Its not easy to qualify for a tender as new entrepreneur in Kenya. This is owing to many requirements that one needs to submit in order to be prequalified. On top of that, some of the mandatory requirements are paid.

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For instance, a new entrepreneur with excellent skills in a given category will not qualify for any open tender without providing trading license issued by the government. Fact is, for one to get a trading license, you must have an physical office.

So how can one afford to pay for an office if he/she is starting up?

This takes to the well known category of AGPO (Access to Government Procurement Opportunities). For this, you does not need to have a trading license to be prequalified. One can use their own residential address as the location of their business.

But is this all? What if you have all these requirements yet still don’t get invited to quote for tenders?

Why is it that despite you submitting all the required documents in order to be qualified for a tender, you still don’t get it?

That’s what I will be focusing on this blogpost. Here are things that might be barring you from being prequalified for a tender.

Expired Tax Compliance Certificate

Tax Compliance Certificate expires after 1 year from the date of issue. If within the year, you have defaulted from paying tax, you will deemed uncompliant until you clear your tax debts.

This thus means that once you clear your tax debts, you will be issued with the mandatory Tax Compliance Certificate. Some entrepreneurs take the risk of attaching expired TCC when submitting prequalification documents thinking that the procurement officers will not countercheck and verify all documents attached.

Don’t be fooled. They do and this might be the reason you have not been prequalified.

Fake Business Address

Most people don’t take their business addresses seriously. I have learnt this the hard after I closed my business due to the covid-19 pandemic. When I closed down offices and began operating from home, it meant that my business address also changed.

I never thought it was serious so I didn’t bother to update my business address on the registrar of companies portal. While many tendering companies will not notify you the reasons behind you not being prequalified, its good not to take anything for granted. Each time you change business location, update address with the registrar of companies.

Officers from the tendering company will use the address details that you have provided in the tender document to trace your office. If it is not existent, they will treat your application unresponsive.

Lack of Clear Track Record

Track record demonstrates how you are experienced in the said field. Some companies registered with ‘Enterprises‘ or ‘General suppliers‘ at the end of company name usually don’t specialize on anything.

People registering such company names pry on those tenders that requires no training and probably on loophole in the tendering process. If you are keen, most corrupt practices are linked to such companies with ‘Enterprises‘ or ‘General suppliers‘ at the end of the company name i.e Kingaste Enterprises. They are not specific on the services they provide.

If you lack solid track record in a particular field, it will be hard to qualify due to competition.


While forgery is illegal and can land you in jail, some people still forge documents to date. There are many software’s out there that you can use to forge documents. Depending on the procurement officer’s level of experience, you might get away with forged documents.

If your deliver quality services, you will be lucky with your forgery. But if you deliver poor services they will get back to you and investigate further on the documents you submitted. At the end, your case might end up in court and the procurement officer who awarded you the contract will be retrenched.

Attempting to Bribe

With all said, ‘bribery‘ and ‘who do you know‘ narrative is still rooted in Kenya. After submitting all the mandatory required documents, some entrepreneurs will still take a step further and try to bribe someone in the procurement department in order to get that tender. If you have this habit, then, that explains why you are not getting that tender.

I must applaud the Jubilee government for using all the tools available to fight corruption. Technology in a big winner and has really helped minimize the level of corruption and bribery.

These are five main reasons you are not getting prequalified for any government tender. Did I miss out something? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Until next time, take care.

If you need help to create and produce professional screencast videos, let me know here.

Follow me on twitter at @cheptiony.

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