Business owners have 18 days to provide information about directors and shareholders or risk being deregistered or losing their licenses.
The Business Registration Services (BRS) issued a notice to business owners to provide a list of beneficial owners by January 31 as the government moves to curb corruption, money laundering and terrorism.
Companies that fail to adhere to the directive will face disciplinary actions as stipulated under Section 93A of the Companies Act 2015.
Kenyans walking on busy Nairobi streets
The act requires companies to submit a copy of the Beneficial Ownership Register within 30 days of its preparation and notify the Registrar within 14 days of any change in Beneficial Ownership information.
It further dictates that if a company fails to comply with this requirement, the company, and each officer of the company who is in default, commit an offence and on conviction each liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh 500,000.
If following conviction the company continues to fail to comply, the company and each of its officers in default commits a further offence on each day of which the failure continues and on conviction are liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh 50,000 for each such offence.
“To enable companies to comply, the Service (BRS) will grant a grace period up to January 31, for preparation of Beneficial Ownership registers.
“A Beneficial Ownership E- system manual is available on the BRS system portal to guide users,” BRS Director-General, Kenneth Gathuma said.
In March 2020, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Hajji, ordered five local banks to pay nearly Ksh 385 million for violating anti-money laundering laws.
The government has also pushed through new finance laws and regulations to curb the movement of illicit money, proceeds of corruption and terrorism financing.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji addresses the media on Thursday, March 5, 2020.