The Startup bill has been gazetted in the Kenya Gazette with the aim of providing a framework that promotes “a culture of innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.”
The bill also outlines the process of registration for startups and provides a framework to assist Startups link with the private sector, investors, financial institutions and research organizations.
The Kenya National Innovation Agency has been tasked with the registration of Startups with details regarding the role of the Registrar of Startups. The person’s responsibilities include keeping an updated database of registered startups, registration and supervision of registered startups to ensure compliance with the bill requirements and also to keep all documents and records of the registered startups.
The bill also says that the startups can start incubation as long as they are:
- registered in Kenya as a company, partnership, limited liability partnership or non-governmental organization – all under the Companies Act, Limited Liability Partnership Act and Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act, respectively;
- is newly registered or has been in existence not more than seven years from the date of its incorporation or registration; and for biotech startups, up to ten years from the date of its incorporation or registration;
- has its human resources, total assets, and annual turnover number as prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary;
- has its headquarters in Kenya;
- is majority-owned by one or more citizens of Kenya;
- at least fifteen per cent the entity’s expenses can be attributed to research and development activities; and
- is a holder, depositary or licensee of a registered patent or the owner and author of a registered software.
The bill also seeks to award incentives to startups with guidelines for the certification or withdrawal of an incubation programme as well as the responsibilities of the incubator.