Govt to Charge Businesses Ksh100 Per Day Over Failure in Disclosing Full Ownership


Kenyan-based companies will be required by law to keep a record of all individuals who directly or indirectly own or control a company lest they are fined Ksh2,000 and an extra Ksh100 every day throughout the default period 

This is according to the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorism Financing Laws (Amendment) Act, 2023. 

The Act was signed into law by President William Ruto on September 1, 2023, binding every business to declare all its stakeholders

“Every company shall keep records of its beneficial owner’s information for at least ten years from the date which a person ceases to be a beneficial owner,” the Act reads in part. 

An image of business shops in Nairobi, Kenya

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The Act further dictates that apart from publicly listed companies, businesses must lodge with the Registrar a copy of any amendment to its register of beneficial owners within fourteen days of making the amendment

For publicly listed companies, such amendments should be communicated to the Registrar of Companies within 30 days of enacting the changes. 

“If a company fails to comply with the requirements, the company, and each officer of the company in default is liable to pay to the Registrar, an administrative penalty of Ksh2,0000,” the Act warns. 

“If the company continues to fail to comply the company, and each officer of the company in default, is liable to pay to the Registrar a further administrative penalty of Ksh100 for each day of default.”

Officers of the company must also keep records for 7 years after dissolution – removing the name of the business from the official register. 

Additionally, the Act dictates how the staffing of small and medium businesses should be conducted. 

As such, all companies with a paid-up share capital of less than Ksh5 million must have a secretary, a local director, or a contact person who is a permanent resident in Kenya.

The Act came into force on September 15, 2023. 

Members of Parliament attending President William Ruto’s State of Nation address on November 9, 2023.

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Musalia Mudavadi





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