How to register a company in Kenya

How to register a company in Kenya

Kenya is located on the Eastern Region of the African Continent. It is also well known for its tourism especially its safaris as it has a number of national parks and reserves for wildlife. It also has surprisingly nice beaches in the coastal region which fronts the Indian Ocean. The country has a population of 48 million as at January 2017.

The country’s economy mainly depends on tourism as it contributes 61% to its Gross Domestic Product. It also depends on agriculture where coffee and tea are its cash crops. It has also started quite recently to export fresh flowers to Europe. The country’s currency is called Kenya shilling (KES).

Before you start a business, you need to decide the type or nature of business that you want to pursue. Once you have decided then you would need to incorporate a company.

Types of companies available in Kenya

The types of companies available are normally quite similar anywhere in the world. The companies are –

  • Sole proprietorship – As with any sole proprietorship, the business is run and owned by a single person. If this type of entity trades under a business name, the name has to be registered under the Registration of Business Names Act. The Registrar will then issue a Certificate of Registration.
  • Partnerships –This type of entity is restricted to 20 partners. If the number of partners exceeds 20, the company would need to be registered under the Companies Act. If the entity doesn’t trade under the partner’s names, the business name must be registered.
  • Limited liability partnership – For this type of partnership, there must be a manager who must be a Kenyan resident.
  • Limited companies – There are basically 2 types of limited companies. They are
  • a) Private limited – For this type of company, there is a minimum of 2 members to a maximum of 50 members. There is no minimum authorized capital but there must be at least 1 director. The transfer of shares in this company is restricted and not freely transferable. There is also no requirement to publish its financial accounts and this is right information of how to register a company in Kenya as foreigner.
  • b) Public limited – A public company must have a minimum of 7 members and there is no maximum number of members. This type of company is normally used for public listed companies. There must have at least 2 directors and the minimum authorized capital is KES6.75 million. The company can sell or transfers its shares to the public. It must have a company secretary and it must publish its accounts. These accounts must also be filed with the Registrar.
  • Branch office – A company that is registered outside of Kenya but still does business in Kenya is through a branch office. It is also known as a foreign company.

All company registration is done online through the e-citizen platform.

contact ocl business associates for company registration in Kenya