FAQs on Company Registration in Kenya
Can foreigners register a company in Kenya?
Yes, a foreigner can freely incorporate and register a company in Kenya.
Will a foreign owned company require a local shareholder?
For the most part no; however very few industries which are regulated may require some degree of local shareholding when seeking licensing e.g., the telecommunications industry.
Will my company need a local Kenyan director?
The minimum legal requirement for most companies is that a company must have at least 1 director (whether foreign or local). There is no legal requirement to have a local Kenyan director although in a practical sense a Kenyan director may be needed for taxpayer registration of the company using the director’s personal tax number.
How long does it take to register a company in Kenya?
This takes 1-3 weeks depending on whether the registry returns corrections on the application for registration of your Kenyan company.
Can foreigners set up a branch instead of a local resident company?
Yes, this is permissible. A branch is deemed a non –resident company and is taxed at a higher corporation tax rate of 37.5% compared to a resident company taxed at 30% corporation tax rate.
Can I get a bank account for my company?
Yes, this is certainly possible although the ease of opening with different banks varies as some may have extra requirements for foreign signatories. With respect to getting a personal bank account this is more difficult as the bank may require you provide a valid work permit before opening the individual bank account. Thus it is easier to open a corporate bank account compared to a personal bank account as a foreign signatory without a work permit.
Do I need a work permit to set up a Kenyan Company?
This will be determined by whether you are living and working in Kenya and requirements your business partners may impose on you. Any foreigner living and working in Kenya will need to get the appropriate immigration permit for instance the Class G Investor Permit or the Class D Employment Permit as may be relevant.
Are there minimum capital requirements for companies set up in Kenya?
In general, there is no minimum capital required for the company except for certain regulated industries e.g. some companies in the financial sector.
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