Kenya has one of the largest financial sectors in the region. This has really shaped the economic growth and development in the country. A major contributor to this milestone goes to the effort of SACCOs. They have played a major role in the mobilization financial resources in the country. Many Kenyans prefer SACCOs since they offer an effective way of saving and are an alternative way to access capital for development.
Why open a SACCO?
Over recent years, the number of Saccos in the country has really grown. Even the big corporates in the private and public sector are realising just how attractive Saccos are. With the rising interest in Saccos, many investors are getting into this lucrative field. For the individual it’s an effective way of saving and quick and cheap means of raising capital; and for the Sacco as an entity there is power that comes from having members and regular income from contributions. Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) report shows 175 registered and regulated Saccos with a combined asset value of Ksh 393 billion shillings. With such figures, it’s no wonder shrewd investors want to get in on this thriving field. Exactly, how do your register a Sacco? However, some of them lack the basics when it comes to the registration of Saccos. Before registration, there are requirements that must be fulfilled.
First, you need to propose a Sacco name that will be approved by Cooperative Society Department in Sheria House subject to availability.
Upon approval of the name, a Sacco registration form will need to be completed with details of all the board members and members including proof of identity documents as well as physical address of all members. It is a good idea to visit the Cooperative Society Department to get the full information, fees, application times and form and resources need to complete your registration.
Deposit taking Sacco: If you intend to take deposits from your members, you will be required to obtain a license from SASRA. SASRA is mandated by section 24 of the Saccos Societies Act 2008 to license and regulate the operation of Deposit Taking Saccos. Before the SACCO starts to engage in any deposit taking business, it must first acquire a valid license from the Authority. The Sacco must first obtain a license in order to start the deposit taking business after filing an application to the Authority while fulfilling the below SACCO registration regulations. Licensing requirements; the documents that must be submitted include: A duly filled and completed application filed together with the “fit and proper test” as set out in the Forms 1 and 2 in the first schedule of the regulations. A certified copy of the SACCO Society’s registration certificate that have been issued under the Co-operative Societies Act (Cap.490) A certified copy of the SACCO Society’s registration certificate that have been issued under the Co-operative Societies Act (Cap.490). Approval of your license to operate from SASRA takes at least three months or more.
Non-deposit taking Sacco
Non-deposit taking Saccos are exempt from SASRA registration. However, there are other requirements to meet depending on the intended area of operation. Numbers of members at registration is dependent on sector:
- 50 members for agricultural society.
- 20 for Savings and Credit Cooperative Society
- 10 members for other types of Cooperatives.
- Members are required to be above 15 year of age; while board members must be 18 years of age and above.
Other documents needed for your Sacco formation include:
A certified copy of the SACCO society’s bylaws. A three-year business plan together with a feasibility study of the SACCO society in order to be licensed with the detailed vision, mission, scope and the nature of the business operations, the projected profitability in order to achieve the set standards, monitoring procedures and the control measures.
A certified extract of the minutes after a general meeting resolution authorizing the licensing of the SACCO by the members. A name of the newly elected Chief Executive Officer. List of the certified copies of the financial statements for the past three years, where applicable.
Evidence that the Sacco has adequate capital to run. In case you are wondering how much it cost to register the Sacco, well you have to pay an application fee of three thousand shillings.
Formulate a formal request in a letter prescribing the need for the formation of the Sacco. Provide the names of the members for search and approval. Formulate the objectives of the society. Provide the multitude of members that would be in the Sacco. Propose the names, occupational standards, home and postal addresses of the chairman, secretary, and treasurer that form part of the committee. Formulate the proposed physical address of the society. The address also includes the road, plot number, town and county.
You are also required to submit the Sacco’s constitution form.
Immediately after the mentioned documents have been received by the cooperative officer, the proposed members are invited for a meeting. Usually the quorum should be at least ten members. In the meeting, there will be the appointment of the interim officers with the main idea of oversight of the process. The process of the registration lasts about two months.
Once registered, the Sacco, by the law, must hold their first general meeting within a month after receipt of certificate.