FOREIGNERS SETTING UP OR MOVING TO KENYA TO WORK

Following the amendments to the Companies Act, 2015 foreigners intending to set up businesses in Kenya can register a private limited company but they are now required to have a local representative either as a director or a company secretary in order for the company to be registered.

The law has now made it mandatory for companies fully owned by foreigners to have a local representative and the Registrar of companies has now made it mandatory for them to appoint a local citizen in the capacity of a director or company secretary. Of importance to note is that if the local representative is a director, it is not mandatory for him/her to hold any share in the company. The foreign owners can still own 100% of the total issued shares of the company, be sole beneficial owners and have full authority to make and influence decisions of the company.

 It is also important to note that where the foreigners intend to be physically present in Kenya to run the affairs of the company, they are required to obtain necessary permits so as to be legally allowed to stay in Kenya. The permit will not only allow the owners to stay in Kenya but also help then to open bank account for the company.

There are different types of permits issued to foreigners intending to set up or work in Kenya. They include:

  • Class D (Employment permit)-this permit is usually issued to a person who is offered specific employment by a specific employer in Kenya.
  • Class G (Specific trade, business or consultancy permit)– this permit is usually issued to a person who intends to engage, whether alone or in partnership, in a specific trade, business, consultancy or profession (other than a prescribed profession) in Kenya.

After deciding to apply for the permit, you may also need the following critical and mandatory requirements in support of your permit application:

  • Police clearance certificate.
  • Local understudy to support your application for a class D work permit (a local understudy is a local citizen who will be employed by your private company to support your permit application and to whom you will transfer such knowledge and skills you may have as a benefit for being allowed to work in Kenya).
  • Understudy’s academic certificate, Pin and Tax compliance certificate & employment contract.
  • Proof of capital in the case of class G permit (USD 100,000) which must be in a local bank account in Kenya.

In addition to the above you will also need a cover letter addressed to the immigration department, CV, duly filled application forms 25 and 27 for class D permit, passport bio data page, relevant processing fee and either a bank or security bond for the period approved.

Where the owners decide to nominate a local director to manage the affairs of the company, they will need to enter into a contractual agreement with him/her which will provide the scope of work or services to be rendered by the local director. In the agreement you must be specific that you are the beneficial owner of the company and as such all dealings of the director binds you as the ultimate beneficial owner.

Other requirements for company registration include:

  1. At least 3 preferred names for the company.
  2. Objectives of the Company (state the nature of Business / activities the company will be undertaking).
  3. Names of the shareholders in full.
  4. Names of the Directors in full if different from the shareholders.
  5. Postal addresses, Email address and Telephone Number of the shareholders and Directors.
  6. Residential address of shareholders and directors.
  7. Number of shares to be held by each shareholder if they are more than one.
  8. Proposed Physical address of the company. The Physical Address includes road, plot number, town and county.
  9. Copy of Passport Bio data page of the Shareholders / Directors.
  10. Passport photographs of the Shareholders / Directors. And

At A.O.WANGA ADVOCATES we are happy to assist you in both setting up and obtaining work permits in Kenya.

For more information reach out to us via info@aowangaadvocates.com or +254794600191

All rights reserved for A.O.WANGA ADVOCATES

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