Registration of a Trust in Kenya

Trusts are relationships created by individuals in which one or more persons hold property subject to certain duties to use and protect the property for the benefit of others. Charitable trusts are formed with the aim of accomplishing a certain social purpose for the benefit of the public.

Requirements for the registration of a trust in Kenya

  1. The name of the Trust
  2. The main object of the trust. When registering a trust, it must fall into one of the following categories:
  3. Aimed at relieving poverty. Under this category they can either be homes & orphanages, hospitals etc
  4. Aimed at advancing education
  5. Aimed at advancing religion
  6. Aimed at environmental protection or improvement
  7. Trusts not falling under the preceding heads but are aimed at advancing art, culture and racial harmony.
  8. The name of the settlor or the donor. The full names, the copy of the ID/passport, the address and the place of residence for the settlor or donor must be provided. Incase the settlor or donor is a company, a copy of the certificate of registration must be provided.
  9. The beneficiaries of the trust. This is the description of the class of persons in the society who are to benefit from the trust.
  10. The trust fund. This is the list of assets to be held by the trust.
  11. The Trustees. The trustees mandated to run the trust must be competent, to give assurance of their competence, the trustees must avail the following documents:
  12. Their names and addresses
  13. Their curriculum vitae
  14. Their statements of account
  15. The administration of the trust. Considerations will have to be made on whether standard procedure is appropriate and enough to run the trust or any special administrative arrangements have to be made. Some of the special administrative arrangements include:
  16. Appointment of trustees
  17. Operation of the trust accounts
  18. Procedure of conducting meetings
  19. Amendment of the Trust Deed.

Procedure of registering a trust in Kenya

Stage 1; Preparation of the Trust Deed

This is a document that gives details about the name and the objectives of the trust, the names and the address of the trustees as well as the powers of the trustees.

Stage 2; Stamp Duty

After the Trust Deed has been drafted and executed by the trustees, it is to be submitted for stamp duty.

Stage 3; Registration of the Trust under the Registry of Document Act

After stamping, the document is lodged for registration. It is important to note that even after the registration under this act, the document is not yet a trust.

Stage 4; Incorporation under the Perpetual Succession Act

After successful registration under the registry of document act, the trust deed, together with the petition for incorporation are lodged at the Ministry of Lands for incorporation of the trust.  The petition seeking incorporation must state, inter alia, that the trustees have the desire to be incorporated into a trust under the act.

Stage 5; Registration

This is the processing of the certificate of incorporation after the successful application of incorporation under the Perpetual Succession Act.