How to start a Chemist Business in Kenya – People get sick all the time and this could be seen an opportunity in business world to start a chemist or drug store. However to operate a Chemist/ Pharmacy in Kenya is not easy. This is because of many licencing procedures that one should follow before setting it up.

The first thing to do is ensure that as the owner you have a diploma or degree in Pharmacy. You cannot operate a chemist without having qualifications in pharmacy from a recognized academic institution in Kenya. If you are qualified, proceed to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board for a license.

Types of premises that can be registered for pharmaceutical operations

  1. Premises for a pharmacist – for carrying on the business of a pharmacist
  2. Premises for wholesale – for carrying on the business of a pharmacist on a wholesale basis only
  3. Premises for a pharmaceutical technologist – for carrying on the business of a pharmaceutical technologist

Any premise for a pharmacist shall be registered as either type of premise but not any two or all. Where a person wishes to carry out a combination of the above then the person shall lodge an application for registration of different sets of premises and each set have a designated superintendent.


  1. Registered business either by sole proprietorship, partnership or limited company. Read more on how to register a Business/ Company here
  2. Application in writing for registration of premises and filling of the prescribed forms
  3. Copies of academic certificates of the superintendent pharmaceutical technologist. A copy of diploma/degree certificate in pharmacy must be included
  4. A copy of enrolment certificate by Pharmacy & Poisons Board of Kenya for the superintendent pharmaceutical technologist
  5. Floor plan of the premise
  6. The recommended equipment’s must be in place
  7. A copy of the recommended Reference books at the premise

The board shall then review the application forms and documents. In addition the board may arrange an interview for the applicant by the practice committee of the board. After which an inspection of the proposed premises will be conducted by the pharmaceutical inspector to assess the suitability of the intended business. The inspection report will be presented in the prescribed inspection form.

The board can either issue the annual certificate of registration of premises or advise the applicant in writing in case of unsuccessful application and clearly state the reason the application was unsuccessful. In the case an unsuccessful application the applicant will be given further opportunity to revise and comply. Where the applicant is able to revise the application and comply a license will be issued otherwise the premises shall remain unregistered and the file will be close after about 6 months from the date of initial application.

We hope that we answered your question on How to start a Chemist Business in Kenya, We wish you all the best as you embark on this exciting journey, feel free to Contact Us for more clarification on the process.

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