What is a charitable trust?

Charitable Trust is defined as one in which property held by a trustee must be used for charitable purposes. Before a court can enforce a charitable trust, it must examine the charity and evaluate its social benefits. The court cannot rely on the view of the settlor, the one who establishes the trust, that the trust is charitable.

Steps; Registration of a Charitable Trust

Preparation of trust deed

A trust deed must be prepared. It contains the name of the trust, the objectives of the trust, the names in full and addresses of the trustees including powers of the trustees to change and appoint other trustees.

Payment of Stamp duty

The trust document duly signed by trustees is submitted for stamp duty.


The registration may involve two stages namely;

Registration under the Registry of Documents Act.

This process may take 1-3 weeks. Registration under the RDA does not make a trust into a body corporate; however the trust can commence implementing the objects of the trust as a simple trust.

Incorporation under the Perpetual Successions Act.

After registration, a certified copy of trust deed and a petition for incorporation is lodged with the ministry of lands for incorporation of the trust. The Trust may be incorporated under the TPSA, making it a body corporate. In the petition, it must be stated that the trustees require incorporation of a trust and provide a representation of the common seal of the trust. The process takes an average of 3-6 months for the issuance of a certificate of Incorporation.


As Imperial Registrars we shall be pleased to assist you or your company in the registration and undertaking relevant compliance measures with respect to the charitable trust in Kenya. Kindly get in touch with us via ( for further assistance.

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