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how to apply for hotel license in Kenya -comprehensive guide

how to apply for hotel license in Kenya -comprehensive guide

This article is about how to apply for hotel license in Kenya. Hotel business may require approval from both National and County governments. It is therefore important to ensure that understand the requirements. We’ll do our best to shed more light

requirements for hotel business

  • Certificate of registration/incorporation
  • CR 12 for companies and/or ID copy of the directors
  • KRA PIN Certificate of the tourism enterprise
  • CV and Professional certificate for manager/person running the business
  • Entry /work permit of the directors in case of foreign ownership
  • EIA/audit required in case of beach hotels

how to apply for hotel license in Kenya

  1. Sign up into the tourism regulatory authority website https://trims.tourismauthority.go.ke/
  2. Pay the license and application fee
  3. Tourism regulatory authority will verify the application
  4. You license will be sent through email

how to start hotel a business in kenya

1. Legal Structure and Business Registration

Before they begin the application process for a hotel license, Eg John and Sarah want to start a hotel business in Nairobi. John and Sarah meet with a legal advisor who explains the importance of formalizing their business. They decide to register their hotel as a limited liability company to protect their personal assets and ensure legal recognition for their establishment.

2. Zoning and Land Use Approval

Inquiries at the local Nairobi County Planning and Zoning office reveal that their chosen location falls within a commercial zone, making it suitable for a hotel. However, they need to secure land use approval and a permit to operate a business on that property. They submit their land use application, which includes details of their hotel business.

3. Fire Safety Compliance

Recognizing the importance of fire safety, John and Sarah hire a certified fire safety expert to assess their hotel premises. The expert makes recommendations to ensure their hotel complies with fire safety regulations. They install fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lighting, and fire exit signs as recommended.

4. Health and Safety Compliance

John and Sarah focus on maintaining high levels of cleanliness and hygiene throughout their hotel. They establish a robust cleaning schedule and adhere to all health and safety regulations. Their kitchen is regularly inspected to ensure food safety, and the guest rooms are kept in pristine condition.

5. Environmental Impact Assessment

Given that their hotel is located in a non-environmentally sensitive area, John and Sarah do not need to conduct an environmental impact assessment. This assessment is typically required for businesses near natural reserves or sensitive ecological areas.

6. Liquor License (if applicable)

As part of their hotel services, John and Sarah plan to serve alcoholic beverages in their restaurant and bar area. To do this, they apply for a separate liquor license from the Nairobi County Alcoholic Drinks Control Board, ensuring they meet all the necessary requirements and regulations for the sale of alcohol.

7. Apply to the County Council

John and Sarah visit the Nairobi County Council offices to obtain the hotel license application forms. They are guided through the application process and given a checklist of required documents.

8. Gather Required Documents

  • They collect all the necessary documents, which include:
    • Their company’s registration certificate
    • The land use approval and permit
    • Fire safety certificate
    • Health and sanitation certificate
    • A professionally prepared floor plan of the hotel, showing the layout of the premises

9. Submit Your Application

With the application form filled out and all the required documents in hand, John and Sarah submit their application to the Nairobi County Council for review.

10. Inspection and Approval

County council officials conduct an on-site inspection of their hotel. The inspectors evaluate the safety measures, hygiene standards, and compliance with regulations. After the inspection, John and Sarah are provided with a list of minor improvements to make.

11. Pay License Fees

The Nairobi County Council determines the hotel license fees based on the size and class of their establishment. John and Sarah make the necessary payments to obtain their license.

12. License Issuance

Once their application is approved, the Nairobi County Council issues them a hotel license, giving them the legal authority to operate their hotel in Nairobi.

