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Joint Ventures in Kenya

“Did you know that joint ventures are like two superheroes coming together to save the world – each with their unique strengths and abilities, combined to create a powerful force that can conquer any challenge?”

A business arrangement between two or more entities that come together to undertake a project by way of pulling resources together is referred to as a joint venture. Joint ventures are majorly formed to compete in modern markets where competitors can even collaborate using various types of arrangements and agreements. Joint ventures have enormous potential to spur economic growth and increase global competition.

The collaborations through joint ventures are set to achieve goals such as funding expensive innovations, expanding into new markets, especially foreign ones, and lowering costs of production. In Kenya, the Competition Authority is the regulatory body mandated with regulating and overseeing the formation and operations of joint ventures. The partners involved in a joint venture can be individuals, corporations, or other entities.

In Kenya, joint ventures are commonly used as a means of entering into new markets, leveraging expertise, accessing new technologies, sharing risks, and increasing profitability. Joint ventures can be formed for various purposes, including manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure development, tourism, and many others.

To set up a joint venture in Kenya, the partners must first register the venture with the Registrar of Companies. The registration process involves submitting the company’s memorandum and articles of association, details of the partners, and other relevant information.

Once the joint venture is registered, the partners can start operating the business, and they must comply with all the legal requirements and regulations governing the industry. The partners must also agree on the terms and conditions of the joint venture, including the management structure, ownership shares, capital contributions, and profit-sharing arrangements.

Overall, a joint venture in Kenya can be an effective way for businesses to access new markets, share risks, and maximize profitability, provided that the partners are committed to working together and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

In Kenya, for a business arrangement to be identified as a joint venture, it must satisfy the following conditions;

  1. The undertaking is under the joint, direct, or indirect control of the parent undertakings.
  2. Each party makes a resource contribution to the joint undertaking.
  3. The undertaking exists as a separate legal entity separate from its parent’s undertakings.
  4. The undertaking creates shared ownership, expenses, return on investments, profit, and rules of governance.
  5. The joint venture creates an undertaking with direct market access in terms of new productive capacity, new technology, new products, or entry into a new market.

Joint ventures can either be full-function joint ventures or Greenfield joint ventures. Full-function joint ventures constitute a merger where one or more undertakings directly or indirectly acquire or establish direct or indirect control over the whole or part of the business of another undertaking.

On the other hand, Greenfield joint ventures are aimed at engaging in new business that separates from and is unrelated to the activities undertaken by the parties to the joint venture. Finally, for a joint venture to work properly, a special purpose vehicle is formed for the sole purpose of undertaking the joint venture transaction.

Joint ventures can offer several benefits to companies operating in Kenya, including:

  1. Local knowledge and expertise: Joint ventures with local companies can provide valuable insights into the Kenyan market, including local laws, customs, and business practices.
  2. Access to resources: Joint ventures can provide access to resources such as land, facilities, and equipment that may not be available to a company operating alone.
  3. Risk sharing: By sharing the costs and risks of a project with a partner, companies can reduce their financial exposure and mitigate potential losses.
  4. Increased market share: Joint ventures can provide companies with a larger market share and access to new customers, which can increase their revenue and profitability.
  5. Enhanced competitiveness: Joint ventures can help companies to gain a competitive edge by combining their strengths and resources with those of their partners.
  6. Reduced regulatory barriers: Joint ventures with local partners may be subject to less regulatory scrutiny and bureaucracy than wholly foreign-owned companies.
  7. Cultural awareness: Joint ventures can help companies to better understand the cultural nuances of doing business in Kenya and improve their relationships with local stakeholders.

Overall, joint ventures can be a useful strategy for companies looking to expand their operations in Kenya while minimizing risk and maximizing opportunities for growth.


The information provided in this article is intended for general legal advice and does not constitute legal advice for any specific transaction or case. Since each transaction presents a unique legal context, it is advisable to retain a legal adviser for specific transactions.

To contact CR Advocates LLP, send us an email at or call +254 100979081 or Book a strategy call HERE or direct message us HERE on WhatsApp at your convenience. Our legal team will be happy to help you.

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