Getting Started in Kenya
Please visit the http://export.gov/kenya/index page on Kenya for an overview of economic conditions and opportunities in the region.
Exporting to Kenya
If you are considering doing business in Kenya, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
1. Visit https://2016.export.gov/kenya/ to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.
2. Contact Information and Links for Assistance:
- Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Kenya. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You.
- Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs) Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Contact in-country business support organizations.
- Make use of business matchmaking services. Whether you’re looking to make your first export sale or expand your business in this market, we offer trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking and commercial diplomacy you need to connect with lucrative business opportunities.
II – Investing in Kenya
This section provides information for current and potential investors in Kenya.
1. Potential investors: Getting Started.
If you are considering investment in Kenya, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy: if you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Review the Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements and the Department of Commerce’s Country Commercial Guides for the latest analysis of the economic and political conditions in Kenya.
- Participate in a webinar for information on market opportunities provided by Ambassadors and local experts.
- Identify leads on active and potential projects funded by multilateral development banks with the Department of State’s Business Information Database System (BIDS)
- Visit host country resources, such as https://ke.usembassy.gov/
- Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya.
- Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter page.
2. Current Investors: Staying Connected
If you are a current U.S. investor in Kenya, the U.S. Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
Register with the U.S. Embassy: if you are active in Kenya, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Add Commercial and Agricultural Specialists to your mailing lists: we are always happy to stay informed. Send emails to contact addresses at the top of this page.
- Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter page.
- Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise. Contact information is listed at the top of this page.
Working in Kenya
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.
For information on obtaining a visa to visit Kenya:
Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system, though visas are available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
- A passport with at least two blank pages, six months’ validity, and a visa are required to enter Kenya.
- Single-entry visas are available upon arrival at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan Immigration plans to end visas upon arrival in the near future.
- Multiple-entry visas must be applied for prior to traveling to Kenya.
- Obtain the latest information on visas, as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements, from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City.
- You should have proof of yellow fever immunizations, or you may be denied entry.
More information on travelling to Kenya: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Kenya.html
Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Kenya.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here:
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud