Business Formation

Obtain the Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC)

Agency: Department of Industry and Commerce Vientiane Capital

Applicants apply for the Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC) at the Department of Industry and Commerce Vientiane Capital. The unique application form used for the name reservation and the ERC must list three potential names for the company to be established. A signed Contract of Incorporation (if there are multiple shareholders) in the format approved by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) must be submitted to obtain the ERC. The approved format can be downloaded at the MOIC website. Founders shall complete the application form for the ERC in the MOIC standard application form attaching the following required documents:

  • 3 copies of the Contract of Incorporation,
  • 3 original copies of the signed Articles of Association in the MOIC standard template,
  • 3 copies of the resolution of founders of the company,
  • 3 copies of the Power of Attorney in the MOIC standard template (if another person is assigned to submit the application),
  • 3 copies of ID card/passport of founders (only for foreigners) or business licenses for entities,
  • Office location certificate and the Map signed and sealed by the village chief,
  • 6 photos size 3cmx4cm of the nominated Managing Director,
  • Compliance letter stating that the founders of this company will comply with the rules of law.

When issuing the ERC, the Department of Industry and Commerce Vientiane Capital issues (1) a letter for the tax office to register for a Tax ID and (2) a letter of approval for the Public Security Office for the company seal.

Presidential Order N 003, of December 26, 2012 regulates the fees related to obtaining the ERC.

Time and cost: 2 – 3 months, LAK 30,000 (Incorporation form) + LAK 60,000 (Application form) + LAK 500,000 (Registration service fee for companies with registered capital of LAK 100,000,000 – 400,000,000)

Register the Articles of Association

Agency: State Asset Management Office, Ministry of Finance

Once the company obtains the Enterprise Registration Certificate, it shall thereafter register its Articles of Association with the State Assets Management Department (SAMD), Ministry of Finance. For registration the following are required: letter request, the original signed Articles of Association, and copy of ERC.

Time and cost: 1 week, LAK 40,000 (registration of AOA) + LAK 40,000 (Contract of Incorporation) + LAK 10,000 (Service fee)

Apply for Tax Registration Certificate

Agency: Tax Department

Enterprises operating in the Lao PDR are subject to direct and indirect taxes. You need to submit the following documents:

  • Application form;
  • Resident certificate of managers;
  • List of assets;
  • List of employees and estimates salaries;
  • Copy of lease agreement;
  • Office location certificate and Map signed and sealed by the village chief;
  • 2 photos 3×4 of the managing directors;
  • Copy of the resolution of formation;
  • Copy of the ERC;
  • Copy of ID cards;
  • Registered AOA;

Time and cost: About 1 month, LAK 25,000 (Registration form for taxes) + LAK 100,000 (Tax certificate)

Attend to a Tax Orientation meeting and obtain Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Agency: Tax Division

Once The Tax Certificate is issued, the Tax Division will arrange for a Tax Orientation meeting to explain all the different taxes that a company will have to pay, how to calculate them and how to keep your books in order. This is to ensure that companies prepare their tax return properly and pay the correct amount. After the Tax Orientation meeting, the Tax Division will start processing the TIN number. After the Tax Orientation meeting, the Tax Department prepares the Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the newly registered company.

Time and cost: About 1 month, no charge

Carve a company seal

Agency: Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Public Security

After the Enterprise Registry Office issued the ERC, entrepreneur need to submit a color copy of ERC at the Seal Carving Unit within the Ministry of Public Security. Once the seal is carved, a letter for registration the seal is issued by the Seal Carving Unit. The company needs to register it with the Department of Public Security in order to use it.

Time and cost: 2 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure), LAK 10,000 (application form for making the company seal) + LAK 60,000 (the certificate authorizing the design) + LAK 50,000 (carving of a seal in Lao language only) or LAK 53,000 (the carving of a seal in Lao and in another language)

Register company seal at the department of public security

Agency: Department of Public Security

After the seal is carved, the company needs to register it at the Department of Public Security in order to use it.

Time and cost: 1 to 2 weeks, no charge

Obtain Approval of Content on the Company Signage

Agency: Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism

It is no longer required by law to obtain the content approval of the signage; however, majority of entrepreneurs continue to obtain it due to the local officers of Information Culture and Tourism, advice them to do that.

For the content approval application, the company must complete the application form in MICT and provide the following: (i) the name of the company in Lao, enterprise code provided under the enterprise registration certificate, office location and contact detail of the company; (ii) the color in red for the letters, and yellow for the background (these colors applied to domestic companies); and (ii) the size shall not exceed 2mx4m.

Time and cost: 1 to 2 weeks, LAK 10,000

Register the workers for social security

Agency: Social Security Office

The application form to register workers for social security insurance is available at the agency in charge of registration. Employees and employers must participate in the compulsory social security regime. They may not enter into mutual agreements to avoid participation in the social security regime. The social security regime for company employees is established on the principle of state-guaranteed insurance. Contributions to the social security regime are paid by both the employers and employees: 6.0% of gross salary is to be contributed for social security by the employer and another 5.5%, by the employee. The maximum ceiling for calculating these contributions is LAK 2,000,000 (6% and 5.5% of LAK 2,000,000).

Time and cost: 1 week (simultaneous with previous procedure), no charge

Register for VAT

Agency: Tax authority

As per Article 9 of Law of Value added tax of 26 December 2006, all companies with a turnover higher than 400,000,000 Kip are are subject to value-added tax registration with the tax authority.

Time and cost: 3 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure), no charge