Question: We are a shipping company with our head quarter in Singapore. We operate our vessels between Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Southeast Asia countries.

Now, we are planning setting up our own shipping agency company in Vietnam. Please let us know if you can help us to do so. We prefer to set up a 100% owned company but we are not sure if it is workable in the current Vietnam legal structure. Or, does it have to be a joint venture? And, does shipping agency and freight forwarding have to be two separated companies?

Please let us know if you can provide the service to us.

Answer: I am Lawyer of SB Law. I was entrusted to provide you legal advice regarding to incorporation of foreign invested company in Vietnam.

From your email, we understand that you intend to setup a wholly foreign owned company for conducting business line of shipping agency and custom clearance.

Under Vietnam-WTO Commitments, from 2015, there is no restriction regarding to foreign ownership in shipping agency. However, regarding to the custom clearance, you must set up a joint venture with a Local Investor. Your ownership in such joint venture company can be up to 99% of total capital.

In this case, if you wish to conduct both of shipping agency service and custom clearance service, you shall be required to setup a Joint Venture Company.

Could you let us know which city will you intend to setup the company? Then, we shall send you our legal service proposal for your consideration.

If you would like further information on Setting up shipping agency company in Vietnam, please either email to our Partners at: info@sblaw.vn or call to our Office:

Ha Noi Office: +84 (4) 62 62 0246

HCM Office: +84 (8) 35 208 101.

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