New Enterprise Registration System in Lao PDR

Since the Prime Minister’s Order No. 02/PM of 2018, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (“MOIC”) has been focusing on the regulatory amendments in respect business incorporation and corporate amendment procedures for investment in general business activities. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (“MPI”) and the MOIC in collaboration with the relevant line ministries have also revised and identified the lists of general business subject to control and concession business (“Lists of Controlled and Concession Businesses”) administered by the MPI which was adopted under the Decree on Adoption of Lao PDR Lists of Controlled and Concession Businesses No. 03 dated 10 January 2019 (“Decree No. 03”). Investors seeking to invest in controlled and concession businesses will need to apply with the MPI for an investment licence (“Investment Licence”). In the old system, the MOIC was responsible for both controlled and non-controlled general business investment. Individuals or entities looking to conduct business activities outside the Lists of Controlled and Concession Businesses must file application with the MOIC for an enterprise registration certificate (“ERC”). Under the new system pursuant to the Decision on Enterprise Registration No. 0023/MOIC dated 9 January 2019 (“Decision No. 0023”) (effective from February of 2019), the MOIC has reduced certain documentary and approving requirements for the business entity registration including application documents, approval letters and application processing. For instance, the old requirement of having to obtain prior consent from an industry specific authority before the proposed entity could be incorporated has been waived by the MOIC. The ERC will now be issued without listing the business activities which are subject to an Investment Licence and/or an industry...

Inheritance in Lao PDR

There are two largely separate legal structures governing the inheritance by heirs to a deceased person’s estate in Lao PDR: inheritance by will and inheritance by law.

In this article we set out the basic framework and considerations of both.

Update on Draft Civil Code

After promulgation, the upcoming Civil Code currently being drafted by the Government of Lao PDR (the “GOL”) will replace the Property Law; Contract and Tort Law; Family Law; Heritage and Basis of Inheritance; Secured Transaction Law; Nationality Law; Enterprise Law; and others. It aims to homogenise and clarify the legal concepts expressed in different, and sometimes contrary, ways across the scope of numerous laws.

Intellectual Property Protection in Lao PDR

Enacted on 20 December 2011, the Law on Intellectual Property No. 01/NA (the “Law”) is the principle legislation governing intellectual property (“IP”) protection in Lao PDR. The Law defers ultimate authority at the top of the hierarchy of IP regulations to international conventions and agreements to which Lao PDR is a party. As such, where inconsistencies exist between the Law and international conventions and agreements, the provisions of the international convention or agreement shall prevail.

Investment under the Lao PDR Amended Law on Investment Promotion

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s (“Lao PDR”) amended Law on Investment Promotion (the “Law”) recently came into force on 19 April 2017. The Law sets out some new and amended articles regarding promoted business sectors and investment incentives, forms and types of investment, and investment management mechanisms that aim to better facilitate company incorporation and improve investment throughout the country.

Lease Agreements in Lao PDR

One of the most common agreements made in Lao PDR are lease agreements, whether they are for residential accommodation, office or shop space, factory or farm land or any other personal or commercial purposes. However, from time to time, disputes or disagreements may arise from the lease agreement, many of which could have been avoidable through clearly stated terms in a lease contract or a legal review for compliance under Lao PDR law.