BUSINESS ARTICLES

Procedures for extension of a license for the establishment of representative offices of foreign traders in Vietnam

Procedures for extension of a license for the establishment of representative offices of foreign traders in Vietnam
Procedures for extension of a license for the establishment of representative offices of foreign traders in Vietnam

The license to establish a representative office of a foreign trader in Vietnam is valid for a maximum period of 05 years according to Decree 07/2016/ND-CP, and does not exceed the remaining term of the business registration certificate or equivalent valid papers of foreign traders in case such documents have provisions on the term. At the end of the above period, traders consider extending the license to establish a representative office based on the need to continue the operation of the representative office in Vietnam.

1. Renewal Authority:

Depending on the location of the representative office, the extension application may be submitted to one of the following two agencies:

  • Departments of Industry and Trade of provinces and centrally-run cities where traders have their representative offices; or
  • Management boards of industrial parks, export processing zones, economic zones, and hi-tech parks (hereinafter collectively referred to as “management boards“).

2. Extension period:

Maximum of 05 years but not exceeding the remaining term of the business registration certificate or equivalent valid papers of foreign traders in case such documents have provisions on the term.

3. Things to keep in mind before renewing:

  • The application for renewal of the license to establish a representative office must be submitted within at least 30 days before the license expires;
  • Foreign traders are still operating under the law in the country in which the trader has established;
  • The representative office does not violate the provisions of Vietnamese law.

4. Renewal documents to be prepared

To renew the representative office, traders need to prepare the following profile components:

  • Application for extension (according to the form of the Ministry of Industry and Trade);
  • A copy of the enterprise registration certificate of the foreign trader or a document of equivalent value (must be translated into Vietnamese and stamped with the consular law stick);
  • Copies of audited financial statements or confirmation of completion of tax obligations of foreign traders (must be translated into Vietnamese and notarized and authenticated);
  • A copy of the license for establishing a representative office;
  • A referral or authorization for another individual to carry out the procedure (in case the obligor does not directly carry out the procedure).

In fact, the Competent Licensing Authority may require Traders to provide some additional documents and explanatory documents other than the list of documents listed above. In addition, the proper and complete preparation of the prescribed documents also takes quite a long time. Therefore, traders should plan to prepare documents to ensure the extension is smooth, avoiding the case that the provision of documents is flawed, resulting in a prolonged renewal procedure.

5. Order and procedures for renewal:

Foreign traders shall submit dossiers to the License-Issuing Agency in the form of direct submission, postal submission, or online submission (if eligible).

Upon receiving the extension dossier, the licensing agency shall process it as follows: Within 03 working days from the date of receipt of the dossier, the License-Issuing Agency shall inspect and request additional if the dossier is incomplete or invalid. The request for additional documents is made up to once during the processing of the application. Within 05 working days from the date of receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the issuing agency shall extend the license to establish a representative office. In case of non-renewal, there must be a written statement stating the reason.

Traders should note that it is necessary to apply for renewal before the license expires. If the license to establish a representative office expires and the trader is still operating, it means that the representative office is operating without a license. Operating without a license leads to many legal consequences and affects the reputation of foreign traders. When carrying out the renewal procedure, the License-Issuing Agency the Certificate also reviews the previous operation of the Representative Office. Therefore, the representative office needs to fully implement the reporting regime in the course of operation in accordance with the provisions of the law so that the consideration and processing of extension documents is carried out smoothly.

The article is based on applicable law at the time noted as above and may no longer be appropriate at the time the reader approaches this article as the applicable law has changed and the specific case that the reader wishes to apply. Therefore, the article is only for reference.