New Notice on Procedures to Start a New Business

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (“MOIC”) released a notice for domestic and foreign investors who wish to start a business in Lao PDR, (“The Procedures to Start a Business”) dated 29 January 2020 referring to Order No. 02/PM, dated 01 February 2018 on the Improvement of Regulation and Coordination Mechanism for Doing Business in Lao PDR.

The Procedures to Start a Business have been renewed to focus on improving, solving, and reducing unnecessary procedures to reduce the time and expenses for starting a business in Lao PDR. It must be noted that these Procedures to Start a Business are only related to the registration of a sole trader enterprise or legal entity and will not encapsulate the procedures for applying in investment or business operating license schemes at this stage.

The notice states that the requirement for applying for Certificate of Office Location has been cancelled, the Registration of Articles of Association of Company has been moved to be a procedure after the procedures to start a business, and the requirement for applying for a Taxpayer Identification Number Certificate has now become combined with the same procedure for enterprise registration. This will mean that an enterprise will receive an enterprise registration certificate together with taxpayer identification number.  Further, the requirement for Tax Orientation and Providing Taxpayer Identification Number has now been moved to be the procedure following the procedures to start a business, the requirement in Registration of Value Added Tax has been cancelled, the Registration of Company seal has now been combined in the same procedure with the procedure of carving seal, which will mean that an enterprise will receive the Approval for the Use of Seal together with the company seal. Finally, the requirement for Applying for Company Signage Content Approval has been cancelled.

Under Lao PDR laws on starting a business the Procedures to Start a Business will now only require three (3) procedures. These procedures are listed below:

  1. The maximum time for notifying enterprise registration is 10 working days.
  2. The maximum time for Carving Seal and Approval for the Use of Seal is 5 working days.
  3. The maximum time for Registration of Social Security is 2 working days.

The Procedures to Start a Business in Lao PDR must comply with the relevant regulations, and in the event that any person or authority requires the conduct of further procedures, they must notify the Enterprise Registration and Management Sector in order to report and consider problem-solving measures with higher authorities.

It is always recommended to consult your concerns for starting a business in Lao PDR with an Arion legal advisor. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require assistance with any changes from the previous system of starting a business, and understand your registration obligations at enquiries@arionlegal.com.