Establishing a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

Establishing a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

Establishing a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

25 February, 2020


In 2020, the procedures for establishing representative offices of foreign companies in Vietnam continue to be applied in accordance with the Decree 07/2016 / ND-CP and Circular No. 11/2016 / BCT.

In order to help foreign traders and foreign companies to facilitate legal procedures in the process of establishing representative offices of foreign companies in Vietnam, We summarize the necessary conditions, documents, procedures and services for setting up representative offices of foreign companies in Vietnam as follows:


Conditions for establishing a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

Foreign traders shall only be granted operation certificates of representative offices in Vietnam when they fully meet the following conditions:

  1. Foreign companies have been established and registered in accordance with the laws of the countries participating in international treaties to which Vietnam is a member or recognized by the laws of these countries.
  2. A foreign company has been operating in its home country for at least 1 year from the date of its establishment or registration.
  3. In case where the foreign business registration certificate is limited the term of operation, the term of such certificate must be at least 01 year valid counting from the date of filing the dossier in Vietnam.
  4. Operation contents of representative office: market research, trade promotion in Vietnam.


Documents for establishing a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

Documents for establishing a representative office in Vietnam:

  1. An application for setting up a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam.
  2. Copy of consular legalization and a notarized translation of Business Registration Certificate or equivalent document of foreign trader certified by the competent authority where the foreign company established.
  3. Written appointment of the head of representative office of the foreign company.
  4. Notarized translation of audited financial statements or documents certifying the situation of tax or financial obligations in the latest fiscal year or equivalent documents issued by competent agencies or organizations where the foreign company established or certify, prove the existence and operation of foreign traders in the latest fiscal year.
  5. Notarized translation of passport or identity card or citizen identification card (if Vietnamese) or copy of passport (if foreign) of the head of the Representative Office.
  6. Documents about the location where the representative office is to be located, including: -Notarized copy of the office lease contract, a notarized copy of the lessor’s land right-to-use certificate (if leased from an enterprise, it’s necessary to provide additional business registration certificate with the function of real estate business).


Note: All documents for establishing a representative office are signed and sealed by the parent company. If the parent company in foreign countries has no seal or stamp, the whole documents must be consular legalized.


Steps to establish a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam

Step 1: Issuance of license for establishment of the representative office of the foreign company.

Time for completion is from 7 to 10 working days.

Step 2: Engrave the seal and register the seal sample of the representative office of the foreign company.

Time to complete: 05 working days.

Step 3: Sign up for the tax code notification of the representative office of the foreign company.

Time to complete: 05 -07 working days


Cases are not permitted to establish a representative office in Vietnam

– Foreign traders do not fully meet the conditions specified above.

– Foreign traders trade in goods and services that are on the list of goods and services banned according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.

– Foreign traders apply for a license to establish a representative office of a foreign company in Vietnam within 02 years from the date of revocation of the license of the representative office.

– There is evidence that the establishment of a representative office of a foreign company is detrimental to national defense, security, social order and safety, historical traditions, culture, morality, and Vietnamese fine customs and practices, health of the people, destroying resources, destroying the environment.

– Submitting invalid documents and failing to supply sufficient documents at the request of licensing agencies.