How to do business in Kenya

Legal considerations

Kenya’s legal system is based on English law and practice. You should seek professional legal advice as the tax and legal obligations of each business structure can differ. Contact Gikera & Vadgama Advocates for legal support. Visit:, or email:


The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is responsible for the preparation, adoption and application of standards for imported and domestically manufactured products. All products must have a test certificate from an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory. See:

Intellectual property rights (IPR)

Kenya is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). It is also a signatory for the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Patent Co-operation Treaty.

The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) has responsibility for administering industrial property rights and protection. See:

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official UK Government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright, can also provide further information and advice:


Tax and customs considerations


Kenya has the following direct and indirect taxes:

  • income tax

  • customs and excise duties

  • value added tax (VAT)

  • corporate tax

  • personal income tax

More information can be found from the Kenya Revenue Authority, see: or by contacting the Department for International Trade (DIT) Kenya. See:


You can find more about import tariffs in the European Commission Market Access Database. See:


Companies need a number of documents to set up in Kenya, including:

  • Certificate of Registration

  • Company PIN Number

  • VAT number

Department for International Trade (DIT) Kenya can give advice on these documents. See:, or see the ‘Resources’ section later in this guide.

It is also essential to obtain or issue receipts and invoices whenever transacting to avoid potential disputes.

UK Export Finance

Do not forget that you may be entitled to support from UK Export Finance. See: The government can provide finance or credit insurance specifically to support UK exports through UK Export Finance – the UK’s export credit agency. See:

For up-to-date country-specific information on the support available see: UK Export Finance’s country cover policy and indicators at: Details for Kenya are available at:

[Source: Department for International Trade/BCCK/UKEF/]


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