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Laos Business Setup

Updated:2018-3-21 18:33:53    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:222

Laos business setup is also called Laos company registration, Laos business incorporation, Laos corporate formation. Attempting to start a business in Laos can be a little daunting, however there is a basic structure and process to follow. Laos is considered one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to start a business, due to the time between lodging an application and receiving all your necessary paperwork. However, as we can see all around us, companies do get established, and more and more investors are coming here to do business.

Types of Legal Entity in Laos
1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
This business entity is commonly used by entrepreneurs to setup an SME in Laos. An LLC must appoint at least 1 director and 1 shareholder who can be of any nationality. While the minimum capital is only USD650 for locally owned company, foreign-invested entities are required to have a paid-up capital of at least USD125,000. An LLC must also have reserve equivalent to 10% of its annual net profits.

To a lesser extent than its neighbor Vietnam and Thailand, some industries in Laos are additionally restricted or closed to foreign investment. They include fisheries, construction and most of the accommodation and restaurant sector.

2. Public Limited Company (PLC)
If locally owned, this business entity requires a minimum capital of USD6,100 for Laos business registration. If foreigners also hold shares in the business, the minimum paid up capital then rises to USD125,000. Further, at least 7 shareholders, 3 directors and 1 worker representative must always be appointed. 

3. Branch Office
The scope of operations for this entity will be defined by the parent company. Also, the branch office will have an independent management team and corporate bank account based in Laos. Branches of foreign companies in Laos may only be incorporated within specific sectors which include airline companies, financial institution, foreign banks and insurance.

4. Representative Office
This type of business entity is not allowed to make direct sales with Laos. Consequently, this entity can only engage in market research and promoting the business of the parent company. It can however be attractive for a first business venture in Laos.

Documents to provide to the Lao Government when applying to register a Limited Company
Below is a brief list of various documents required to register a Limited Company. This list is not exhaustive and not all of these documents will be required in every scenario. The Government requires documents to be lodged in the Lao language, but many foreign investors choose to have these documents in English as well (or whichever other language is preferred in their particular scenario).

1. Articles of Association – this is required in every case.
2. Shareholders’ or Joint Venture Agreement – if there is more than one owner of the company, there needs to be a Shareholders’ or Joint Venture Agreement outlining voting procedures, dispute resolution, responsibility for financial input etc.
3. Lease Agreement – the Limited Company will need to have taken out a lease over premises before lodging the application.
4. Bank Statements showing the financial viability of the investor(s).
5. Personal Details of the investor(s) such as passport copies, passport photos, resumes.
6. Depending on the circumstances of each application, the government may also ask to see the employment contracts of at least key employees.
7. Business Plan – a document outlining the intended business operations, the number of employees, the intended training for Lao employees etc.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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