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Kenya

SET UP A BUSINESS IN KENYA

Kenya officially named as the Republic of Kenya and it is a country in the African Great Lakes region of East Africa. Its capital city is Nairobi.  Kenya has a number of tax treaties and investment promotion and protection Agreements. Kenya is a popular business destination due to its free enterprise economy and boasts the biggest economy in East and Central Africa as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) is a statutory body established in 2004 with the main objective of promoting investments in Kenya. It is responsible for assisting the implementation of new investment projects, offering aftercare services for new and existing investments.

Scroll down for more information on Company Formation in Kenya.

 Company Formation in Kenya

  • An investor is free to choose to operate their business with either 100% ownership or in partnership with local investors except in the Insurance, Information and Communication Technology, Air services and investments in the stock market.
  • Limited liability companies are prohibited from inviting the general public to subscribe to its shares and it cannot have more than 50 members excluding persons in the employment of the company
  • A company incorporated outside Kenya may carry on business in Kenya through a branch.

Company Registration in Kenya – Licensing

  • Businesses operating in Kenya are typically required to obtain one or more licenses and permits, depending on the activities of their company. County councils being involved in licensing
  • Any Kenya Business is exempt from all business license requirement, only EPZ license is required to do business

Accounting and Tax for Company Registered in Kenya

  • The corporate tax rate is 30% and the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is 16%
  • Capital Gains Tax not applicable as this tax is presently suspended in Kenya
  • Dividends are taxed on a withholding tax basis which is the final tax. Expenses are not allowed on the dividend income or any other income of the taxable person. Dividends received by financial institutions are exempt
  • The personal tax rate is 10% up to 121,969 Kshs

Type Limited Liability Company/Branch office
Under Kenya law, foreigners can own 100%
Share Capital Min of KES 100,000
Directors Minimum One
Shareholders Minimum Two
Memorandum and Articles of Association Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Ethiopia Yes
Tax Registration Certificate required Yes
Statutory audit required Yes
Secretary Yes
How long to open Corporate Bank Account 1 week
Timeframe to Incorporation 3-4 weeks
Annual Return Yes
Annual Tax Yes
Access to Mozambique double tax treaties Yes

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