How to Set up Foreign Owned Company in IT and Computer Related Service?

Information technology and computer related service have played an extremely important role in life as well as in business activities on global scale.  The industrial revolution 4.0 has comprised of many technologies and IT and computer service take a big part of such.  The laws of Vietnam and the international commitments to which Vietnam is a party have no restrictions on foreign investors in terms of both the form of investment and the proportion of capital contribution in business in this field. Further, Vietnam prioritizes and encourages development in the field of IT and computer services which is considered attracting high level of intelligence and green business.  The investors have grown confidence in Vietnam’s increasingly improved legal systems to protect the Intellectual Property rights in trademark and copyright to protect the company and individuals to exploit economic benefits in IT and computer related service areas.

IT is the core foundation of smart city, intelligent transport system, intelligent education.  Computer services and related services include: consulting services related to computer hardware installation, software implementation services, data processing services, database services, services maintenance and maintenance of office machinery and equipment, including computers and other computer services.

Under Vietnam’s WTO commitments, foreign investors are allowed to set up 100% foreign-invested enterprises to conduct business in IT and computer services and related services. At the same time, it is allowed for computer service business enterprises to set up branches when there is a need to generate additional business activities at locations outside the head office of the enterprise.

To establish an enterprise with 100% foreign invested capital, investors need to apply for an Investment Registration Certificate in accordance with the Law on Investment 2014 and an Enterprise Registration Certificate in accordance with the Law on Enterprise 2014.

A dossier of application for an Investment Registration Certificate comprises: a written request for implementation of an investment project; copy of identity card, citizen identity card or passport for individual investor and copy of establishment certificate or equivalent document certifying legal status for institutional investor; investment project proposal; copies of the latest 2-year financial statements or commitment of financial support of the parent company or financial institution or guarantee of investor’s financial capacity or documents explaining the financial capacity of the house invest; a copy of the location lease agreement or other documents certifying that the investor has the right to use the project location. If the project uses technologies on the list of technologies restricted from transfer, the explanation of the use of technologies must be submitted. Within 15 days from the date of receiving the complete and valid file, the Department of Planning and Investment will issue the Investment Registration Certificate to the foreign investor.

An Enterprise Registration Certificate dossier comprises: an application for enterprise registration; enterprise’s regulations; a list of members of a limited liability company with two or more members or a list of general partners; a notarized copy of identity card or valid passport of individual member; a notarized copy of the Enterprise Registration Certificate of the organization’s member; a notarized copy of valid identity card or passport of the organization’s legal representative; copy of Investment Registration Certificate. After 03 working days from the date of receiving a complete and valid dossier, the Department of Planning and Investment will issue an Enterprise Registration Certificate.

For the establishment of a branch, a dependent unit of the enterprise, tasked to perform all or a part of the functions of the enterprise, including an authorized representative function, business lines of a branch must be consistent with the business line of the enterprise. When registering a branch operation, the enterprise must send a notice of setting up the branch to the Business Registration Office where the branch is located. A dossier of establishment of a branch comprises of a notice of establishment of a branch; branch establishment decisions; decisions to appoint branch heads; minutes of meeting of establishment of branch; copy of the Business Registration Certificate; copy of identity card or Passport of the head of branch. Within 3 working days after receiving a valid dossier, the Enterprise Registration Office shall grant a branch operation registration certificate.

The investors should pay attention to legal compliance since incorporation and during the operation in accordance with the law.  ANT Lawyers with offices in Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang will be helping the clients to ensure the efficient operation from legal perspective.

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