The beauty industry is comprised of cosmetic and hair product companies, beauty salons, and professional organizations engaged in the business of selling commercial beauty products and services to consumers. The industry also includes colleges and other institutions that offer this service.


The structure is such a large percentage of local players are small enterprises that offer beauty services directly to customers. A fairly large percentage includes larger retailers like supermarket, pharmacies and stockists who stock beauty products from multinationals. Importers and local distributors also account for players. Local producers make up a small percentage of players.


Business is transacted through various forms. Establishment of physical presence is common with saloons and retail chains. Importers and stockists usually carry out their trade by electronically by establishment of online shops.


A common method of market entry for foreign players is by entering into distributorship agreements with interested locals or by establishing a syndicated marketing vehicle such as is used by Oriflame and Tianshi.


Intellectual Property for the industry


  • In Kenya there is very high competition in the beauty industry. There are many brands whether it’s a saloon, stockist, supplier or manufacturers.
  • There is also a lot of counterfeiting and passing off. The Kenyan courts have made quite a number of decisions in the beauty industry. For example BDF successfully got injunctive relief stopping a competitor from using the mark Niveline.
  • A lot of players like to ride on the success and goodwill of established brands.
  • It is very important to trademark a brand before release into the market to avoid passing off, infringement and counterfeit.
  • It is advisable to register a trademark so as establish a competitive edge over competitors.
  • A trademarked brand is important for marketing and promotional campaigns


Form Of Intellectual Property:


  • Trademark for the brand owner’s business enterprise
  • Trademark for the brands
  • Trade secrets in the event of sale of service. E.g. trade secret for a beauty procedure
  • Patent for any scientific innovation in the industry
  • Technology transfer agreements
  • Licenses where distributorships are ideal
  • Copyright for websites and magazines
  • Franchises for franchise agreements

Kenyan Intellectual Property Laws

  • The Kenyan intellectual property law is well developed
  • Kenya is a signatory to WIPO treaties.


It is important to contact a lawyer to ensure your brands are adequately protected.

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