Contract in Kenya

Contracting in Kenya - FAQ

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in Kenya? 

$750 USD.

Yes

How long does it take to get a work permit in Kenya?

4 to 8 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in Kenya for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

Depends on how it is structured. 65 to 80%

What is the estimated net retention in Kenya for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depends on how it is structured. 65 to 80%

*doesn’t include fee for work permit or other immigration costs

More questions? See the rest of the FAQ for more information on the Kenya work permit process

Getting Started

Taking a contract in Kenya means tackling numerous administrative headaches. Before you even begin working as an independent contractor, there are complicated payroll, tax, and immigration issues to work out.

All this complex admin comes on top of any personal matters you need to sort, as well. Even worse, it can be a huge nuisance when you’re already in Kenya, trying to adjust to a huge relocation – and a new contract!

Streamlining even a few of these obstacles can dramatically improve your experience.

Luckily, there are ways to simplify more than just a few…

Freelance Kenya Requirements

Visas

One of your first hurdles will be securing the proper work permit. To get one, you usually need an employer to sponsor you. This means they take full responsibility for you while you’re working in the country.

That’s fine for full-time employees, but what about independent contractors?

Many clients won’t offer sponsorship for a temporary worker and, even if they do, you’ll need to apply for a new permit for each new contract. This creates a mountain of paperwork each time you want to work with a new client.

Taxes

Additionally, you need to figure out what you owe (if anything) in taxes for your work in Kenya.

Of course, there’s also your country of tax residency; you’re likely to owe something on that front, too.

You can take advantage of certain tax structures, but doing so requires a strong familiarity with expat tax law in Kenya.

Benefits of working through an Umbrella Company in Kenya

You can outsource a lot of these admin problems to specialists at an Umbrella Company (or contractor management company).

An Umbrella Company basically becomes your full-time “employer,” even though you stay in control of your workload, clients, and schedule. The Umbrella Company simply collects and processes your payments, filtering out social security and any necessary fees.

They can also sponsor your work permit, meaning you get to take on new clients without the aggravation of applying for a new permit each time.

Even better, most specialise in tax law for contractors in Kenya and can ensure you’re keeping the largest amount of your earnings as possible. They can even assist you with reducing your tax liability back home.

In short, you get all the benefits of a working for an employer, without sacrificing your autonomy as a contractor.

How to get started with the right Umbrella Company

There’s a lot of Umbrella Companies out there; finding the right one for you can be daunting.

We’ve done the research on Umbrella Companies in Kenya, and know how to match contractors with the perfect company. If you’ve already secured a contract, get in touch with us and let us know your situation. We can get you started with the best Umbrella Company for you, or simply offer feedback on contracting in Kenya.

Oh, and we don’t charge anything. Drop us a line and get free, honest, simple advice.

Send your details for more information

Additional FAQ - work permits & payroll

Yes

What is the cost of a Work Permit in Kenya? $5000 USD for 1 year, $8500 USD for 2 years.

What documentation is required for a work permit in Kenya?

CV, passport, passport photos, employment contract, copies of degree/diploma/professional certifications (notarised).

What is the work permit process in Kenya?

*update pending

Can you transfer from a business visa to a work permit in Kenya?

Yes

Can we organise a business visa for Kenya?

Yes

How long does it take to process a business visa in Kenya?

5 to 12 days.

How much does a business visa cost in Kenya?

$500 USD.

Can nationals of certain countries enter Kenya without a business visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?

No

$4000 USD.

How does payroll work in Kenya?

Tax and social security are deducted at source, payroll paid monthly.