Doing Business and Company Registration in Kenya

Kenya has been ranked second in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index in East Africa. It is one of the largest economies in the East African Community and the 65th largest economy globally. Kenya has been regarded as a technical, financial and communications hub in East Africa.

Since 2004, Kenya’s GDP has grown at average rate of 6% with a Per Capita GDP of $1,991. Once you register a company in Kenya, you get access to the East Africa Community that has a market population of 150 million and a GDP of $145 Billion.

In the recent past, a couple of factors have attracted foreign direct investments to Kenya. They include:

  • Macroeconomic Stability: Kenya’s GDP has experienced a steady growth annually
  • Supportive Demographic Dividend: Kenya has a large young generation with a high disposable income. Also, the young generation has a growing demand for goods and services
  • Improvement in Governance: The Kenyan Government embraced key and critical political reforms that have since strengthened governance.
  • Security: The political climate in the country is at normalcy as such businesses have picked up and are booming gradually
  • Ease of Doing Business: It is comparatively easier to do business now than it was a few years ago. In this regard, the country opened up to regional trade and supported infrastructure.
  • Investment in Infrastructure: The government has, in the recent past, invested heavily in infrastructure such as the rail way, roads and other aspects that have boosted the economy.

The Tax Regime in Kenya is well elaborated with the tax rate for personal income ranging from 0 to 30%, VAT at 16% and Corporate Tax standing at 30%.


Entity Subsidiary Company Branch Company
How Long does the Company registration process in Kenya Take? 10 Days 10 Days
How long Does it take to Open Bank Account?  5 Days 5 Days
After how Long can you Invoice and Hire  15 Days 15 Days
Minimum Number of Directors and Shareholders  1  –
Foreigner Can own the Company 100% Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff Yes Yes
Tax Identification Registration required Yes Yes
Access to Kenya’s double Tax treaties Yes Yes
Can bid for Government Contracts? Yes Yes
Can Secure Trade Finance? Yes Yes
Can Secure an Import and Export Licence? Yes Yes
Can Easily Convert into a PLC? Yes No
Can Secure Work permits for foreign Employees and Directors? Yes Yes
Multi Currency Bank Accounts Available? Yes Yes

JK Invent – Good to Great

JK Invent is a movement founded by Cypher Africa Holdings CEO John Kinyua. The initiative seeks to equip the generation with innovative skills that will enable them to come up with effective skills. In partnership with the government and other stakeholders, JK Invent will ensure that we have more qualified manpower to offer technical skills whenever needed to.

The initiative looks at aspects which include digital solutions, training and mentorship, developing ideas into business venture as well as research and development. Additionally, the venture will look at technology transfer from developed countries, in order to keep the continent at par with the global development.

I Stopped Chasing Money, Here Is What Happened

I used to believe that being rich is an achievement until I realized that one can never get enough of money. I began chasing money when in primary school. I used to mend shoes for my friends. I had an attractive handwriting; guys used to come to me for calligraphy whenever writing letters to their girl/boyfriends. Well, hard times and tough circumstances pushed me hard to get a few extra coins through all means possible. In class 3, we used to repair toys with my classmate Brian Mutua.

We got paid either by cash or the owners would allow us to borrow the toy for a day or two. I didn’t own one of them brick-games and game-boys so borrowing was a viable option too. The same thing happened in high school, the calligraphy guy! In campus, I was relatively good in IT so I used to repair comrades’ machines just to get extra coins. It gave me much experience by the way; I became a software guru. I remember earning a fortune from BCom students by writing a few pascal lines for them (ashamed of this though, totally wrong). How much was the fortune you ask? Well, 2,000/- was a great deal back then. With that, you were literally a big-wig.

It was a great experience though because I got to train myself in a number of fields in order to offer services on demand. My career grew pretty fast; I was offered a job while in the 3rd year by a software firm in Nairobi. The schedule was so tight that I was given options to either drop out of campus, or sacrifice the job for my degree. I chose to stay and finish my studies.

After graduation, the path was quite set ahead of me. I worked in a number of countries in Africa, offered professional consultancy services across the globe and life was good. All this time, I was doing it for money. I was chasing after the pay. The concept of getting rich is the real-life equivalent of the siren song that seduced sailors to crash into the rocks in Homer’s The Odyssey. Money doesn’t give you satisfaction. I learned this the hard way. So I stopped chasing money, and this happened:

I decided to become a person of value. This meant investing more into my skill and passion, ensuring that I was really good at what I did. It is very important for everyone to build their capacity. With value, the money will come. People pay for value and they do so dearly. Money can get you just as far as the effort is worth, but the value will sustain and keep you there and beyond. Sometimes I usually have a hard time when paying for a service because I always demand an assurance that I will get value worth what I paid for.

In the service industry, it is sometimes easy to dodge unsuspecting clients, by providing to them with services that are not worthy of their pay. When you invest in yourself, you also dictate on your worth; otherwise, everyone else has a right to put their price tag on you. You can only define your worth by measuring how much value is in you. Yes, you need to add an extra title on your name, but do you have value alongside the title? Some peers have a number of titles to their names, but the value! Close to none. There is nothing as embarrassing as people having so much expectation only for you to deliver so little. When you seek to become a person of value, success will follow you.

Value is a ticket to satisfaction. It is one of the basic elements of pursuing one’s purpose and passion. Self-actualization is achieved when one is able to live the dream. Passion will get you to love what you do. Love what you do by doing what you love. Eventually, you will live your dream. Success is not just about material rewards. Don’t push yourself too hard in searching for money. Desire to become a person of value. Take every opportunity available to equip yourself with the right tools and elements. Do not become the best, rather become the right person!