Frequently Asked Questions
The application for and issuance of the Investment Certificate is free of charge.
These will mainly be infrastructure projects that are promoted by the government on the basis of Private Public Partnership (PPP). Information on specific projects can be provided by KenInvest.
- Kenya has concluded Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements with; United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Zambia, France, South Africa, and is currently negotiating a number of others with various countries.
- Kenya has concluded Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements with France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, China, Libya, The Islamic Republic of Iran, Burundi and the United Kingdom, and is currently negotiating a number of others with various countries.
An investor is free to choose to operate their business with either 100% ownership or in partnership with local investors except in the Insurance, ICT, Air services and investments in the stock market.
- Kenya has unrestricted entry into the United States of America market under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for specified Kenyan products.
- Market access to the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) market of 400 million people.
- Market access to the East African Community (EAC) market of 150 million people.
- Republic of South South
- Market access to the European Union under the GSP arrangement
- Many Kenyan products have access to other markets in Europe, USA and Japan.
Information on labour laws in Kenya may be accessed at http://www.labour.go.ke/
KenInvest’s headquarter is in Nairobi. We also operate a liaison office at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), and regional offices in Eldoret, Mombasa and Kisumu.
There are a number of tax based incentives available in Kenya, mainly covering exemptions from duty and VAT on capital equipment and machinery to be used in the investment project. Other incentives include capital deductions and investment allowances, details of which may be accessed at; http://www.kra.go.ke
The incentives are granted on a case by case basis and are approved by the Ministry of Finance. KenInvest will assists in applying for the incentives upon request from the investor.
Kenya Investment Authority does not provide funding to investors, but can advise on sources of financing.
To register a company, certain mandatory documents such as the ‘Memorandum of Association’ and ‘Articles of Association’ must be filed with the Registrar of Companies within the Kenya State Law Office. The procedures, cost of registering a company and the duration taken for registration can be found at;http://www.attorneygeneral.go.ke/
Depending on the speed with which a prospective investor presents the requisite documents on application for the certificate, it takes about 1-3 working days.
Foreign companies may freely transfer profits after complying with tax obligations.
Kenya has a modern and vibrant social and economic fabric, with a good range of schools, both public and private, affordable housing, world class entertainment and hospitality facilities, excellent communication links, as well as adequate healthcare and vibrant education sector. We have a warm and welcoming people, and English is widely spoken both in formal and informal set ups.
Information on immigration, visa and permits requirements can be accessed at http://www.immigration.go.ke
Information on customs procedures may be found at http://www.kra.go.ke/index.php
Kenya has long recognized the benefits of inward investments and has welcomed overseas-owned companies looking to do business in and with Kenya. Kenya Investment Authority is funded by the Kenya government and demonstrates Kenya’s commitment to attracting inward investments by providing free, confidential services to prospective investors.
Kenya Investment Authority provides support to foreign and domestic companies looking to set up or expand in Kenya. We do this by providing a fully integrated advisory service, assistance in acquiring licenses and requisite entry permits in addition to aftercare support.
Specific services include:
- Key information on regulatory factors
- Issuance of the Investment Certificate that facilitates immediate start of business
- Key information on location factors and business opportunities
- Sector information and introduction to key sector networks
- Support to build collaborative partnerships with Kenyan businesses
- Continued support to companies once they have established.
Taxes levied in Kenya are administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and information on these may be accessed at http://www.kra.go.ke
There are four different types of Kenyan registered companies:
- Private company limited by shares (Ltd). The members’ liability is limited to the amount unpaid on shares they hold
- Private company limited by guarantee – the members’ liability is limited to the amount they have agreed to contribute to the company’s assets if it is wound up
- Private unlimited company – there is no limit to the members’ liability
- Public company limited by shares (Plc) – the company’s shares are offered for sale to the general public through a stock exchange and the members’ liability is limited to the amount unpaid on shares held by them.
Other business entities include;
Partnerships – overseas investors can establish a partnership in Kenya. The partners have ‘joint and several’ liability for all debts.
- Limited Partnerships – consists of one or more persons called ‘general partners’ who are liable for all debts and one or more persons called ‘limited partners’ who contribute a sum or sums of money as capital, or property valued at a stated amount. Limited Partners are not liable for debts/obligations beyond the amount contributed.
- Limited Liability Partnership – this structure provides the benefit of limited liability but allows its members the flexibility of organizing its internal structure and tax arrangements as a traditional partnership.
You are strongly advised to seek legal advice before deciding on the best entity that suits your kind of business.
Kenya has government, trust and privately owned land available. The land is available for lease of up to 99 years.