Set up a representative office in Vietnam is a popular way when foreign traders only need to research market, carry out promotional activities, advertise their brand. This is considered a useful and cost-effective way for foreign traders.
Scope of operation of a representative office
The operation of a representative office shall be solely confined to the conduct of liaison activities, market research, and promotion of its head office’s businesses.
Conditions for establishment of a representative office
Foreign traders are entitled to set up a representative office in Vietnam according to Vietnam’s commitments to treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory and shall be granted Licenses for Establishment of a representative office 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 1 year 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 representative office 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 representative office 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 representative office must be approved by a competent Vietnamese agency.
Applications for Establishment of a representative office
- An application to set up a representative office in Vietnam;
- A copy of the Certificate of Business Registration or equivalent documents of the foreign trader;
- A letter of appointment of the head of the representative office;
- 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;
- A copy the passport or ID card (for Vietnamese) or copies of the passport (for foreigners) of the head of representative office;
- Documents on the expected location of the representative office including:
- A copy of memorandum of understanding (MOU) or leasing agreements or documents as proof of the right to use a location as the representative office;
- A copy of documents on the expected location of the representative office.
Documents specified in Section (2), (3), (4), (5) 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 representative office of foreign traders
Licensing authority: The Department of Industry and Trade or Management Board of industrial parks, export-processing zones, economic zones or hi-tech zones where the representative office is expected to be located, depending on each specific condition.
Time of completion: 10 working days from the date of submission of valid dossier.
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