Foreign traders may establish representative offices and branches in Vietnam according to the country’s international commitments.
Such is affirmed in Government Decree No. 07/2016/ND-CP dated January 25, detailing the Commercial Law regarding Vietnam-based representative offices and branches of foreign traders. However, a foreign trader will not be allowed to set up more than one representative office or branch bearing the same name in a province or centrally run city.
To obtain a license to establish a representative office or branch in the country, a foreign trader must meet several conditions.
First, the trader must have been established or have registered its operation under the law of a country or territory being the member to a treaty to which Vietnam is a contracting party or be recognised by the law of such country or territory.
Second, the trader must have been operating for at least one year, if wishing to set up a representative office, or five years, if applying for a branch establishment license, counted from the date of establishment or operation registration.
Third, the trader’s remaining operation period, counted from the date of submission of the application dossier, must be at least one year in case such a preriod is provided in the business registration certificate or an equivalent paper of the trader.
Fourth, operations of the to-be-established representative office or branch must comply with Vietnam’s commitments in treaties to which the country is a contracting member as well as with business lines of the trader.
Last, in case the trader comes from a country or territory other than member states of treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party or the fields of operation of the to-be-established representative office or branch do not conform with Vietnam’s international commitments, the trader must seek approval from the relevant line minister.
The new regulation will take effect on March 10 and replace Decree No. 72/2006/ND-CP dated July 25, 2006.