open a business in Kenya

Hi ,I am interested to make a business in Kenya ,any body can guide me how can start and what is the process for a foreigner people.

I would like to congratulate you for your decision to start a biz in kenya,actually all what you have to do is to get the relevant permit from the county council offices,ie the busines permit/licence.

Thank you very much for your guide ,meaning at first we have to apply for Visa then we are in kenya should apply for work permission ?

Visa first then you can apply for business permit not work permit when you are here.

check on permits first,class G permit requirements to invest in Kenya

I will try to answer your qn:
1) as someone just indicated above,the best website to visit is the from where you can sort the permit(visa) issue and information.You would need a permit of which category it is depends on the specifics of your investment.Different categories of investments need varied amounts of evidence of capital amounts.
The process of acquiring the permit might be the most tedious one given the delays in the processing of the document.You are best advised to use the official channels in obtaining this document.
2)Registration of business at the Registrar of companies.This is done at ''Sheria house'';State law office/Office of the Attorney General.
You would need to first done a search to establish that you porposed name isnt already a registered business.The process should not be difficult.There are many law firms that can help with the registration of business.Such firms charge fees which vary depending on clients pockets.
3)Industry specific permits.This would be required based on the business eg if it is mining then there is a need for a mining permit from the relevant Department of mining at the Ministry of Energy,Hotel business= Catering levy etc
4)Council annual operating license
Depends on the area of operation.if in Nairobi then this can be applied at the CIty Hall offices
5)Registration for tax
At the KRA offices
5) Procedures to secure office space/staff/ etc
As may apply

In brief this are things i could quickly think of.The most important thing though is that some documents can only be processed on the production of some other document.Eg you cannot register,open a abnk account without the Residency permit,Cannot register a company as a foreigner without the Permit.In short, your visa/residency permit essentially should be the first document.
Success as you sort out these things,might initially look difficult but with patience you surely will get them sorted


we register companies for foreigners

As someone who has been through this process........ at least partially, its quite involved and not necessarily easy.  No one has mentioned the following:
- You cannot commence business activities legally on a single entry visa (tourist visa).  Whistleblowing appears to be
  increasingly common in this respect.
- For a Class G Permit, you must have a minimum of $100,000 (or equivalent in another currency) either as cash at the
  bank, or evidence of that amount being invested in Kenya.
- You must obtain a PIN from Kenya Revenue Authority.  Despite what it says on the government website, I was asked for
  mine before before registration of the company.  I understand that you can apply online.
- The cost of the permit (class G) works out at Ksh 100,000 per year, usually valid for two year, plus a Ksh 10,000
  processing fee.
- You need to evidence how your business will benefit Kenya, via a short statement.
- Additional permissions may be needed, for example; from dept of tourism, if you are going into that industry.
- The post above mentions mining - there is a totally different permit required if this is the activity you will do. Likewise if
   you are investing in agriculture/animal husbandry.
- It might be worth securing the services of a lawyer to do the company registration, as they know the correct language etc,
  especially when it comes to the Articles of Association. 

Good luck!!


Was wondering if anyone could help me with the following please?

1. Firstly, a few questions regarding the company forms.

Could you clarify that the forms I require to provide via eCitizen are the following: CR1; CR3;CR8;BN2; 201;203; and 208 ?

Could you also clarify how to obtain the oath required in form 208?

Is this a case of obtaining and providing a notary witness?

2. Secondly, regarding the Company and Personal Pin.

Are both required?

To which person does each pin apply i.e. does the company pin attach to the entity and the personal pin attaches to the investor by way of the Class G permit for example?

Would both be able to be obtained prior to incorporation and allocation of a Class G permit?

How do I obtain these PIN’s?

3. Lastly, I have a few miscellaneous questions.

Are you aware of what legislation governs registering companies?

Is it better to use an agent to apply for the permit or are the forms quite straightforward?

Regarding the registered business address may I use a P.O. Box?

Kind regards,


Hello all,

Im actually in the process of setting up in Kenya. The process is not as straight forward in Nairobi. I have however had some assistance from the Minsitry of foreign affairs and the international trade department. You might want to have a looksie. But i will agree a permit is required as mentioned above. Also vaildated proof of 100000usd investment or its equivalent. Best of luck.

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