Beneficial owner update.

Kenyan companies are now required to submit details of their beneficial owners to the Registrar of Companies. The Companies Act, 2015 was amended to introduce a requirement for every company to maintain a register of its beneficial owners and to submit a copy of this register to the Registrar. The Companies Act stipulates that every company is required to submit a copy of the beneficial owners register within 30 days of its preparation.

The beneficial owner is a natural person who meets any of the following conditions in relation to the company:

  • Holds at least 10% of the issued shares in the company either directly or indirectly;
  • Exercises at least 10% of the voting rights in the company;
  • Holds a right to directly or indirectly appoint or remove a director of the company; or
  • Exercises significant influence or control over the company (whether directly or indirectly).

Every company should update their beneficial ownership register before 31st January 2021 to ensure compliance with the Companies Act, 2015.

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