There are several approaches to setting up a successful online business in Kenya. It all depends on the what one is aiming to achieve at the end. Its therefore important to ask yourself; what is my online business goal?

Are you trying to build a personal brand?

Do you want to take your existing offline business to the online marketplace?

Are you into building a digital service business from scratch?

dart pins on electric dartboard

Whichever your goal is, it has to start from somewhere. In this blogpost, I will share with you the fundamental approach to starting and running a successful online business in Kenya.

The Process

At this point, you have niched down your business idea and is now ready to setup an online business in Kenya.

If you haven’t, read 4 Ways To Identify a Good Online Business Idea with Traction.

Here are the steps I suggest you follow to setup a legitimate online business.

Video- How to start an online Business in Kenya

Step #1 Register Your Business Name With BRS

Identify a name to call your business and register it. Here is a blogpost I wrote about factors to consider when deciding on the business name to register. Also, I have a created a step by step video on how to register your business here.

BRS Portal
BRS Portal

By doing this, your business will become legal. With a registered business, you can charge tax on the goods and services you offer. Also, you will be in a position to benefit from tax exemptions on the goods and services you offer.

Business registration in Kenya is undertaken by Business Registration Services online.

Step #2 Purchase A Business Domain Name

A domain name is the address where people will find you online. For example is the domain name for this blog. In Kenya, you can purchase a domain from Kenic.

Take time to settle on an easy to remember domain name. This is important. Also, choose a popular domain extension like .com or for Kenyan websites.

The cost for this starts from $9/year.

Step #3 Get Hosting Service

This is where your website will be hosted. All files and content you share on your website will be stored in the cloud by your hosting service provider. You will purchase hosting based on the amount of information you will be sharing.

Most hosting providers charges are based on the web space you will get, number of websites you intend to host on the platform and more. Please check plans and pricing on the hosting service provider of your choice.

Carefully do you research and consult before purchasing your hosting. Where you will host your website is critical. Their servers must be reliable. You will not want to wake up to find out that your website is down and not loading.

If you are looking for pocket friendly hosting service, you can get it here starting from $20 a year.

Step #4 Website Builders And Content Management Systems (CMS)

business coffee composition computer

This can cannot go without mentioning. You can get a domain and hosting directly from the popular website builders and Content Management Systems (CMS) like and While building a website using website builders is easy for anyone with basic computer knowledge, the cost per year for the service is quite high.

Both options does the job well so choose carefully.

Step #5 Design Your Website or Hire Someone to Design it For You

Both options above (using CMS and Web Builders & Purchasing hosting) will require your input in designing a website for your business. First, write down the content describing the services you offer. If you have images and videos that you will want to share alongside your services, sort them and save them in one folder.

When done, design your website using the content.

If you are not good at designing websites and prefer someone else to do it for you, you can hire a professional website designer for as low as $50.

Here is a blogpost I wrote detailing how I hire a WordPress website designer from the popular freelancing platforms.

Step #6 Link Your Business To Your TAX Pin on ITAX

This is mandatory when you are transacting business with government. Therefore, its important to do this at the early stages of your business. Please consult with your tax accountant for assistance to do this. Alternatively, you can do this yourself by contacting KRA on ITax portal.

Step #7 Market Your Business Once Its Live

Once you have followed all these steps above successfully and your business is live online, start marketing it. When you have a well detailed website, its easy to market it. Take time to make changes on the site based on customer feedback. You will have more command and authority over your audience when you have functional website in place.

Summary of the cost

Service Type Cost in (Ksh)
Business registration950
Domain Name registration1,000
Web Hosting Service2,000
Website design 6,000
Total 9,950
Summary of the cost of starting an online business in Kenya

That’s not all. Incorporating videos in your marketing plan will take your business to the next level. Apart from enabling users to see what your business is all about, you will able to build a lasting trust with them. For help with any video services, you can contact us on our production website on

And that’s it. You have successfully set up a legitimate business online in Kenya.


There are of-course other more requirements you will need going forward in your business as you grow. Those ones, I suggest you get them as needed. What is most important is registering your business first and making it legal.

I hope you found this blogpost helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time, bye bye and take care.

Follow me on twitter @cheptiony.

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