The representative office is a dependent unit of the enterprise, which has a role to explore the market and carry out trade promotion activities. Foreign companies intending to setting up representative office in Vietnam should carefully study the provisions of the law to prepare documents.
1. Conditions for setting up representative office of foreign companies
Foreign company needs to meet the following conditions in order to setting up representative office in Vietnam:
– Be established and registered in accordance with the law where the company has nationality;
– Foreign company have operated for at least 01 year from the date of establishment or registration (ERC);
– Operation duration is at least 01 year from the date of submission of representative office establishment file in Vietnam. Applicable to foreign companies whose business registration certificates (ERC) have a term of operation;
– The content of operations of the company’s representative office in Vietnam is consistent with Vietnam’s commitments in international treaties.
2. Documents required to setting up representative office in Vietnam
The foreign company prepares a dossier including the following documents:
– Application for a license to set up representative office;
– A copy of the business registration certificate (ERC) or other papers of equivalent legal validity of the foreign company;
– Document of appointment of the head of a foreign company’s representative office in Vietnam;
– Copy of one of the following documents to prove the existence of foreign company. Note these papers issued and certified by foreign competent authorities
+ A copy of audited financial statement;
+ A document certifying the situation of tax obligation fulfillment;
– A copy of the location lease agreement/contract to prove that the foreign company has the right to exploit and use the location to set up representative office.
The above papers are translated into Vietnamese and authenticated according to the provisions of Vietnamese law. Particularly for copies of business registration certificates, they need to be certified or consular legalized according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.
3. Competence to handle dossiers of setting up representative office of foreign companies
Department of Industry and Trade of provinces/cities have the authority to receive and process dossiers of establishing representative offices of foreign companies within the scope of their management. Foreign company may authorize other organizations or individuals to register for setting up representative offices.
Applications are submitted directly, by post to the application-receiving department of the Department of Industry and Trade. Within 7 working days after receiving a complete and valid dossier, Industry and Trade Department shall grant a license to set up representative offices for foreign company. In case of refusal to grant, there must be a document clearly stating the reason.
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