Setting Up a Representative Office in Vietnam
What are the functions of a representative office?
- With a representative office you can:
- Do marketing and promotion activities for the parent company.
- Sign business contracts on behalf of the parent company.
- Hold exhibitions and open show rooms for your products.
- Import necessary goods for promotion and marketing.
Generally speaking a representative office can do all of business activities that the parent company does except direct trading
in Vietnam. All contracts must be signed by the parent company and all of the payment MUST go to the parent company.
What are the advantages of a representative office?
- With the representative office you will have the following benefits:
- There is no company or corporate tax applied to the representative office. Only personal income tax for employees.
- There is no requirement for a minimum amount of capital to run the Rep. office.
- Either a Vietnamese or a foreigner can be the chief representative. If the chief representative is a foreigner, he/she can
obtain a resident card which is valid for 2 or 3 years.
- Every year there is only one report that is MUST be returned to the government. This is quite an easy task.
What are the procedures of setting up a representative office?
- There are four steps that need to fulfilled to set up a representative office and operate legally:
- Obtain the main license.
- Submit the chief representative's income tax and labour declaration.
- Obtain the operation license.
- Obtain the representative office stamp
What should I plan before setting up a representative office?
- Before setting up a representative office you should:
- Decide who will be the chief representative, a Vietnamese or a foreigner.
- Collect information related to the chief representative, typically: full name, passport number or ID card number, address,
- Other items such as choosing the location of the representative office, recruiting staff etc., can be done after you get the
What kind of documentation should I prepare for the application?
- To process the application some basic papers are required:
- A copy of your parent company's license in English or French. This copy MUST be notarized by your Ministry of foreign Affairs
or a similar department.
- A letter of appointment and a labour contract between the Parent company and the chief representative signed by both parties.
These documents should declare the salary and the allowances for the chief representative, and MUST be also notarized by your
Ministry of foreign affairs or a similar department.
- NOTE: All of the documents MUST translated into Vietnamese by VN notarization department. Before translating into Vietnamese,
documents MUST be notarized by your ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in your country. An
alternative is to courier the original documents to Vietnam and ask your embassy or consulate to produce notarized copies.
If the chief representative is Vietnamese additional documents will need to be signed by the parent company.
How much time does it take to finish everything?
- Assuming all documents are available then it should take approximately:
- 10 workings to get the main license (2 weeks)
- 5 workings days to get the operation license. (1 week)
- 5 days to get the representative office stamp. (1 week)
How much does it cost?
Typically cost is about US $700 to $1000 plus administration fees (see below)
Administration fees: translation fees, notarization fees, license fee and the stamp fee which typically cost US $350 to $500.
Can AccessVietnam process my application?
We no longer provide this service and you should seek the help of a law office or an office/individual specializing in business related matters.
It is also possible to complete the application yourself. However, you will need the assistence of a translator to ensure that you fully understand
the requirements of the official processing your request