hotel license fees in kenya

Hotel License fee payable
DescriptionLicense Application Fee (Ksh.)Annual License Fee (Ksh.)License Renewal Fee (Ksh.)
With bed capacity of one to ten beds and / or minimum total charge for accommodation per night is over Ksh. 1,5001,0006,0006,000
With bed capacity of one to ten beds and / or minimum total charge for accommodation per night is over Ksh. 1,5001,0008,5008,500
With or without at least one restaurant and / or minimum total charge for accommodation per night is less than Ksh. 1,5001,00011,00011,000
With or without at least one restaurant and / or bed capacity of between 11 to 40 and minimum total charge for accommodation per night is over Ksh. 1,5001,00016,00016,000
With more than one restaurant and bar outlets and or bed capacity of between 41 to 80 beds in addition to function room facility1,00021,00021,000
With at least three restaurants, bar outlets, swimming pool and / or bed capacity of between 81 to 120 beds in addition to function room facility with more than one syndicate rooms.1,00026,00026,000
With at least three restaurants, bar outlets, swimming pool and / or bed capacity of between 121 to 160 beds in addition to banqueting departments and sports facilities1,00031,00031,000
With at least three restaurants, bar outlets, swimming pool, sporting facility and / or bed capacity of between 160 to 200 in addition to a health club.1,00036,00036,000
With at least three restaurants, bar outlets, swimming pool, sporting facility, health club and / or bed capacity of between 201 to 300 in addition to a casino.1,00041,00041,000
With at least three restaurants, bar outlets, swimming pool, sporting facility, health club, casino and / or bed capacity of above 301 beds in addition to golf or racecourse1,00046,00046,000

In general, some of the licenses that might be necessary for hotel business include:

15 licenses for hotel business in kenya

  1. County Government License
  2. National Government License
  3. Music Copyright License
  4. Signage License
  5. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) License
  6. Ministry of Health license
  7. Covid-19 License
  8. Business Permit
  9. Liquor Permit
  10. Tourism Catering
  11. Fire Inspection
  12. Tourism Regulatory Authority
  13. Workplace Registration
  14. NSSF
  15. NHIF

faqs about hotel business in kenya

1. Do I need any specific qualifications to start a hotel business in Kenya?

While there are no strict educational requirements to start a hotel business in Kenya, having a background in hospitality management or related fields can be beneficial. It’s essential to understand the industry, customer service, and business management.

2. What types of licenses and permits are required to open a hotel in Kenya?

To open a hotel in Kenya, you typically need various licenses and permits, including a hotel license, a liquor license (if serving alcohol), a health certificate, fire safety certificate, land use permits, and more. The specific requirements may vary depending on the location and size of the hotel.

3. What is the process for obtaining a hotel license in Kenya?

To obtain a hotel license in Kenya, you need to apply to the county council or relevant local authority. The process includes submitting an application, meeting safety and hygiene standards, passing inspections, and paying the necessary fees.

4. How much capital do I need to start a hotel business in Kenya?

The amount of capital required to start a hotel business in Kenya can vary widely based on factors like the size of the hotel, its location, the level of luxury, and your business plan. Costs may include property purchase or lease, construction or renovation, permits, licenses, furnishings, and operational expenses.

5. What are the key considerations for selecting a location for a hotel in Kenya?

Selecting the right location is crucial. Factors to consider include the target market, accessibility, proximity to tourist attractions or business centers, and the zoning regulations of the area. It’s also essential to consider competition and the potential for growth.

6. How can I ensure fire safety in my hotel?

To ensure fire safety, you need to install fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lighting, and clearly marked fire exits. Regular fire safety inspections and staff training are also essential to prevent and respond to fire incidents.

7. What steps can I take to market and promote my hotel in Kenya?

Effective marketing is vital for a hotel’s success. Utilize digital marketing, a professional website, and online booking platforms. Additionally, you can engage in local and international tourism promotions, offer excellent customer service, and encourage positive online reviews.

8. How can I secure funding for my hotel business in Kenya?

Funding options for your hotel business can include personal savings, bank loans, investment from partners or investors, or grants from government programs. The right choice depends on your financial situation and business plan.

9. What are the operational requirements for running a hotel in Kenya?

Operational requirements include hiring and training staff, ensuring a high level of customer service, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, managing bookings, implementing security measures, and keeping financial records.

10. How can I make my hotel business eco-friendly and sustainable?

To make your hotel eco-friendly, consider energy-efficient appliances, waste reduction and recycling programs, water conservation measures, and sustainable sourcing for amenities and supplies. Sustainable practices can attract environmentally conscious guests.

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