Starting a Chemist Business in Kenya

How to Earn while Offering a Valuable Service!

 Everywhere people get sick or have a condition that requires medication and hence, this presents an opportunity to be able to provide a valuable service to the community while being able to earn a living. In Kenya though, its law that you can only operate a chemist business if you have training and knowledge of drugs. So you have to have certification that is in the medical field or partner with someone who has who has the relevant papers. Once the certification is as required then you can make a request to the pharmacy and poisons board in writing for the required licence .To apply for the licence from pharmacy and poisons board can be registered in three form

  • As a partnership especially if you the entrepreneur does not have the required medical certification
  • As a sole proprietorship
  • As a limited company

This documentation will be handed in together with the other requirements when applying the pharmacy and poisons board licences.

Requirements to start a chemist business in Kenya

The application to start the pharmacy will be forwarded to the pharmacy and poisons board together with the academic papers and forms 27 which are the application papers for annual practice licence. Form 4 for application of the registration of premises and annex 1 which is a private questionnaire designated for premises to be run by a pharmacist. This will be accompanied by the floor plans of the chemist and of the lab technology are if any within the premises. The premise construction should be of a permanent nature. There should be basic equipment like a refrigerator weighing machine and measuring cylinders


Cost of starting

The cost of starting is slightly higher and out of range from average people. You will probably need to have saved some money to start or be in a position to take a loan. It so happens that before the pharmacy and poisons board approves your request to operate a chemist business in Kenya you have to have a minimum of 500 000 Kenya shillings as start-up capital for the chemist business. You will also need to do interior works on the shop to install shelves for displaying medicines

Licence cost
Annual practicing licence 2500
Premises registration 5000
Wholesale dealers licences 5000
Trading licence 10,000
Rent(3 months) 24,000
Electricity and Water 3,500
Cost of Interiors 50,000
Stock deposit( minimum) 500,000
Total 600,000

The rent and the trade licences will however, be determined by the area where the chemist business is set to be set up. In some areas the rent will be higher than the specimen area and in some it could be higher .there are also areas that the entrepreneur will be required to pay good will and this is set to raise the start up cost higher.



The target market

This chemist will be set up in a quickly developing area of Witeithie /Malaba area off the Thika super highway. This area is highly populated and is quickly developing with new buildings being built and more people relocating to the area. There are also new single homestead homes being built in the area and there isn’t much stiff neck competition. The chemist will offer reprieve to the community who have to travel to Thika town or Nairobi town for their medical needs, especially wholesale needs. The area hosts many people who work in the industries and flower farms as well as business people in the vast area and yet there is no chemist that dispenses medicine and once they get prescriptions in the hospitals around they have to go to Thika town and yet some medicines are off the counter medicines but they cannot be able to get them around.

Initial capital

The start up capital required to start a chemist business which will also be a wholesale pharmacy will be from 600,000 to 800,000 Kenya shillings. The board allows for a minimum of 500,000 Kenya shillings to approve the licence and operation requirements The drugs will be purchased from the factories in Nairobi and Thika .Factories like Medisel and Ben med .The chemist will make requests from the factories and the medicine will be delivered to their premises or they can arrange to pick from the factories and bring back to their premises for sale  .while stocking it is important to stock drugs  that do not need prescription from the doctor. The other drugs and can be stocked later depending on availability of capital as business goes by. Drugs like anti malarial drugs antibiotics cough syrups ensure a steady flow of income as business continues to pick up.


Profit margin

Pharmacy business can generate good income especially if it has been set up in an area that has got high traffic flow and the range of drugs that are sold such that when the customers come to the shop they always find whatever drugs they have sort out to find.

All factors put into place the business generates from between 6000 Kenya shillings and 20,000kenya shillings as profit daily. This could mean that the investor could get a return on investment within a very short time of setting up the chemist business. A chemist that will be set in witeithie ( or such zones)  will on average  generate a profit margin of between 4000 to 8000 KES daily.This can also run concurrently with a money transfer platform that will increase the profit margin that the business achieves.

In conclusion, being in good health is generally what we always hope for but unfortunately there are people who are not able to enjoy this due to accidents or to other causes that eventually cause health problems. Seeing as this is a part of life and due to gene mutations and other causes of life there are people who require over the counter prescriptions like vitamin supplements and others to be able to live a healthy life. Go ahead and replicate this idea and serve the community you live in gainfully as you also grow yourself financially. Good luck as you set up a chemist business.

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