can a foreigner register a company in kenya


CHECKLIST for Foreign Company Registration in Kenya

Foreign Company Registration in Kenya – Are you looking to start up a Business in Kenya? Here is a checklist to help you start a Business in Kenya as a foreigner. This will help you avoid the many Pitfalls that you might come across.

  1. Decide on a Business Name/ Company name

What is in a Business/Company Name? A Business Name can make a very big difference on how well you are able to penetrate the market. Business & Company Names make a significant impact on Branding and Marketing of any company or business hence it’s very important to choose an Appealing Name. The name of your Business can be your own personal name or a “fictitious” name. It is important to note that the name should also be available for reservation.

  1. Search Availability of Name(s)

You will want to ensure that your Chosen Name is not trademarked or used as an Internet Domain name by another entity. If you choose to do business as your legal name, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  1. Register your Company

Under the Companies Act 2015 the start-ups are now provided with standard Articles which can be adopted by a company. However, Articles to Supplement or Modify the Standard Articles may be provided. It takes 12 days on average to complete the whole registration process. Once your Company/ Business Name is registered it can’t be registered by anyone else; and if another entity uses this Name, it will be easier to take legal action.

  1. Register for Taxes at the Kenya Revenue Authority PINs

The Pin Numbers are issued to every individual and Companies Operating in Kenya for the purposes of Transacting Business with Kenya Revenue Authority, other Government agencies and private Companies in Kenya

  1. Office/ Ware house  leasing

Business location can also determine how well your Company/ Business performs. If you are setting up a Small Consultancy firm, you can rent an Office Space in one of the Serviced Office spaces Available and it is a large or medium Manufacturing company, you can lease space in the Industrial Area or choose to lease Land and set up the structures yourself.

  1. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

This will involve Processing of all the Relevant Business licenses like the Business Permits form the local County Council, Manufacturing and Quality Standard Licenses from the Kenya Bureau of Standards, an Environmental Licenses from the National Environmental Management Authority and Lastly you will need to Process Work permits for the foreigners in the Company From the Department of Immigration and registration of Persons

  1. Bank Account Opening

This is very essential to operate your Accounts Receivables and Payables. You can choose a banking partner from over 40 Stable Local And International Banks in Kenya with reliable Internet Banking Solutions making it easy for you to Bank From whichever part of the region you are in.

  1. Staff recruitment

Lastly, you will need a reliable workforce to help you realize your Business/Company Objectives. The Workforce in Kenya is generally educated and Pro Active hence you can easily train the Human Resource on how you want to run your business.

Click here to find out more on Foreign Company Registration in Kenya


Requirements for Company & Branch Registration in Kenya

Requirements for Company & Branch Registration in Kenya – Are you looking to start a Business in Kenya?  Here are the Requirements you need to have inplace.
There are Three ways for you can register  your entity, one as a totally independent limited company, or as a Subsidiary of your Company registered in Kenya or any other Jurisdiction or as a Branch Company registered in another Jurisdiction.

The requirements for Registering a limited Company (LLC) / Subsidiary include the following,

The new procedures now allow a single person to register a limited Company as a Foreigner; this means you do not need a Kenyan director to co-own the company with you. You can own the company 100%.

  1. At least 3 names on which we are going to conduct a Name Search to ensure that the name is available for you.
  2. Copy of your valid Travel Passport or Kenyan ID Card
  3. Passport size Photo
  4. Telephone Number, Physical, email and Postal Addresses of the Directors and Shareholders
  5. Occupation of the Shareholders and Directors
  6. Shares apportionment percentage incase the company has More than 1 Director.

Once you have all the requirements we go ahead and fill in the CR1, CR2, CR8 and the statement of nominal capital, which you are required to sign and send back to us to finish the process.
If the process is successful you will be issued with a Certificate of Incorporation and CR12.

We shall then go ahead and help you process the Company PIN And also open Company Bank account in one of our Partner Banks

Requirements for Registering a  Branch Company includes the following ;

A Branch Company is an Entity that is not any Different from the Parent Company with a Name and Activities Exactly as the Parent Company and its Liabilities extends to the Parent Company. In Short, A branch is just an Extension of the Parent Company.
The process of Registration is similar to the limited Company mentioned above however you would need to avail the following documentations.

  1. Certified copies of the parent Company’s Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Certified copies of the Charter, Statutes or Memorandum and Articles of Association of the parent Company
  3.  List of the Directors of the Parent Company giving the following particulars: Full Names, Postal address, Nationality and Business Occupation
  4. Name(s) and Postal Address of one or more persons resident in Kenya authorized to accept service on behalf of the company.
  5.  Full address of the Registered or Principal office of the parent company.
  6. Full address of the place of Business in Kenya.
    If the process is successful you will be issued with a Compliance Certificate.

We shall then go ahead and help you process the Company PIN And also open Company Bank account in one of our Partner Banks

Kindly Click on this link to read more on the differences between Branch and Subsidiary

Click on this Link to engage us for more clarification on the Requirements for Company & Branch Registration in Kenya or to start the Registration Process


Branch vs Subsidiary Company Registration In Kenya

Branch vs Subsidiary Company Registration In Kenya – Which one is the Best for me? Many clients often ask us the above question and our answer to it is that “It all depends on the Business approach you want to take”. This is because in some instances, a Branch would be the most ideal entity while in other instances a Subsidiary would be the most ideal.

The major difference comes in when paying Taxes because a Branch Company will be taxed at 37.5 % Corporation Tax while a Subsidiary Company will be taxed at 30%.

However, having paid Tax at the higher rate, a Branch Company may remit after tax profits to its head office without any further deduction of tax whereas a subsidiary company must then deduct a further 10% on dividends paid to its parent.

See below a Comparison of a Branch vs Subsidiary Company Registration In Kenya

legal  StatusNot a separate legal entity but an extension of the Parent CompanySeparate legal Entity  distinct from its Parent Company
LiabilitiesLiabilities Extend to Parent CompanyLiabilities Limited to Subsidiary
Entity NameMust be the same as the Parent CompanyCan be the same or Different from Parent Company
Allowed ActivitiesMust be the same as the Parent CompanyCan be the same or Different from Parent Company
Validity PeriodRegistered forever until closedRegistered forever until closed
TaxationTaxed as non-resident entity, local tax benefits not availableTaxed as resident entity, local tax benefits available
Annual FilingMust file Branch Office as well as Parent Company’s AccountsMust file Accounts of the Kenyan Subsidiary
Bank AccountCan open Bank Account in KenyaCan open Bank Account in Kenya

Click here to talk to one of our Business Set-up Expert for More Insight on Branch vs Subsidiary Company Registration In Kenya and East Africa