1. OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOUR SUPPLIES COMPANY
Once your general supplies company has been registered, you will need to set up the necessary structures to enable you to do business. You need to set up you bank account, set up an office, and register with other professional organisations like Kenya Institute of Supplies Management.
You need to do a little research to find out the bank that offers the best credit terms against a purchase LPO or tender award letters. Some banks have lower interests rates than others while some offer higher credit for tenders. This will be important since in most tender documents, you may need to show a letter of credit guarantee from a reputable bank.
REQUIREMENTS TO OPEN A GENERAL SUPPLIES BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT
Once you have decided on the bank to open an account with, you will then put together documents to make an application for an account.
The requirements for opening a company bank account vary from bank to bank but they generally include the below:
- Advertisement -
- Original IDs of all company directors
- Copies of ID Cards of all the company directors
- Original Certificate of Incorporation for the company and 2 copies of the same
- Certificate of Incorporation, CR2, CR8, CR12 for company
- Board resolution letter instructing the bank to open an account done on the company’s letter head.
- Cheque Signing mandate letter done on company’s letter head with the company seal affixed indicating the mandates of the signatories as [both to sign, either to sign or one to sign]
- Original PIN Certificates of the directors and 1 copy of each.
- Original VAT Certificate and 1 copy of same.
- Deposit of Kshs 5,000 for a Business account OR Kshs 10,000 for a Current account
- An Introducer with an account at the Bank (some banks)
This link lists best 10 Banks for SMEs that you may consider doing further research before opening with any of them. Note the article was done in 2015 and things may slightly have changed since then: http://www.kuzabiashara.co.ke/blog/banks/
Equity Bank Current Account
Equity Bank Current account link: https://ke.equitybankgroup.com/personal/products/personal-accounts/transactional-accounts/current-account
Equity bank account application form: https://ke.equitybankgroup.com/downloads/personal-account-opening-form.pdf
2. SETTING UP A HOME OFFICE
HOW TO SET UP A GENERAL SUPPLIES OFFICE AT HOME
You can start a home office in Kenya by just setting aside one room at home. Even if you are working from home, you will need a place where you can organize your office activities including filing, communication, computer work etc. It is possible to operate your general supplies company right from a home office is you have all the necessary office equipment.
a. The Office Space
You can start with clearing out one room at home. Get the room painted to improve the mood of the room and to give you an impression of a new beginning. If you don’t have an extra room, you can create some space at the corner of the sitting room or even the bedroom to accommodate an office.
You can then look for a second hand desk or just buy a new one. Desks are now cheap to buy. Get one that has a series of lockable drawers to store your important items like checkbooks etc.
Find a comfortable seat that you can sit on for long hours without injuring your back. Chances are you will be spending many hours on this seat so it better be very comfortable.
Here are some links to companies that offer shared offices/virtual offices/coworker offices where you just hire a desk in an open plan space shared by many and possibly a computer connected to the internet. Some of these also provide small cubicle offices with free internet connection, a common board room and reception services for receiving your guests and messages.
The Mint Hub: https://www.theminthub.com/
Co-worker offices (compilation): https://www.coworker.com/kenya/nairobi
Nairobi Garage: https://nairobigarage.com/
The hive: http://thehive-nairobi.com/en/
The Aviators: http://www.aviators.co.ke/shared-workspace
You can get a carpenter to make some easy shelves on the walls for the files or just buy a cheap file cabinet. The ones with a glass front are better as you are able to see the file you need even before you open the cabinet.
c. Personal Computer
If you don’t have a Personal Computer, you can now buy one. You can decide if a desk top PC or a laptop will serve you better for the home office. You can get a cheap used desktop anywhere from Kshs 15,000 and a good laptop from Kshs 25,000. If you can afford a new computer, the better and prices range from Kshs 56,000 original (non-clone) for a good desktop and Kshs 120,000 for a reliable laptop.
d. Business Phone Line
You can buy an extra phone and Sim card with a new line for the business. This is the business number that will appear on all your stationery and website and will be the primary number that clients can reach you at.
e. Internet Service
Next would be to install a reliable internet connection to your home office. You will be doing a lot of online research when preparing tender documents and a good internet service will serve you well. I have used Zuku fiber 10mbps for the last 5 years and despite some intermittent hitches, it has worked well. Some estates in Nairobi are however not covered by Zuku fiber and your options may include:
- Safaricom Fiber monthly package
- Faiba mobile Internet Service
- Airtel Mobile Internet
I haven’t used any of these on a long duration to warrant a review of any of them. But from what I gather, Safaricom fiber and Faiba mobile are quite ok.
f. Main Company Stationery
Once you are registered and set for business, you will need to prepare afew of company stationery including the below:
g. Company Seal
A company seal is the official instrument of authority to transact any major business for the company that requires director’s approvals. The seal looks like a stamp but it does not use ink to make an imprint but rather it embosses the name of company on the paper. The company seal should always be kept under lock and Key as it’s used to conduct major transactions for the company including contracting.
You can get a company seal made for under Kshs 2,000 in most of the stamp shops on Moi avenue. You have to get a company seal as soon as you get the certificate of incorporation since you will need it to open a bank account.
h. Company Stamp
You can get a company stamp made at the same place you will get your seal. The stamp should be the ones that have resettable date. These ones cost about Kshs 800-1500 along the same shops on Moi Avenue. There is a particularly good one just opposite the Bazaar Plaza (on Moi Avenue) which I have used on many occasions.
3. HOW TO APPLY FOR SUPPLIERS TRADING LICENSE FROM KISM
Although most requirements for the youth, women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) have been waivered, it would be advisable to acquire a trading license from the Kenya Institute of Supplies Management (KISM). The KISM is mandated to license both individual professionals and supplier firms in the practice of supply management. The institute also offers a supplies management course that would serve you well to undertake so as to enhance your growth in the supply and procurement industry.
Taking a short course in supply and procurement management would also enhance your capabilities in filling-in the tender documents correctly. The biggest challenge in responding to a tender bid is in correctly filling the forms and making sure that you include all the required documentation. The supplies and procurement course would be a good investment in the future.
The KISM requirements prior to issuing you a trade license include the following:
a. Supplies Practitioners Licenses for Firms
Where the holder of a Registration Certificate intends to practice as a firm whether as a sole proprietor, partnership or as a body corporate, he shall apply to the Registration Committee for a Supplies Practitioners License. The following documents should be provided:
Requirements for Supplies Practitioners License for General Supply Companies
- Application form duly signed by the Managing Supplies Practitioners in the Company
- Copy of certificate of registration of the Supply company
- Copy of the latest company financial statements
- Copies of Supplies Practitioners Licenses of key personnel engaged by the company
- Copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association
- Company Tax compliance certificate
b. Supply Chain Prescribed Courses
A certificate, diploma, degree or research course of instruction in procurement and supply chain management and related fields from a recognized institution.
c. Supplies Practitioners License Costs
- Individual: Kshs 10,000.00
- Firms: Kshs 20,000.00