The Ministry of Industry and Trade has released a draft decree detailing the Commercial Law regarding Vietnam-based representative offices or branches of foreign traders, which specifies conditions for a foreign trader to obtain a representative office or branch establishment license.
The opening ceremony of the KITA’s representative office in Ho Chi Minh City__Photo: The Anh/VNA
Under the draft, a foreign trader will be granted a license for establishment of his/her/its representative office in Vietnam if fully meeting the following five conditions: (i) being a lawful trader as recognized by the country or territory where he/she/it is established or makes business registration; (ii) having operated for at least one year from the date of establishment or business registration; basing his/her/its representative office at a place permitted by law; (iv) locating only one of his/her/its representative offices at a place; and (v) satisfying the conditions on the area of the place where his/her/its representative office will be based which must be at least 16 square meters.
For a foreign trader that wishes to obtain a license for establishment of his/her/its branch in Vietnam, the above conditions will also apply, except condition (ii) which states that the foreign trader must have operated for at least five years from the date of establishment or business registration.
The draft also guides procedures for grant of an establishment license. Accordingly, a foreign trader would submit directly, by post or online one dossier to the provincial-level Department of Industry and Trade or Management Board of the locality where he/she/it intends to base his/her/its representative office. Within seven working days after receiving the dossier, the Department or Management Board will examine it and decide to grant or not to grant a license.
A representative office or branch establishment license would be valid for five years but must not exceed the remaining validity duration of the foreign trader’s business registration certificate or another equivalent paper.
The draft’s provisions would apply to representative offices of foreign traders engaged in goods trading and related activities and activities in the fields not yet prescribed in specialized laws; and Vietnam-based branches of foreign traders that provide computer, management consultancy, construction, technical, and commercial franchise services.-