What are the Requirements for Starting a Representative Office in Vietnam?

Posted 13.10. 2020 by Cekindo

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The low operating and labor costs, stable political environment, and rising economic prospects are why Vietnam is attracting both private and foreign investors to take part in its dynamic market. To start a business in Vietnam, foreigners have several options for legal entities to choose from. Among all, the representative office in Vietnam is one of the foreigner’s top choices.

In this article, we will help you understand the requirements for setting up a representative office in Vietnam.

Conditions to Fulfill to Set up a Representative Office in Vietnam

Foreign investors will have to fulfill the following conditions before they can legally set up their representative offices in Vietnam:

  • The foreigner’s parent company has been in operation for at least 12 months starting from the date of its establishment
  • The establishment is legal and in compliance with the laws in Vietnam and treaties signed between Vietnam and the country of origin of the parent company
  • The business registration certificate or equivalent certificate must be valid for a minimum of 12 months starting from the date of application submission
  • The representative office’s scope of operation should be compatible with the scope specified in the treaties under Vietnam’s Commitments to which Vietnam and the parent company’s country are involved. If the scope is not consistent and the country of the parent company is not in the treaties, foreigners can only set up a representative office under the approval of relevant ministers or authorities

Required Documents for Registration of Representative Office in Vietnam

For foreigners to register a representative office in Vietnam, certain documents are compulsory for application submission.

The required documents can be categorised into two groups:

1. Documents from the Parent Company/Headquarters

  • Certified copies of the business registration certificate or equivalent certificate of the foreign parent company
  • Certified copies of financial statements that are audited or completion of tax and financial obligations documents in the last fiscal year
  • Certified letter of appointment of the representative office’s head

2. Documents from Local Authorities or Agencies

  • Certified copies of passport or identity card of the representative office’s head
  • Certified copies of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), leasing contracts, or relevant documents to provide the right of use of the representative office’s location
  • Certified copies of documents about the representative office’s expected location
  • All documents in foreign languages must be translated into Vietnamese in addition to being certified

Submission of Documents to Relevant State Authority

  1. Filled and signed application form of representative office from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
  2. Submission of the above mentioned documents from the headquarters and the local agencies to the local licensing agency where the representative office will be located.
  3. The licensing agency will provide feedback within 3 business days upon the receipt of the valid and complete application.
  4. If the documents received are incomplete or incorrect, the agency will request foreigners to supplement additional documents.
  5. The agency will decline or approve the application within 7 working days upon the receipt of the complete application.

How Cekindo can Assist

Establishing a representative office in Vietnam can act as an extension or a supporting pillar of your existing parent company.

Ultimately, your representative office will help you capture the mass market in Vietnam and propel your business to grow at a faster pace at a global level.

Cekindo, being one of the leading business consultants in Vietnam, has the experience and expertise of the setup process and complex local legislations. We have helped numerous clients to establish their representative offices in Vietnam with great success.

Cekindo is also dedicated to providing assistance and advice with every aspect of your company formation. To set up a consultation, do contact us via the form below.