Register a Foreign Limited Company in Kenya
As it stands, there are five common ways for foreigners to set up or own a limited company in Kenya.
I. Register a Foreign Company With a Kenyan Partner as Director
This is one of the easiest ways for a foreigner to set up a company in Kenya. A foreigner owner who has a Kenyan partner will not be required to provide a KRA PIN and Alien ID which take enormous time and effort to acquire.
Learn more about how to register a foreign company with a Kenyan director
II. Register a Foreign Company with Nominee Director
This route will provide you with a service where a nominee will act as a director of your company during the registration process to meet the requirements needed to set up a company. Nominee Director will only hold a 1% share of the company.
Learn more about how to register a foreign company with a nominee director
III. Opening a Branch of an Existing Foreign Company
To open a branch or subsidiary in Kenya of an existing foreign company, you will need to register for a Certificate of Compliance. You must provide a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of Memorandum and a Company Tax Registration Certificate of the existing foreign company.
Learn more about how to open a branch of an existing foreign company
IV. Register a Foreign Company Fully Owned by Foreign Nationals
Foreign owners intending to register their company without a Kenyan partner will be required to provide a KRA PIN for the application. In order to acquire this document as a foreigner, they will first have to get an Alien ID, for which they become eligible for after three months of consecutive residency in Kenya.
V. Acquire an Existing Company Previously Owned by Kenyans
Through acquisition or merger, foreigners can pay an agreed amount for a target Kenyan business and start the process of changing ownership by adding and removing directors and shareholders.
Learn more about how to acquire or buy an existing company owned by Kenyans
Resources For Foreign Limited Company
- Alien ID Card – This is a document for foreign nationals which enables them to have an ID recognized by Kenyan government institutions and gives access to services such as KRA PIN and applying for a work permit, opening a business bank account, applying for Company KRA PIN, making tax returns and much more.
- Single Entry Visa – It is meant for any person who is looking to enter Kenya to carry out business activities. The visa is valid for three (3) months only. Issued at a cost of $51 by the government.
- Work Permit – There are different types or classes of work permits available in Kenya. For business owners who have registered their companies in Kenya and are looking to work in Kenya, they will need to apply for Class G permit which is valid for two (2) years and subject to renewal.
- KRA PIN – This is the most important document your company must obtain to do any business in Kenya. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN can be used to open a business bank account, perform tax returns on rental income, applying for Government tenders, purchase of land, buying and selling a property and many other business transactions.
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As a Foreign National, this ebook will guide you through registering your company, complying with local operating regulations and putting structures in place to trade effectively.
How much does it cost to register a Foreign Limited Company?
Limited Company registration cost varies depending on your needs. We currently offer two (2) package plans as shown below;
1. Lite Plan – Includes Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum & Article of Association only – Ksh. 25,000 ($250).
2. Premium Plan – Includes Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum & Article of Association, CR12 Letter, Company PIN, Web Design, Web Hosting, Domain Name (.COM/.CO.KE), Logo & Business Card Design – Ksh. 40,000 ($400).
How long does Limited Company take to be registered?
The duration for registering a foreign limited company varies based on how quick you avail your requirements and payment as well as the Company Registry workload. To avoid any delays we recommend that you prepare all your requirements in advance before the registration process begins.
Here is the breakdown of the estimated time-frame you requested;
1. Name search usually takes up to 2 working days.
2. Preparation of Company Documents for signing takes up-to 2 working days.
3. The signing of company document by client takes up-to 3 days depending on how quickly the client can sign, scan, email the documents.
4. Submitting signed documents to Registry takes 1 day depending on all information provided by the client is correct & up to date.
5. Company Registry usually takes 5-10 working days to process for the certificate of incorporation to be ready.
So in total, you are looking at around 10-15 working days (2-3 weeks) for certificate of incorporation to be issued after you have submitted to us all your requirements to us including your signed Memorandum & other documents.
How many directors do I need to have in my company?
At the moment, Company Registry only allows a minimum of 1 director and a maximum of 7 directors. If you have more than 7 people, they will be added to the company as Shareholders.