Local representative for foreign companies in Kenya

Local representative for foreign companies in Kenya

The Companies Act 2015 requires Foreign Companies to be registered in Kenya in order to conduct business in Kenya. A foreign Company is also required to appoint a Local Representative.

Ocl business associates Services have vast experience in registration of Foreign Branches and acting as the local representatives for the Foreign Branches in Kenya. We ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and maintaining records at the Companies Registry.

In addition to acting as local representatives for Foreign Branches, ocl business associates Services also assists in the application for and obtaining all classes of permits for expatriates working in Kenya and passes for their dependents

A foreign company registered outside Kenya wishing to do business in Kenya may either register a branch office or a subsidiary in Kenya. A subsidiary is considered a local company with compliance requirements similar to those of local companies owned by locals. A branch office on the other hand is unique and is considered a foreign company under Part XXXVII of the Companies Act, 2015 (Companies Act).

A foreign company may not be registered in Kenya unless it has at least one local representative.  A local representative may be any person of the company’s choice but must be resident in Kenya. A local representative is always required to be present at the registered office of the company in Kenya when the office is open.

The name and particulars of the local representative must be stated in the application for registration form.

Local representatives are responsible for ensuring compliance by the company of all requirements under the Companies Act, 2015 and may be personally liable for any penalty imposed on the company for contravention of or non-compliance with the Act.  It is an offense for a foreign company to carry on business in Kenya for more than 21 days without a local representative.

. Section 983 of the Companies Act provides that a foreign company must ensure that a local representative of the company is present at all times when the office is open. Essentially, this means that the local representative must have residency in Kenya and indeed must be a holder of a valid work permit. The local representative therefore exposes him or herself to potential risks of non-compliance by the foreign company. The responsibilities of a local representative include: 

To keep the registered office open on each business day from at least 10 am to 12 noon and from at least 2pm to 4 pm;

Remain available at all times when the office is open;

Lodge with the Registrar for registration a notice of the hours between 9 am and 5pm on each business day during which the branch’s registered office in Kenya is kept open;

Lodge with the Registrar for registration a notice of the change of the new address of that office;

Within seven days after making a change to the hours during which the registered office in Kenya is kept open, lodge with the Registrar for registration a notice of the change; and

Ensure that the registered office complies with all the requirements set out under Division 4 of Part XXXVII of the Companies Act.

contact ocl business associates for foreign company set up in Kenya