Kisumu unveils e-licensing system for businesses

Businesses in Kisumu will apply for licences online following the launch of an electronic permit system.

The electronic trade licensing system, formerly known as the single business permit, is a web-based platform that allows traders to submit applications online for processing and approvals.

Governor Jack Ranguma said the system would cut bureaucracy in acquiring trade permits and help in reducing corruption.

Its launch comes hot on the heels of a similar automation of the process of acquiring building licences early this year.

Officials said digitisation of the trade licensing system aims to improve access to government services by businesses in the county and those seeking to invest in the region.

“The overall objective of this system is to encourage business creation, reduce the cost of doing business and attract more private investment in the county. Devoid of bureaucracies, our digital system has reduced the human tendency to delay processes,” said Mr Ranguma during the launch of the system on Thursday.

In the new online system, traders will be required to log into the county’s e-services portal, create an account, make an application of their business licence including the nature of trade, make payment and submit for approval.

Once verified, the applicant will receive a temporary certificate allowing one to set up the business. The interim document will be replaced by a licence certificate once officers visit the business and verify its authenticity.

“The journey of automating the county’s business systems began in October 2015 when, with the support of the World Bank, we launched the e-construction permit system,” said the governor.

“This initiative has revolutionised plan approval process thereby bringing a lot of benefits to the developers and the county as a whole.”