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Investing in Kenya

5 steps in setting up a business in Kenya

Fill the “One Stop” KIA application Form. 2. Engage legal advice in Kenya. 3. Register your business 4. Submit KIA form + Certificate of Incorporation + Articles and memorandum of association to KIA 5. Issue of The Investment License

Procedures for Establishing a Company in Kenya

The principal types of business enterprises in Kenya are:

  1. Registered Companies (private and public)
  2. Branch offices of companies registered outside Kenya
  3. Partnerships
  4. Sole proprietorships
  5. Co-operatives
Companies are registered as limited liability companies as in 1 and 2 above, and regulated by the companies Act (Cap 486). Kenya’s legal system is based on English law and practices. Wide ranges of legal services are locally available.   For further details visit KIA website at:

Patents and trademarks

Patents are regulated by the Industrial Property Act and administered by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute, while trademarks are regulated by the Trade and Service Marks Act (Cap 506) and administered by the Registrar of Trademarks at KIPI. The duration of trademarks is seven years from the date of filing and renewable every 14 years.

Work permits

The government allows investors to have key expatriate staff in senior management positions or where the locals with specific skills are not available. Work permits for such expatriates are issued by the immigration department and are valid for one to two years, renewable on application.

Import and export procedures

There is no import licensing except for a few items restricted for security, health or environmental reasons detailed in the Imports, Exports and Essential Supplies Act (Cap 502).   During the Budget for fiscal year 2001/02 the Minister agreed to waive the 2.75% Import Declaration Form (IDF) fees applicable on imported goods used for manufacturing goods for export under the Tax Remission for Export Office (TREO) scheme. Manufactures under the TREO will have to pay ksh.5000 as processing fees.   For more information on Tax Remission for export goods contact:   Kenya Revenue Authority website: