Set up a foreign branch in Vietnam

Set up a foreign branch in Vietnam

Vietnam-based branch of a foreign trader means a dependent unit of a foreign trader, which is established and conducted commercial activities in Vietnam under the provisions of Vietnamese law or Treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory.

Rights of a branch:

  • To rent offices, rent and purchase equipment and facilities necessary for their operations.
  • To recruit Vietnamese and expatriate employees to work for them according to Vietnamese law.
  • To enter into contracts in Vietnam in compliance with their operation contents specified in their establishment licenses and the provisions of this Law.
  • To open Vietnam dong accounts and foreign-currency accounts at banks licensed to operate in Vietnam.
  • To transfer profits overseas according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.
  • To have seals bearing their own names according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.
  • To conduct activities of goods purchase and sale and other commercial activities in compliance with their establishment licenses according to the provisions of Vietnamese law and treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.
  • To have other rights under the law.

Conditions for establishment of a branch:

Foreign traders are entitled to establish their branches in Vietnam according to Vietnam’s commitments to treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory and shall be granted Licenses for Establishment of the branch if they satisfy the following requirements:

  • The foreign trader is incorporated and registers for doing business in accordance with provisions of laws of countries or territories being parties to treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory or is recognized by the aforesaid countries or territories;
  • The foreign trader has come into operation for at least 05 years from the date of establishment or registration;
  • The Certificate of Business Registration or the equivalent document is valid for at least 01 year from the date of submission of the application;
  • The scope of operation of a branch is conformable with Vietnam’s Commitments to market access stipulated in treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory shall be consistent with lines of business of the foreign trader;
  • Where the scope of operation of a branch is inconsistent with Vietnam’s Commitments, or the foreign trader is not located in the country or territory being party to treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory, the establishment of the branch must be approved by a competent Vietnamese agency.

Applications for Establishment of a branch:

  1. An application for Establishment of a branch;
  2. A copy of the Certificate of Business Registration or equivalent documents of the foreign trader;
  3. A letter of appointment of the head of the branch;
  4. A copy of audited financial statements or certificates of fulfillment of tax liabilities or financial obligations of the last fiscal year or equivalent documents as proof of existence and operation of the foreign trader issued or certified by competent authorities where such foreign trader is established;
  5. A copy the passport or ID card (for Vietnamese) or copies of the passport (for foreigners) of the head of the branch;
  6. A copy the branch charter;
  7. Documents on the expected location of the branch including:
    • A copy of memorandum of understanding (MOU) or leasing agreements or documents as proof of the right to use a location as the branch;
    • A copy of documents on the expected location of the branch.

Documents specified in Section (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) mentioned-above shall be translated into Vietnamese and certified in accordance with laws of Vietnam before submitted to competent authorities.

Procedures for Establishment of a branch of foreign traders

Licensing authority: The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall have the power to grant, re-grant, adjust, extend or revoke licenses for Establishment of a branch, and terminate its operation in case the establishment has not been prescribed by specialized legislative documents.

Time of completion: 10 working days from the date of submission of valid dossier.

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