SACCO and Self-Help Group Registration Process

SACCOs and Self-Help Groups are perfect investment vehicles that Kenyans can use to achieve financial freedom. As an investor, it is better to join hands to pool resources and ideas with others than to do it individually. Many Kenyans have realized this and have benefited a lot by registering such investment groups. If you have been thinking of registering a Sacco or a Self-Help Group with your friends, this article will take you through the necessary process to do so.


Differences Between SACCOs and Self-Help Groups

To make it clear, Saccos are different from Self-Help Groups and their registration processes also differ. They however have a similar objective which is to enable their members to get financial freedom by providing them with cheap loans and investment opportunities.


SACCOs are larger and better structured than Self-help groups. Most of them are formed by people with similar interests. Examples are Teachers, Farmers, and Matatu SACCOs to name just a few. Most however allow other people outside their scope to register as members, open savings accounts, buy shares, and apply for loans.


Popularly known as Chamas, Self-Help Groups on the other hand are smaller investment groups formed by people at the grassroots. In most cases, they start as Merry-go-rounds and later turn into investment vehicles. They are effective since members contribute their little savings into large amounts that can be used to make meaningful investments. They were for a long time considered as Women-only groups but now men are also forming and actively taking part in them.


Even though they are the smaller versions of the Saccos and may look less formal, Self-help groups have their leadership structures like the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Members. Like the Saccos, they are mostly formed by people of similar interests like women and the youth. Some however are not inclined towards any specific gender or age group.

Classification of SACCOs in Kenya

It is important to note that SACCOs in Kenya are classified under two categories:

  1. Deposit-Taking SACCOs (DT-SACCOs)
  2. Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs (Non-DT-SACCOs)


The Deposit-Taking SACCOs not only take savings from members but also offer savings account services that members can use to deposit and withdraw their savings similar to the banks. They are licensed and regulated by Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), which is a government agency that licenses, supervises, and regulates Saccos in Kenya. SASRA was created under the Sacco Societies Act of 2008 and falls under the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives.


Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs on the other hand are those that take deposits from members only as share capital. Those deposits can only be withdrawn by members when they decide to leave the SACCO. Unlike Deposit-Taking SACCOs, Non-Deposit Taking SACCOs do not provide banking services.


The Non-deposit Taking SACCOs are supervised and regulated by the State Department for Co-operatives, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Irrigation. However, this is no longer the case for Non-deposit Taking SACCOs whose members’ savings are Ksh.100 million or above. As of June 30, 2021, they were required to be under the supervision of SASRA, just like the Deposit-Taking SACCOs.


Registration Process for Non-Deposit Taking Saccos
  1. A written formal request on the intention to form a Sacco
  2.  A 3-year business plan, the feasibility study, and the proper details on the mission, vision, business operations, and projected profitability of the Sacco
  3. The Sacco’s certified registration certificate
  4. A Ksh.3,000 application fee
  5. More information about the Sacco like the location of the head office and its branches if any
  6. The proposed Chief executive officer’s name
  7. The number of the members of the Sacco (must be 10 or more)
  8. The names and contact information of the Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Sacco
  9. Four copies of each of the following documents: The SACCO’s certified copy of the by-laws, Economic appraisal, Filled application for the registration form, and Supplementary information form.
  10. Constitution of the Sacco
  11. A letter from the employer agreeing to check off in case of salaried workers
  12. Recent pre-cooperative SACCO meeting’s Minutes.


One week after all the above requirements have been submitted, the Cooperative officer will convene a meeting with the proposed members, whose quorum must be at least 10. During the meeting whose main agenda shall be “pre co-operative education”,  Interim officials shall be appointed by the promoters to oversee the registration process.


Once one of the proposed names has been approved, a complete Sacco registration form with the full details of all the board members and the members are submitted. This includes proof of identity documents and physical addresses of all the members. The Sacco registration process will then be completed after about 2 months.


Registration Process for Deposit-Taking Saccos

A Sacco that intends to collect deposits from members is required by law to obtain a license from SASRA. Apart from that, the following are other requirements needed to register a Deposit-Taking Sacco:

  1. A certified copy of the general meeting resolution’s minutes authorizing the application for the deposit-taking license
  2. Capital that is not less than Ksh.10 million which must be proven through bank statements
  3. A 4 year business plan and feasibility study
  4. All senior managers and directors will be vetted to ensure that they are suitable to manage the Sacco
  5. A properly filled application form with all the requirements attached must be submitted to SASRA
  6. Upon confirmation from SASRA, the Sacco will then be free to set up its business premises
  7. SASRA will then conduct inspection for compliance on the premises within 30 days. A letter of compliance will be issued.
  8. Upon payment of the license fee in full, SASRA will issue the Sacco with a License. This must be renewed every year.


Below are other requirements needed for Deposit-Taking Sacco registration:

  • Confirmation letters from the employers are required for formally employed persons.
  • Matatu Saccos registration requires that at least 10 logbooks of vehicles belonging to the proposed members must be provided.
  • Registration of Saccos belonging to business people will require at least 10 members to each provide a copy of their business licenses.
  • The area Chief’s Introductory letter is required in the case of marketing individuals who want to register a Sacco.
  • Self-help groups that intend to register as Saccos must provide a copy of the registration certificate.

Registration Process for Self-Help Groups
  • Constitution of the group
  • A list of names of all members with a copy of their national ID cards and signatures
  • Minutes for a meeting that was held to seek registration of the group. This must also contain the names of the elected officials
  • The group must have a minimum of 10 members
  • Receipt for the Ksh.1,000 registration fee

Read>>>>How to apply for Harambee SACCO Mobile Loan (M-Boosta)

Upon getting the above requirements ready, here is the procedure for registering a Self-help Group:

  1. Draft the constitution of the group which must be signed by every member.
  2. Hold an election of the officials like the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
  3. Register the group with the ministry of Labour and Social Protection. This can be done by visiting their sub-county offices or Huduma Centers. You will be provided with a registration form. Fill it carefully, and attach all the required documents and submit.
  4. Pay fully the required application fee of Ksh.1,000.
  5. After about 5 working days, go for the group’s certificate which will be ready by then.


Benefits of Registering a SACCO or a Self-Help Group in Kenya
  • It will be recognized by the Kenyan Constitution as an independent entity that can conduct businesses under its registered name.
  • Small funds from the members can be used collectively to make huge and more profitable investments.
  • If in need, Self-help groups and Saccos can easily borrow loans from financial institutions.
  • Assets owned by the Self-help groups or Saccos are indirectly owned by the members.

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Majira Media

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