Before starting a business, it is important you identify the government agency that regulates business in the industry you are interested. This is to ensure that you are on the right side of the law.
REGULATORY BODIES IN KENYA
Below are a list of the key regulatory bodies in Kenya that regulate businesses in numerous industries.
Business Registration Service (BRS) is a semi-autonomous body under the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice in Kenya. It is mandated to oversee the operations of the Companies Registry, Movable Property Security Rights Registry (Collateral Registry), Insolvency (Official Receivers) Registry and the Hire Purchase Registry.
The functions of the BRS are as follows:
- maintains registers, data and records on registrations carried out by the Service;
- Implements relevant policies and guidelines and provide the Attorney General with the necessary information to guide the formulation of policy and amendment of existing policy and guidelines;
- carries out research and disseminate research findings in the fields covered by the relevant laws through seminars, workshops, publications or other means and to recommend to the Government any improvements in the relevant laws;
- collaborates with other state agencies for the effective discharge of its functions;
- charges fees for any service performed by the Service; and
- performs such other functions as may be necessary under the BRS Act.
Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) is one of the major regulatory bodies in Kenya established with the main objective of promoting investments in Kenya. It promotes and facilitates domestic and foreign investment in Kenya by advocating for a conducive investment climate, providing accurate information and offering quality services for a prosperous Nation. Some of the functions of KenInvest are as follows:
- It is responsible for facilitating the implementation of new investment projects;
- providing After Care services for new and existing investments;
- organizing investment promotion activities both locally and internationally;
- Providing information on investment opportunities and sources of capital;
- Providing information to investors on the business climate, operating rules, investment opportunities and sources of capital;
- Ensure expeditious and quality facilitation of projects for prompt implementation;
- Assisting investors in obtaining licenses, permits, incentives and exemptions;
- Liaison with other government agencies for the issuance of additional licenses and approvals not directly handled by the Authority;
- Following up with investors at regular intervals to assist in smooth project implementation and address any concerns;
- undertake research, review and analyse policies, and engage in policy advocacy geared towards improving the business environment.
The Central Bank of Kenya is responsible for formulating monetary policy to achieve and maintain price stability. The Central Bank also promotes financial stability; an effective and efficient payment, clearing and settlement system; formulates and implements foreign exchange policies; holds and manages foreign exchange reserves; issuing of currency; and is the banker for, adviser to and fiscal agent of the Government.
Other functions of the Bank include:
- It regulates the financial industry in Kenya.
- It acts as a banker’s bank.
- It serves as a lender of last resort to commercial banks and also to the government.
- It encourages the adoption of the financial system according to the changing needs of the markets.
- It administers external reserves, exchange controls and handles external financial relations.
- It manages the national reputation. It takes into account accumulated borrowings undertaken by the government to finance its expenditure.
- It has the sole responsibility of issuing currency. It regulates the issue of notes and coins.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is the regulatory body in Kenya responsible for collecting revenue on behalf of the government of Kenya. Its core functions include: –
- To administer and enforce the payment of taxes all over the country.
- To assess, collect and account for all revenues in accordance with the written laws and the specified provisions of the written laws.
- To advise on matters relating to the administration of, and collection of revenue under the written laws or the specified provisions of the written laws.
- To perform such other functions in relation to revenue as the Minster may direct.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is a regulatory authority in Kenya that handles the communications sector in Kenya. It is responsible for facilitating the development of the information and communications sectors including; broadcasting, cyber security, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services.
Below are some of the functions of the CA:
- Licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including; telecommunications, postal, courier and broadcasting.
- Managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources.
- Facilitating the development and management of a national cyber security framework.
- Facilitating the development of e-commerce.
- Type approving and accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country.
- Monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the license terms and conditions as well as the law.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is a regulatory body in Kenya that provides facilitative infrastructure for aviation services between Kenya and the outside world. Its main functions are:
- Administer, control and manage aerodromes.
- Provide and maintain facilities necessary for efficient operations of aircrafts.
- Provide rescue and firefighting equipment and services.
- To construct, operate and maintain aerodromes and other related activities.
- To construct or maintain aerodromes on an agency basis on the request of any Government Department
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a Pension Scheme to which every Kenyan with an income is required to contribute a percentage of his/her gross earnings so as to be guaranteed basic compensation in case of permanent disability, basic assistance to needy defendants in case of death and a monthly life pension upon retirement.
The Objectives of the NSSF include:
- To provide basic social security for its members and their dependants for various contingencies;
- To increase membership coverage of the social security scheme;
- To improve adequacy of benefits paid out of the scheme by the Fund;
- To provide a full opt-out at Tier II level of contributions for employers who have or are contributing to pension schemes approved and registered by the Authority;
- To bring within the ambit of this Act self-employed persons to access social security for themselves and their dependants.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is a regulatory authority in Kenya established to be a body that oversees the regulation of Aviation Safety & Security; Economic regulation of Air Services and development of Civil Aviation; Provision of Air Navigation Services, and Training of Aviation personnel KCAA. The KCAA is mandated to plan, develop, manage, regulate and operate a safe, economically sustainable and efficient civil aviation system in Kenya.
Other functions the KCAA performs include:
- The licensing and monitoring of aeronautical personnel;
- The provision of technical services for the design, installation, and modification of electronic, radio and other equipment used in the provision of air navigation services;
- Ensuring the integrity of the systems, equipment and facilities of the
- The production of accurate, timely, comprehensive and relevant air transport information for planning and decision making purposes;
- The approval, certification and licensing of aircraft maintenance
- The registration of rights in aircraft.
9. EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL (EPC)
The Export Promotion Council (EPC) is Kenya’s premier institution in the development and promotion of export trade. Its primary objective is to address issues that exporters and producers of export goods and services face in the country, with a view to increasing the performance of the export sector.
The EPC is mandated to co-ordinate and harmonize export development and promotion activities in the country, providing leadership to all national export programmes.
The KeNHA is the statutory body in Kenya, responsible for the development, rehabilitation, management and maintenance of all National Trunk Roads.
The core functions of the Authority as defined by the Kenya Roads Act of 2007 include;
- To construct, upgrade, rehabilitate and maintain roads under its control;
- To control national roads and road reserves and access to roadside developments;
- To implement road policies in relation to national roads;
- To monitor and evaluate the use of national roads;
- To advice the government on all issues relating to national roads;
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is the premier government agency for the provision of Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment (SMCA) services.
The functions of KEBS as mandated by the Standards Act, include:
- To promote standardization in industry and commerce;
- To make arrangements or provide facilities for the examination and testing of commodities and any material or substance from or with which and the manner in which they may be manufactured, produced, processed or treated;
- To control, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the use of standardization marks and distinctive mark;
- To prepare, frame, modify or amend specifications and codes of practice.