Choosing a company name in name in Kenya and name requirements

It is important to note the following when choosing a company name (s):

  • A company name may not contain more than 160 characters.
  • The name of a limited company that is a private company must end with “Limited” or “Ltd”.
  • The name of a limited company that is a public company incorporated under the 2015 Act must end with “plc” or “Public Limited Company”.
  • Offensive or abusive words are not allowed either. Offensive words in vernacular (mother tongue) are not allowed either.
  • Political names
  • The name should not be identical to an already reserved name or to the name of an already registered company, business name, LLP, or partnership. (Unless the existing company, business, LLP or partnership is part of the same group as the company and consents in writing to the use of the proposed name).
  • The name should not be the same as or similar to that of a registered trademark. (it may therefore be important to also conduct a search at the trademarks registry)
  • Names containing the words “co-operative”, “society”, or “trade union” are not allowed
  • Numbers may be used in any part of a name
  • A full stop, comma, colon, semi-colon or hyphen may be used
  • The following punctuation marks may be used: an apostrophe (‘), brackets/parenthesis (), exclamation mark (!), Guillemet (<<>>), inverted comma, question mark, solidus (\ /)
  • The following signs and symbols may be used only if they are not one of the first three letters of a company name: *; =; #; %
  • The name should not start with the words “Kenya” as the same is reserved for government owned entities.

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