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Why real estate agents should not pay single Business Permit to County governments

Why real estate agents should not pay single Business Permit to County governments

A
ruling by the High Court stopp
ed the charging
of single business permit fees on
certain
professions that includes Real Estate agents registered under the Estate Agents
CAP.533. This is because charging such fees would
amount to
double taxation.

Since
2010, there are two layers of Government, National and County Government. The
National Government does have its own mandates and levies taxes on some
functions. However, some functions are levied by the County Government in areas
where the services fall within the County and where there are no similar taxes
levied by the National Government. Once the National Government levies a
particular tax, the same cannot be levied by the County Government.

In
Constitutional Petition No. 97 of 2016, The Kenya Pharmaceutical Association
and Pharmaceutical
Society of Kenya sought the
Court’s intervention to prohibit County Governments from demanding,
seeking or receiving applications for Single Business Permits or
fees for such application or permit or
license
or otherwise from its members. The Judge explained the crucial difference
between trade
license fees and practicing
license fees stating that the County Government is prohibited from
issuance of Regulatory Licenses. The trade licensing fee is paid
for trading in the County. The Judge
further
reiterated that the function of the County Government is trade development and
regulation
which excludes the regulation of
professions which render services only.

Unconventional Ways to Find Real Estate Clients

 

In
the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution, among the services devolved to the
County Government is Trade Development and Regulation which includes:

(a)……

(b)
Trade licensing (excluding regulation of professionals).

 

The
County Government is therefore prohibited from issuing regulatory licenses
for professionals under which real estate agents falls
under
.

To take advantage of this regulation, you must be
registered with The Estate Agents Registration
Board
.

Read the blog below on how to register as a real
estate agent and the process of registering as a real estate agent in Kenya.

How
to register with Estate Agents Registration Board as a real estate agent in
Kenya

 

What other professionals do not pay single
business permits?

Blacks’
Law Dictionary 10th Edition at page 1903 defines profession as ‘A
vocation requiring advanced education and training especially one of the three
traditional learned professions – Law, Medicine and the Ministry.

Concise
Oxford English Dictionary 12th Edition defines profession as ‘paid occupation, especially one involving
training and a formal qualification
.”]

So registered professionals like accountants,
surveyors, medical practitioners, engineers, accountants and lawyers may rely
on court judgements not to pay the single business permit fees.

Some cases to rely on are:

·       High Court of Kenya at
Nyahururu J.R.NO.8 OF 2017

·       High
Court in Nakuru Review 14 or 2014.

·       Constitutional
Petition No. 97 of 2016

·       Civil
Application No. Nai 2 Of 2000

 

Do Pharmacies need to pay for single
business permits?

Every pharmacy needs to pay for single business
permits.

This was determined by J. Mativo in Petition 97/2016, the Kenya Pharmaceutical
Association of Kenya Vs Nairobi County Government and 46 others County
Governments
. The
court held that they are liable to pay trade licenses because they
also sell pharmaceutical goods. The court said:

“Pharmacy is a profession but to the extent that it also involves
selling of pharmaceutical products. It is a trade as opposed to a profession
such as law or Architecture which render services only. By being asked to pay
trade licenses, for their business premises, the County Government cannot in
any manner be said to be regulating or controlling the profession.”

 

Let us know anything we may have missed on the comment
section below.

 

Have questions? Contact us on 0726982982!

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