Step-by-step: How to start a real estate company

Real Estate industry has been seen by many entrepreneurs to be a lucrative business to start due to attractive profit margins that one can earn through a successful sale of land, property or building.

But before you begin that journey, you need to have a legal entity registered. You will need to choose any of the following entity to start your business;


This is the most important document your company must obtain to do any business in Kenya. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Personal Identification Number (PIN) can be used to open a business bank account, perform tax returns on rental income, applying for Government tenders, purchase of land, buying and selling property and many other business transactions. So you can see how crucial this document is to your business operations.

Alien Card ID (Foreigners only)

If the company is register under foreigners then the company directors must first apply for Alien Card ID registration that will enable them to register for personal Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Personal Identification Number.

See also: How to apply for Alien Card ID

Business Permit

Business permits are crucial for Real Estate businesses. If you are operating an office in a business premises where you meet with your customers, it is important to apply for business permits in order to avoid business disruption, embarrassment or heavy fines from the county council.

Compared to the past where it was very difficult to apply for a business permit due to bureaucracy in the Government, that seems to have changed. Today, the county governments have seen the importance businesses play in their revenue collection, in some counties the process of applying business permit take as little as one day to acquire it.

Please note that you will need to renew it on a yearly basis or based on the validity duration indicated on the permit. Ask your county council for more details.

See also: How To Apply for Business Permit in Nairobi County

Company Seal

If you are looking to run a property management on behalf of the landlords then you must purchase a Company Seal. This is very important tool to be used when signing company legal documents such as contracts. You can get your company seal from Seal Honey. They charge Ksh. 3,000 if you want it within 3 days.

However if you are in a hurry, you can pay a bit more and get it within a day, last time I checked it will cost you Ksh. 4200. Please note that you will require to take a photocopy of your Certificate of Incorporation for them to process for you.

Tax Compliance Certificate

If you are looking to apply for Government Tenders or to apply for AGPO Certificate, then you must register for Tax Compliance Certificate.

Before applying for tax compliance certificate you need to find out whether you as company directors are tax compliant. Many entrepreneurs are always afraid of applying for Tax Compliance Certificate with fear that they might own Kenya Revenue Authority a huge amount in unpaid taxes.

KRA has changed so much nowadays, they are friendly and more understanding if you go to them and discuss your situation. You can be able to check how much you own KRA and start making arrangement to pay for the penalty fees on your individual KRA PIN, if any.

If you haven’t made any income tax returns every June 30th,  then you will need to sort that issue first before being issued with a tax compliance certificate for your company. There is a penalty for not making individual income tax return . Please confirm with Kenya Revenue Authority or an accountant to get accurate details.

AGPO Certificate registration

If you are looking to tap on the biggest opportunity to financial freedom that the Kenyan government has offered, then you need to apply for AGPO Certificate. This will enable your company to access the 30% of government tenders set aside for youth, women and persons with disabilities.

Logo & Business Card Design

Branding is important in business. You will need create a brand that represent your business personality. Logo & Business Card is the way to go. You can even use your logo to make a letterhead for your company that can be used to notify your tenants or landlords on any official communication. Company Registry also requires the CR-12 request be written on the letterhead from the Company requesting for the CR-12.


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