There are several ways one can do this in Kenya. One can register a non-governmental organization (or an NGO in local parlance) a charitable Company limited guarantee or a trust. All these methods achieve the same result.
All NGO’s in Kenya are regulated and registered by NGO Board under the NGO Coordination Act. As a rule the initial three officials of the organization must jointly make the application for registration.
Of course you must have the proposed name of the organization and a constitution setting out your objectives and governance structure. It is advisable to engage an Advocate to draft your constitution and make the application on your behalf.
Finally in your application you must state in which parts of Kenya you will undertake your projects.The minimum areas are seven counties.
The following are the basic requirements for registering an NGO under the NGO Act:
a} Application for registration.
b} Provision of specific information on the physical address and contact details of the officials.
c} Duly filled Form 1 (one copy stating organization’s contact person)
d} Two (2) recent coloured passport sized photographs of top three (3) officials with the names of the official and organization written at the back.
e} Photocopy of ID card/passports for the three (3) top officials.
f} Copy of Name Reservation.
g} Three (3) Copies of the proposed NGOs Constitution-signed by three top officials and one official on all the pages.
h} A Copy of minutes authorizing the filing of applications. The minutes should specifically resolve to register as an NGO.
i} Processing fees.
j} Proposed one-year budget of the applicant organization.
k} All signatures must be in original form. Scanned and/photocopied signatures are not acceptable.
Upon registration of an NGO the Board can recommend any foreign official for a work permit.
It is important to note that your application will be subjected to vetting by security agencies before registration is done and this takes time especially if all the officials are not in Kenya.
However an NGO operating in another country can apply to register a Kenyan chapter of its organization here. The procedure is still the same only that the documents of the “mother organization” must be presented.
COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE
The Companies Act has specific provisions for incorporating a charitable company. Such a company has no share capital.
Once incorporated the company should then apply for income tax exemption and roll out its activities.
Although the promoters will still be subjected to security vetting, it is easier to register charitable company than an NGO and is not subjected to micro regulations that NGOs are subjected to.
An Advocate should be engaged to draw the registration documents and incorporate the organization.The minimum subscribers are two.
The Trustees Act and the Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act also gives a window for persons wishing to roll out benevolent activities to register themselves into a trust. The process is normally in two phases:
Registration under the Trustees Act and thereafter incorporation under the Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act in which stage a certificate of incorporation is issued by the Minister. The minimum subscription is also two people. Ensure to engage an Advocate to draw and register the trust for you.
All NGOs are under one body NGO BUREAU whose mandate is to streamline the registration and co-ordination of NGOs, to harmonise their activities with overall government policies and programs. In case one want to now if an NGO is duly registered, it is advisable to consult with them. click here