How to register a company in Kenya, adhering to all legal requirements

Interested in starting a business in Kenya that adheres to all the legal requirements? Want to register a limited liability company in Kenya? Want to incorporate your business?

This interview with Mr. Seth from Healy Consultants, provides you with a lot of tips that will benefit you, the person who want to register a company.

Healy Consultants provide entrepreneurs and investors with a comprehensive suite of professional corporate services to assist in company start-up, provide business support and guide offshore investment strategies.

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on something I recommend and purchase it, I will receive a commission for the sale – at no extra cost to you. 

For Kenyans who want to establish businesses in foreign countries, Healy Consultants can assist you in every country in the world.

They have specialized services in global company formation; corporate bank account opening; accounting and tax; recruitment, immigration, visas and virtual office services.

Let’s jump right in the interview.

1. How much does one need, in Kenyan shillings, to form a company here in Kenya (include detailed breakdown of where every shilling goes as well please)?

Table of Contents

Kindly refer to this Healy Consultants Kenya invoice for their rates. Click the link to view the document now – or to download it to your device.

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2. What are the benefits (advantages) of registering a company in Kenya as opposed to registering as a sole-proprietor or partnership?

Kindly refer to this Word document – Advantages of Kenya company registration to learn more. Click this link to view it on (or download it to) your device.

3. What five common mistakes do people make when they are in the process of incorporating a company in Kenya – and what’s your advice to them in each of the five situations they might find themselves in?

Kindly refer to the Word document (linked to above) Advantages of Kenya company registration under challenges.

4. How long (duration) does it take to register a company in Kenya and finalize everything ?

The average Kenya company formation engagement period is 11 weeks as outlined below:

Engagement planning 1 week
Company incorporation 6 weeks
Corporate bank account approval 2 weeks
Corporate internet banking approval 2 weeks
Total engagement period 11 weeks

5. To foreigners who want to start companies in Kenya, what’s the procedure and what documents do they need to register their company successfully?

Kenya business setup requires foreign entrepreneurs to form a limited liability company (LLC) with a minimum of two shareholders and two directors of any nationality.

There are no minimum share capital mandates and company registration procedure can be completed within 6 weeks.

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Foreign entrepreneurs interested can also  pursue a branch or a representative office through a limited liability.

None of these entities require a Kenyan national to be involved as a director or shareholder. Kindly refer to this PDF file – Kenya Entities.

 6. What do you advice someone  to do before they start the process of registering their business as a company in Kenya?

To get the right professionals to give them an in-depth analysis and advise on the business and political environment of the country, the corporate laws and tax laws of the country and the process of company registration and its pros and cons.

7. What do you advice someone to do after they finalize the process of registering their limited liability company in Kenya?

To observe the corporate laws of the country to the latter.

8. Any top five tips to make the process of company registration in Kenya smooth and fast?

Kindly scroll to question 14.

9. Should someone do the company registration alone or get the help from somebody? (If yes, who and why)?

Since the process can be tedious and time consuming I recommend professional help.

Healy Consultants have experience dealing with all government bodies in relation to business registration and we can effectively and efficiently manage the project on behalf of the client.

10. Can one person register a company in Kenya (How many people are required to register a company in Kenya – one or at least two?

Entrepreneurs can wholly own a LLC with a minimum of 2 shareholders and 2 directors of any nationality.

11. About location, does one need a physical office (apart from having a postal address) to register a company in Kenya?

Yes, both physical and postal addresses are required.

12. After registering a company, does one need to get a business permit to operate in a particular town, city or village in Kenya?

This is not required.

13. Are there advantages and disadvantages to registering a company online in Kenya that you’d like to bring to our attention?

Registration of companies online is quite a new idea in Kenya and we wouldn’t advise Clients to go that route when setting up.

14. Any other advice you normally give to individuals who want to register companies here in Kenya?

Success tips when doing business in Kenya

  • When greeting someone elder or of higher status, grasp the right wrist with the left hand while shaking hands to demonstrate respect. In addition, lowering your eyes while greeting someone older further shows respect;
  • Skipping or rushing the initial greeting and handshake is considered poor manners. It is also expected of potential business partners to inquire about each other’s families before beginning business discussion;
  • Direct and frank communication is not the norm in Kenya. Kenyans will always attempt to qualify what they say so that the message is delivered in a sensitive way. Saving face is very important to Kenyan business persons;
  • Business persons should be careful to avoid blunt statements, choosing instead to deliver such statements through metaphors, analogies or stories;
  • Kenyans pride themselves on their emotional stability and expect the same of others. Entrepreneurs interested in Kenya company formation should take care to avoid showing anger during business situations, even during disagreements;
  • Meeting schedules greatly depend on the nationality of the shareholders. British and Indian owned companies will likely have a meeting agenda, which will be used and strictly followed. Kenyan owned companies are more likely to take a relaxed attitude towards meeting schedules, with meetings often lasting much longer than initially expected;
  • Because Kenyan companies are not all well versed with international trade, we encourage our Clients to consistently use and sign contracts of service.
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15. What can your company help me do, say, if I want to register a company in Kenya, with your help (please mention the services you offer that people can benefit from)?

As Kenya incorporation service providers, Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with:

  1. company registration
  2. business license registration
  3. immigration solutions
  4. employment strategies
  5. business banking solutions, and
  6. office rental requirements.

Our experts are Kenya company incorporation specialists and will send our Clients weekly updates till engagement completion.

Here is a 10 step process of how Healy Consultants can help you incorporate in Kenya

  1. Prior to business setup, our Client i) settles our fees and ii) signs and returns our engagement letter and iii) provides us all the required due diligence documents from each stakeholder;
  2. Healy Consultants company incorporation team performs a name search and, if available we reserve the name on your firm’s behalf.
  3. Healy Consultants company incorporation team drafts a detailed engagement plan for our Client, including corporate account opening steps. This engagement project plan maps out, by week, each step to engagement completion, optimizing transparency and setting Client expectations;
  4. After the corporate structure is agreed with our Client, Healy Consultants will prepare forms for Client signature and courier return. Thereafter Healy Consultants legally completes the company incorporation process and immediately emails to our Client i) the public profile for the Kenya business setup and ii) the certificate of incorporation;
  5. Our team emails the Memorandum and Articles of Association and director and shareholder consent forms, to our Client for his signature in front of notary public and courier return to us;
  6. Assuming our Client emails the above-signed documents to us in a timely manner (originals to follow by courier), Healy Consultants company incorporation team liaises with the Registrar of Companies to complete the requirements for company formation, including paying the company incorporation fee;
  7. Healy Consultants company incorporation team receives the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of companies, which our team immediately forwards to our Client;
  8. On the Client’s behalf, Healy Consultants files a register of shareholders, directors, managers and secretaries with the Registrar of Companies;
  9. After Kenya business setup, Healy Consultants banking team completes bank account opening for our Client, together, including world-class multi-currency internet banking facilities. Healy Consultants works with internationally recognized banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank and local banks such as Bank of Africa, ABC Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya to provide corporate account services; Where possible, Healy Consultants bank account opening team will liaise with the bank to prevent our Client having to travel for an account opening interview. Immediately after the bank account opening, our Client is required to deposit the proposed share capital of the Kenya business setup;
  10. Following engagement completion, Healy Consultants couriers a company incorporation kit folder, to our Client’s preferred international address, containing the following corporate documents including original corporate documents, unopened bank correspondence and a Client feedback survey.

This helped? If you have any question, experience with company formation in Kenya or suggestion, add it in the comments section below.

Any one thing you need to know more about? Let me know in the comments section below.

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