to the E-citizen portal (www.ecitizen.go.ke) and signing in using their credentials. For a step by step guide please click here.
Once a business has been successfully linked, the Companies Registry will verify that the company’s details match their records and the status of the business on the E-citizen portal will change to read “verified”. The director or secretary of the company may then proceed to add users who will be issued with access rights to control or make changes to the E-citizen business account of the company.
The content of this alert is intended to be of general use only and should not be relied upon without seeking specific legal advice on any matter.