How to register an NGO in Kenya | Local and International

How to register an NGO in Kenya?

NGO registration in Kenya is a crucial step for organizations dedicated to driving positive social impact and fostering sustainable development within the country’s vibrant communities. This comprehensive guide serves as a beacon for those passionate about effecting transformative change. It illuminates the intricate process of establishing a legally recognized NGO presence in the East African nation.

So, whether you’re a seasoned NGO seeking expansion or a visionary embarking on a new journey, this comprehensive guide promises to be your steadfast companion. The guide will empower you to navigate the complexities of NGO registration in Kenya with ease. Together, we can unlock the gateway to sustainable change, fostering lasting positive impact in communities across this remarkable nation.

Local and International NGO Registration in Kenya

NGO registration in Kenya is a crucial process for both local and international non-profit organizations. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group that is organized on a local, national or international level.

This comprehensive guide will outline the procedures, requirements, and key information on how to register an NGO in Kenya.

Whether you are a local or international NGO, the NGO Registration Act Kenya mandates that all NGOs be registered by the NGO Registration Board.

Briantony International Consultants specializes in offering expert services for both international and local NGO registration in Kenya, as well as a range of other company and commercial law-related services.

Types of NGO Registration in Kenya

There are two types of NGOs in Kenya mainly:

Examples of top 10 renowned NGOs operating in Kenya
  1. World Vision International
  2. Save the Children
  3. Plan international
  4. USAID
  5. Mercy Corps
  6. Amnesty International
  7. International Rescue Committee
  8. Oxfam International
  9. International Federation of Red Cross
  10. Aga Khan Foundation
Role of NGOs in Kenya

NGOs can have wide objectives ranging from agriculture, health care, community well-being, providing humanitarian support, climate change among other things. They can partner with the government and other private sectors in order to reach their objectives.

Most NGOs in Kenya, rely on grants, donations, funding from corporations, individuals or other NGOs. This funding enables them to run their activities smoothly.

Establishing an NGO in Kenya can be a fulfilling endeavor. This can allow you to make a tangible impact on society. However, navigating the registration process can seem daunting and that is where WE come in.

NGO registration requirements in Kenya

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to register an NGO in Kenya, ensuring that you meet all legal requirements and set a strong foundation for your organization’s success.

Therefore, aspiring NGOs in Kenya should follow these steps to initiate the registration process:

  • Line ministry information:

One should provide information on the specific ministry under which the NGOs objectives fall.

  • Work plan:

For NGO registration, you should prepare a detailed work plan for the planned operations and activities for the NGOs first year.

  • Itemized operating budget:

After detailing the work plan, submit an itemized budget for the NGOs first year of operation. The budget should include budgets on revenue, fixed costs like rent or insurance and variable costs like payrolls. In addition, this operating budget should ALWAYS align with the strategic plan that you have lined up. So, ensure it is centered on the objectives and primary goals of the NGO.

  • Organizational chart:

Include a comprehensive organizational chart highlighting the NGOs structure. For NGO registration, organizational charts provide a visual depiction of your NGO’s operational procedures. It offers a visual representation of an organization’s degrees of autonomy and organizational hierarchy.

  • Memorandum of understanding:

If applicable, provide a Memorandum of Understanding between the organization and the donors. When NGOs agree to collaborate with one another or with the government, they typically sign a memorandum of understanding.

  • Registration of a branch:

In case of registering a branch of an already registered local or overseas organization, follow specific procedures.

  • List of officials 

For any NGO registration, there should be atleast three officials that is, the chairperson, the secretary and also the treasurer and note that this should include all their information from names to KRA pin. Additionally, you should note that one of the top three officials must be a Kenyan citizen while registering an international NGO.

Consequently, for international based NGOs a third of the board should constitute Kenyan citizens. Also, there should be an Ecitizen account for at least one of the officials.

Other requirements
  • The NGO must demonstrate a commitment to public welfare and improving the lives of the population.
  • Proposed names of the NGO and upon payment under Form 2 we will conduct a name search.
  • All NGO applications should be filled in block letters or typed out.
  • A suggested NGO’s draft constitution, which the two board members and three officials must sign.
  • All applications MUST contain ORIGINAL signatures of the officials and members as applicable.
  • Applicants can obtain the prototype constitution which Briantony International Consultants can provide upon request.

Procedure for registering an NGO in Kenya

how to register an ngo in kenya

1. Name search approval

Before submitting the application, conduct a name search using Form 2. This requires approval from the Director of the Non-Governmental Organizations Board.

2. Registry search

Submit a completed form once you conduct the name search. Afterwards, the registry will conduct a search and recommend name reservation.

3. Name approval

After name reservation, present the reserved name to the Programs Manager for approval.

