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Legal Status of CBT In Kenya

Communities are usually excited when starting their new community-based tourism organizations. Consequently, they sometimes ignore the need for obtaining licenses and permits. It is true that getting licenses and permits is not an exciting undertaking in most cases, but failing to get the permits and licenses from the beginning is one of the most common mistakes a CBTO can make.

Within community-based organizations (CBOs), there are many differences in terms of the organizational structure and size. For instance, some CBOs have corporate registration.

The smaller and informal CBOs are, however, registered by the Department of Gender and Social Development. Most CBTOs in Kenya would fall under the latter. The registration fee is usually five thousand shillings for the option.

How can a CBTO ensure a valid legal status?

  1. At the very basic, the organization should register with the Department of Labour under the Ministry of East Africa Community, Labour and Social Protection to be recognized as a CBO. Among other things, registration would require:
  • Details of the management committee of the CBO including Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, their deputies, and members.
  • Minutes of the CBO meetings
  • The CBO objectives and activities
  1. Ensure that the CBO renews its membership certificate to the Department of Labour on an annual basis.
  2. Check with the county government if the CBO would need a single business permit
  3. CBOs offering homestays should ensure that they comply the homestay criteria developed by the Ministry of Tourism
  4. Ensure that food handlers have a Health Clearance Certificate from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation to ensure that food handlers are free from communicable diseases.
  5. The Health Clearance certificate should be renewed after every 6 months
  6. Check with Tourism Regulation Authority (TRA) for registration status of the CBO. In general, CBTOs would fall under class E of TRA that includes:

Why Register

It is great if your CBT is legally recognized as it opens up doors for doing business. Some organizations or hotels will only work with you if you have proof of registration. In the same way, it is important for the business to have professional documentation such as invoices, delivery notes, receipts etc.