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Registration of a Charitable Trust in Kenya

i. Preparation of trust deed

A trust deed must be prepared. It contains the name of the trust, the objectives of the trust, the names in full, and addresses of the trustees including powers of the trustees to change and appoint other trustees.

  1. Payment of Stamp duty

The trust document duly signed by trustees is submitted for stamp duty.

  1. Registration

Registration may involve two stages

  • Registration under the Registry of Documents Act.
  • Incorporation under the Perpetual Successions Act.

Registration under the Registration of Documents Act

The process may take 1-3 weeks. Registration under the RDA does not make a trust into a body corporate trust yet. However, the trust can commence implementing the objects of the trust as a simple trust.

Incorporation under the Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act 

After registration under the registry of documents, a certified copy of the trust deed and a petition for incorporation is lodged with the Ministry of Lands for incorporation of trust. The Trust may be incorporated under the TPSA, making it a body corporate.

In the petition, it must be stated that the trustees require incorporation of a trust and provide a representation of the common seal of the trust, which is round with the name of the trust inscribed. The process takes an average of 3 to 6 months to the issuance of a certificate of Incorporation.


  1. Name of the Trust
  2. Main Objective of the Trust- Education, Medical, Beneficial etc
  3. Name of the Settlor/ Donor- Full name, copy of ID card/passport; If it’s a company, a copy of the certificate of registration
  4. Proposed physical address of the trust or foundation
  5. Domicile and residence of the trust or foundation
  6. A Trust Deed
  7. Description of beneficiaries and their necessary allotments if any
  8. Description of the Trust Fund- A list of assets held by the trust, A letter/statement from the donor stating his commitment, The transfer of properties/ funds may be progressive but indicate the initial amount/properties to be transferred
  9. The Description and details of the Trustees. Names and addresses in full, Passport photos, Copies of Pin certificates, Copies of national ID or Passport
  10. Administration details of the Trust. Consider whether standard procedures are appropriate or are there any special administrative procedures required. This includes the following;
  11. Appointment of trustees
  12. Operation of Trust accounts
  13. Powers of the trustees
  14. Procedure for conducting meetings
  15. Amendment of the Trust deed

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