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Setting Up a Liaison Office in Vietnam

Setting Up a Liaison Office in Vietnam

Not all foreign companies entering the Vietnamese market want to start doing business right away. Those who first want to survey and establish a database with potential clients have the possibility of establishing a liaison office in Vietnam. For foreign companies interested in starting business relations, the Vietnam subsidiary or branch office are the most appropriate choices.

Also known as a representative office, the liaison office is not a legal entity, but a form a foreign company uses for non-commercial activities in Vietnam. Our company formation consultants in Vietnam can explain the legislation related to the business forms available for foreign traders.

Documents related to setting up a Vietnam liaison office

The procedure for opening a representative office in Vietnam must be approved by the Trade Register through a dossier filed by the foreign parent company which must contain:

–          an application letter and a declaration for appointing the chief representative of the liaison office (both documents must be affixed with the parent company seal);
–          a notarized copy of the foreign company’s certificate of registration;
–          a notarized copy of the parent company’s incorporation documents;
–          the last audited financial reports of the parent company which must be notarized and translated into Vietnamese;
–          proof of the registered office in Vietnam.

It should be noted that foreign companies opening Vietnam liaison offices must have at least one year of activity since the date of incorporation.

Our Vietnam company registration agents can help with the preparation of the documents for setting up a liaison office.

Activities permitted to a representative office in Vietnam

The Vietnam representative office is allowed to open a bank account and even hire employees. It is also allowed to lease office space and buy equipment used for its day-to-day operations. The liaison office is only allowed to engage in marketing and survey activities. It is also allowed to act a as a contact point between the parent company and possible clients and business partners in Vietnam.

The only restriction related to setting up a liaison office in Vietnam is that it is not allowed to carry out any commercial activity. The representative office license has a 5-year validity period.

For assistance in opening a liaison office in Vietnam, please contact our local advisors.