4. Form submission:

Complete Form 3 for NGO registration after name approval. Consequently, alongside Form 3 you should submit Form 1, a cover letter, the NGO constitution and the NGO budget.

5. Office notification:

Provide a declaration of the office location and postal address using Form 1, signed by the top three officials.

6. Application submission:

Briantony International Consultants will submit the registration application to the appropriate office.

Note:

NGO registration is now done online and therefore it is important to have an ecitizen account.

Documents required for NGO Registration

    1. Personal particulars (contacts & addresses) for the proposed top three officials in the prescribed format.
    2. Scanned copy of proposed NGO constitution signed by all the board members.(PDF Not exceeding 2.5mb).
    3. Sample signatures of all the board members. All signatures should be in Blue ink on a plain white background.
    4. Scanned copies of current coloured passports size photographs of the intended officials (size 2*2 taken on a white background).
    5. Valid police clearance certificate (not more than 6 months old) or Notarized Police Clearance certificate from Country of residence (not more than 6 months old) for Non Kenyan.
    6. Scanned copy of the Bio data page of the foreigner’s passport.
    7. Scanned minutes of the proposed organization resolving to register the NGO and election of the interim officials signed by the top three officials. The minutes must not be more than 14 days old from the date of the meeting.
    8. Contact details, physical and postal address of the proposed organization.
    9. List of counties the NGO intends to operate in (Maximum of 5). If need be to expand, a separate application post registration will be required to be submitted to the NGOs Co-ordination Board.
    10. One year estimated budget of the intended operations of the NGO.
Additional requirements for international NGO registration
  • Branch constitutions, furnish constitutions of other branches of the organization worldwide.
  • Kenyan official where you should appoint one Kenyan citizen as an official out of the three proposed officials.
  • Character assessment as it ensure that officials possess outstanding character and comply with Kenyan NGO laws.

NGO Coordination Board Kenya

Established under the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act, this regulatory body ensures that NGOs comply with legal requirements, maintain transparency, and contribute positively to the nation’s development.

From registration to monitoring and evaluation, the NGO Coordination Board serves as a central authority, fostering accountability and facilitating the effective functioning of NGOs in Kenya’s vibrant civil society landscape.

Role of NGO registration board Kenya

The Non-Governmental Organizations Co-ordination Board, a state corporation, oversees and regulates the NGO sector in Kenya.

Its responsibilities include registering, facilitating, and coordinating both local and international NGOs operating in Kenya.

The board advises the government on NGOs’ contributions to national development, provides policy guidelines aligned with national priorities, and analyses NGO annual reports.

In conclusion, registering an NGO in Kenya requires careful adherence to the procedures and requirements outlined by the NGO Registration Act.

What is the timeframe for registering an NGO in Kenya?

The entire NGO registration process in Kenya usually takes approximately three months. Upon receipt of the application, the NGO Council will send an acknowledgement letter.

A registration certificate will be issued once all requirements, as per the Nonprofit Organizations Act 1997, are met.

Are the procedures for registering a local and international NGO different?

The answer is NO!

The procedures for registration of both a local and an international NGO are similar. However, while registering an international NGO, additional requirements are needed to the satisfaction of the NGO coordination Board.

Why choose Briantony for NGO registration in Kenya?

Briantony International Consultants offers specialized services to ensure a smooth and successful registration process.

With a dedicated team of experts, we assist both local and international NGOs in realizing their goals and making a positive impact on society.

For more information or to begin the registration process, contact us via email at legal@companyregistartion.com or call +254114503453.

Briantony Services

Briantony International Consultants specializes in International NGO Registration in Kenya, and Local NGO Registration services in Kenya among other Company ,and Commercial Law related services.

In addition to NGO registration, Briantony International Consultants also offers services related to CBO registration in Kenya, NGO constitution writing, registering a foundation in Kenya, filing of NGO annual return, and company limited by guarantee registration.

FAQ for NGO Registration

  • How long does registering for an NGO take?

NGO registration takes about 2 to 3 months!

  • What are the criteria for one to become a director for an NGO?

For one to become a director of an they should atleast be 18 years and above!

  • How many members do I need to have for NGO registration?

For any NGO registration, you will need only 5 members, who are at least 18 years and above!

  • Do I need to be wealthy to register an NGO?

No, anybody can register an NGO for as long as they have a noble cause! Your NGO can rely on funding from donors and private donations to run your cause!

  • Can I use my name while registering for the NGO name?

Yes, you can. However, for you to use your name you will be required to avail a consent letter and a copy of your ID!

  • What is the difference between a local NGO and an international NGO?

A local NGO is an NGO registered in Kenya to operate within the Kenyan borders, while an international NGO is an NGO that is already registered in another country and they would wish to open a branch here in Kenya!

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