In Kenya, it is a requirement by the registrar of companies that if you have a registered company, you need to file returns on an annual basis.  These returns generally  detail the changes that occurred within the company during the fiscal year, such as changes in shareholding, directorships, and the registered office of the company.

Failure to file these returns attracts penalties, unfortunately, not many people know that one is supposed to file such returns or even how to do it with many being advised to go through a lawyer which can be expensive. The thing is that due to the automation of services at the registrar of companies, one can be able to do this at the comfort of their homes/offices.

Here is how to file the returns;

1. Set up an eCitizen account

In the event that you had registered your company before the services were put on eCitizen, you need to first register on the platform if you don’t have an account. You can click here to sign up for an eCitizen account and choose the Create an Account option. The type of account is determined by the individual. Citizenship and residency are both required.

2. Connect your company

After successfully creating the account, select the business registration service by clicking on the ‘get service now tab. This opens the business registration service portal where you should choose the make application option.

The process of linking your company to eCitizen includes submitting business information to the registry for approval. Linking allows you to use the online portal to make any future applications. Linking is accomplished by selecting the business tab and then searching for the company using the company name or the company registration number.

Once you have found your company, click on it. Continue by clicking the save button. The system will prompt you to enter information about the directors and secretary, as well as their postal addresses and the company’s physical address.

3. Verification

Once you have submitted the necessary information, wait for the registry to verify and approve the same. If there happens to be any changes that need to be made to the information you have provided, the registrar will notify you after which you must make changes and resubmit for approval. Approval can take anywhere from one to four days.

4. Filing Annual Returns

Once the registry has approved the information you have entered into the system, go to the top right of the screen and click on the maintain a company tab. Once the tab opens, click on the annual returns option on the list at the left side of your screen.

Choose the year of your most recent return, which is the year in which you last filed annual returns. Download the Annual Return Form, fill it out, scan it and submit it.

5. Payment

Once you have submitted the annual returns, the system will prompt you to make a payment for the returns. At this point, one needs to choose a payment method and complete the transaction. MPESA is the most preferred method of payment.

The amount owed is determined by the year in which you last filed returns and whether or not there are any penalties. The system will calculate the amount that should be paid by that company automatically. After you have made the payment, click on the complete button.

6. Issuing a receipt

The system will thereafter generate a receipt that can be downloaded.