How foreigner can start company and business in Kenya

How foreigner can start company and business in Kenya

Information on how foreigners in Kenya can start and run businesses is sparse and ambiguous, to say the least. Most articles that address starting a business in Kenya target Kenyan citizens. But how about foreigner’s resident in Kenya or elsewhere? What do they need? You begin by considering the entity that suits your type of business.

Registration of a sole proprietorship Company for foreigners

Registration of a sole proprietorship or as a business name is the simplest of all the available entities. In summary, a business name just shows who owns a business, the address and date of registration. The first step is to decide which name you want to register your business.  The next step is to register your eCitizen portal that enables you to register your business online. You fill all the required information on the portal and generate a BN2 form that you sign and scan back on the portal.. One requires a copy of their Passport or alien ID, a colored passport size photo. This whole process is done online, on the eCitizen portal. The registration is normally completed within 24 hours.

Incorporation of limited liability partnership for foreigners

The second entity to starting a business in Kenya as a foreigner is a limited liability partnership (LLP). This is a type of entity that, in essence, allows the partners to separate their personal liability from the liability of the partnership. It has the protection of a limited company, with the flexibility of a partnership. The minimum number of partners for this entity is two while the maximum is twenty.  The partners can either be natural persons or corporate bodies. A manager who is resident in Kenya must be appointed at the point of registration.

How to register a limited liability partnership business in Kenya as a foreigner

If you want to register an LLP, you should first begin with deciding which name you want to use. Create an online eCitizen portal for the partnership registration. Afterwards, you are required to fill out an LLP1 form. An agreement between the partners called a limited liability partnership agreement should also be drafted and signed by all the partners. The names, addresses, passport photos, KRA PIN certificates, and copies of the IDs, both local and alien, of the partners and manager are required. This registration is done online at the e citizen portal.

A private limited company, also called a limited liability company, is a business entity that allows members and directors to separate their assets from the entity’s assets. This kind of entity is among the best for a person who wants to start a business in Kenya as a foreigner. It can be wholly owned by a foreigner and some argue that a work permit may not be required in its formation. There is no requirement for a resident director or a company secretary.

Requirements for A Foreigner to open a company in Kenya

Starting a business in the form of a public company, as a foreigner in Kenya, may be a bit more complicated than the other types of entities. A public limited company is a company that is mainly intended for business and public investment. If you, as a foreigner are just looking for an entity in which to invest your money, you can subscribe for shares in a public company, and become its member. If, however, you are seeking to start this type of business in Kenya as a foreigner, keep in mind that a resident Kenyan representative is required. Also, 30% of the shares must be held by Kenyans. A minimum of three directors and a minimum of seven shareholders are required for this type of entity. A Kenyan resident company secretary is also required. Shareholders and directors can be corporate bodies, but at least one of each must be natural persons. The names, addresses, passport photosKRA PIN certificates and a copy of their IDs, local or alien, of the directors and shareholders, are also required. The documents are uploaded and the forms filled out online, on the eCitizen portal.

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