A Guide to Registering an Online Forex Broker License in Kenya

In recent years, Kenya has emerged as a significant player in the regional and international financial markets. As the demand for Online forex trading continues to grow, the need for a structured regulatory framework has become necessary.
As a result, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in Kenya has established a streamlined process for obtaining a forex broker license in Kenya. Biz Brokers Kenya we will guide you through the key steps and requirements for the application and registration of an Online Forex broker license in Kenya.

As the economic hub of East and Central Africa, Kenya boasts a stable and growing economy, making it an attractive destination for investments in the capital market, forex trading and other investments.
The forex market in Kenya has seen substantial growth, with a surge in retail traders and increasing interest from institutional investors. Additionally, the government's commitment to regulating the financial sector has made Kenya a secure and reliable environment for forex brokers to operate.

Types of Online Forex Brokers in Kenya.

Dealing Online foreign broker

  • Open clients’ accounts;
  • Provide a traders with trading platforms
  • Provide access to market information that the clients may utilize in formulating their strategies;
  • Monitor traders’ positions; or
  • Provide end-of-day reports.
  • Trade as principal and market maker

A non-dealing Online foreign broker:

  • Avails a trading platform to their clients that enables the clients to trade from anywhere and at any time using their electronic devices.
  • Provides access to global markets and also provides an opportunity for clients to educate themselves on the global financial markets. Non- dealing
  • Do not offer client advice or trade on behalf of their clients.
  • Clients deposit their investment amount with an account to be offered by the broker.

  • Requirements for registration of Online Forex Broker License in Kenya.

    1. Certified Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation

    Ensure you have a certified copy of your company's Certificate of Incorporation.

    2. Duly Completed and Executed Application Form (Form 1) in Duplicate

    Fill out and execute the application form (Form 1) in duplicate.

    3. Certified Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation (Yes, this is a crucial document).

    4. Certified Copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

    Make sure your Memorandum and Articles of Association include the necessary business objectives to conduct Forex bureau activities.

    5. Accounts

    Submit 6 months of unaudited accounts, and 2 years where relevant, or an auditor's certificate if your entity is newly established.

    6. Paid-Up Share Capital and Liquid Capital

    • For a dealing license: Paid-up share capital of at least Kshs. 50 million.
    • For a non-dealing license: Paid-up share capital of at least Kshs. 30 million.
    • Maintain liquid capital of the higher of Kes. 30,000,000 or 8% of total liabilities. Ensure an undertaking to maintain liquid capital is in place.

    7. Capital Allocation from Another Jurisdiction (if applicable)

    If offering Online Forex brokerage services in another jurisdiction:

    • Allocate the prescribed percentage of capital to support activities in Kenya.
    • Ensure this capital is not less than the required minimum and is kept segregated in Kenya at all times.
    • 8. Business Plan

      Provide a detailed business plan that includes:

      • Management structure
      • Board of Directors composition
      • Company Secretary's details
      • Shareholding structure
      • Chief Executive qualifications
      • Financial projections
      • Operating and IT system description
      • External Auditor information
      • Premises details
      • Staff details, including the Chief Financial Officer, Risk Management Officer, Compliance Officer, and Internal Audit functions.

      9. Submission of a Board Charter

      • Confirm the Board's responsibility for strategic planning and risk management.
      • Establish an audit committee.
      • Define powers reserved for the board.
      • Implement a code of conduct and address conflict of interest issues.
      • Identify key risk areas for regular monitoring.

      10. Clear Separation of Roles and Responsibilities

      Clearly define roles and responsibilities of the Chairman and Chief Executive.

      11. Policies

      Develop policies for:

      • Client on boarding
      • Individual risk assessment
      • Anti-money laundering and Know Your Client checks
      • Product sensitization
      • Internal client dispute resolution

      12. Risk Management Framework

      Establish a risk management framework.

      13. Applicants from Other Jurisdictions

      If you are a subsidiary, branch, or money manager regulated in another jurisdiction:

      • Provide legal documents confirming your relationship.
      • Present a letter from the foreign Online forex broker or money manager.
      • Include a letter from the regulator stating good standing and no objection for operations in Kenya.
      • Obtain a letter from an Online trading platform affirming compliance with relevant platform requirements.
      14. Business References

      Include two letters of business reference.

      15. Bank Reference

      Provide one letter of bank reference.

      16. Comprehensive Curriculum Vitae

      Submit comprehensive CVs for directors and key personnel.

      17. Declaration of Compliance and Clearance Certificate

      Include a declaration of compliance and a clearance certificate from a licensed credit reference bureau.

      18. Fit & Proper Forms

      Duly fill and execute Fit & Proper Forms for directors and key personnel.

      19. Securities Industry Certification Program (SICP)

      Ensure personnel involved in direct client-facing roles have completed Module one and two of the Securities Industry Certification Program (SICP) offered by the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI).

      20. Default in Payment of Dues

      All shareholders, directors, and key personnel must not have defaulted in payment of dues at any securities exchange, clearing house, central bank, or any bank. Provide evidence through a declaration of compliance and a clearance certificate from a licensed credit reference bureau.

      21. Certified Copies of Police Clearance Certificates

      Include valid certified copies of police clearance certificates for directors and key personnel.

      22. Application Fees

      Pay the required application fee of Kshs. 10,000.

      By adhering to these requirements, you'll be on your way to registering your Online Forex bureau in Kenya and offering foreign exchange brokerage services. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to the relevant regulatory authorities. Good luck with your registration process!

      Online Forex Broker License checklist

      Kenya Online Forex Broker License Description
      • Corporate  vehicle permitted
      Kenyan Company
      • Local registered physical office required
      Share capital or equivalent
      • Minimum paid up capital Dealing Broker.
      Kes  50,000,000
      • Minimum paid up capital Non- Dealing Broker.
      Kes  30,000,000
      • Minimum paid-up Money Manager
      Kes  10,000,000
      • Capital can be utilized
      • Minimum number
      • Local Directorship
      • Corporate directorship allowed
      • Minimum
      • Corporate Shareholder
      • Local Shareholder
      Service Providers Required
      • Company Secretary

      Contact us for more information

      Business compliance is our specialty, Business startup is our passion. We are in the Business of Business.

Trade with your foreign company in Kenya.

Registration of a foreign company in Kenya offers foreign entities the option to maintain and keep their corporate identity while operating in Kenya.

Upon application and issuance of a certificate of compliance a foreign company can conduct business like a local company in Kenya.

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