How to Start a Bookshop Business in Kenya

ByTristram Ouma

Mar 27, 2023
How to Start a Bookshop Business in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:41 pm

Starting a bookshop business can be a fulfilling venture for book lovers and entrepreneurs alike. In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process on how to start a bookshop business in Kenya, including the starting cost breakdown, location, requirements, market size, earnings per day, and pros and cons.

Starting Cost Breakdown

ExpensesCost (in KES)
Rent30,000 – 50,000
Inventory200,000 – 300,000
Store Fixtures50,000 – 100,000
Permits and licenses20,000 – 30,000
Marketing and advertising10,000 – 20,000
Point of sale system20,000 – 30,000
Total330,000 – 530,000

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Choosing the right location is crucial for your bookshop business. Look for areas with high foot traffic such as shopping centers, malls, or near universities and schools.


To start a bookshop business in Kenya, you will need to register your business with the Registrar of Companies, obtain a business permit from the county government, and register for taxes with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). You will also need to acquire the necessary licenses from the Kenya Copyright Board to sell copyrighted materials.

Market Size

The book market in Kenya is growing, with a population of over 50 million and a literacy rate of over 75%. This presents a significant opportunity for bookshop businesses to tap into the growing demand for books.

Earnings per Day

The earnings per day will depend on the location of the bookshop, the size of the market, and the pricing strategy. On average, a bookshop can make between KES 5,000 – 10,000 per day.

Pros and Cons


  • Growing market
  • Opportunity to promote literacy and education
  • Potential for high profits


  • High competition from established bookshops and online book retailers
  • Fluctuating demand for books
  • Requires significant initial investment

Conclusion: Starting a bookshop business in Kenya can be a challenging but rewarding venture. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for success and tap into the growing demand for books in Kenya.

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