Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Peace Independence Democracy Unity Prosperity
Ministry of Industry and Commerce No.: 0924/IC
Vientiane Capital, dated: 04 June 2008
Application for Registration and Approval of Enterprise Names
The Minister of Industry and Commerce hereby issues the Provision:
This Provision on the Application for Registration and Approval of Enterprise Names defines principles for the denomination and use of an enterprise’s name in accordance with the Law on Enterprise; is created to function as a database regarding the issuance of approval and the management of enterprise names at a centralized single location in order to avoid ambiguous, similar, or identical names within the province or capital; is created to be a quick and convenient summary and management system to promote, monitor, and inspect enterprise units with the aim of protecting the rights, benefits, and reputations of business operators conducting business in the Lao PDR.
The denomination of enterprise names shall be in accordance with the following characteristics and shall be partially meaningful, and compliant with Articles 10, 11, and 12 of the Law on Enterprise and shall consist of four characteristics: form, name, business activity, and category:
This Provision applies specifically to the denomination of private enterprises, state-owned enterprises, and collective enterprises as reference for the submission of applications for enterprise registration.
This Provision also applies to a sole trader enterprise established to operate manufacturing and processing businesses having trademarks, or to those that provide other services.
This Provision does not apply to a collective group of retailers that conduct a trading business on an annual or seasonal basis (irregular) as well as a small trading and service business.
In addition to Article 22 of the Law on Enterprise, the following enterprise names are prohibited:
Enterprise Name Denomination
In addition to the components of the enterprise name denomination as stipulated in Article 2 of this Provision, for the enterprise name designated, selected, and denominated by the business operator and meaningful for the business operation, or other names or names based upon the agreement of partners or shareholders that jointly invest in the business, to be eligible, the enterprise name shall not exceed twenty words in total and shall comply with the following conditions:
For an enterprise name that starts with the business purpose or indicating a specific service such as a bank, a hotel, a school, a hospital, a factory, a pawnshop, a valuable-item trading shop, or service center, it shall be followed by a name and/or a business activity and thereafter the enterprise category such as partnership, limited partnership enterprise, limited company (including limited sole company) or public company.
The sole-trader enterprise name shall begin with the words ‘sole-trader enterprise’ followed by a name and/or business activity, or can begin with the word ‘enterprise’ followed by a name and/or business activity and end with the words ‘sole trader.’
The name of the sole-trader enterprise can also start with the name and/or business activity followed by the words ‘sole trader.’
The partnership enterprise name shall begin with the words ‘general partnership enterprise’ or ‘limited partnership enterprise’ followed by a name and/or business activity, or can begin with the word ‘enterprise’ followed by a name and/or business activity and end with the words ‘general partnership enterprise’ or ‘limited partnership enterprise.’
The name of the partnership enterprise can also start with the name and/or business activity followed by the words ‘general partnership’ or ‘limited partnership.’
The company name shall begin with the word ‘company’ followed by a name and/or business activity and end with the words ‘limited (sole limited)’ or ‘public.’ The word ‘sole’ can be omitted in the company name but the enterprise category shall be stipulated on the enterprise registration certificate.
The name of a state-owned or mixed company shall begin with the words ‘state-owned company’ or ‘mixed company’ followed by a name and/or business activity (no category for this kind of company).
Application for Registration of Enterprise Name
The registration of an enterprise name refers to an application for the approval of enterprise name from the enterprise registry officials countrywide in order to use it as reference for enterprise registration by domestic or foreign persons or legal entities.
An applicant is entitled to request the registration of three enterprise names in Lao, English or French (if any) as options for the enterprise.
The required documents for the registration of an enterprise name fall into two categories:
For the renewal of approval of an enterprise name and amendment of an enterprise registration certificate, the following required documents shall be submitted:
The enterprise registry officials of the Lao PDR have a duty to accept registration applications for enterprise names, and to consider, approve, and issue approval of enterprise names according to the following management levels:
The enterprise registry officials of Vientiane Capital are in charge of the management of the enterprise name database on a centralized and single-window basis regarding the approval and rejection of the registration of enterprise names countrywide. Such registry officials shall have the following main duties:
If the applicant submits a full set of required documents and the requested name does not conflict with Article 22 of the Law on Enterprise and Article 4 of this Provision, the enterprise registry officials must issue a registration approval for an enterprise name or an approval of enterprise name, and notify and deliver them to an applicant within 2 working days.
The provincial enterprise registry officials have a duty to accept and provide services to an applicant for registration of an enterprise name and to issue an approval of enterprise name as follows:
If the applicant submits a full set of required documents, the provincial enterprise registry officials shall request approval of the registration of the enterprise name from the enterprise registry officials of Vientiane Capital within one working day. After receiving the approval or rejection, the provincial enterprise registry officials must issue an approval or rejection of an enterprise name to the applicant within one working day.
An approval of enterprise name shall be valid for 90 days from the date of signature and can be extended for 30 days.
Upon receiving the approval of enterprise name, the applicant must submit an application for enterprise registration. If they do not do so and do not request an extension of the approval of enterprise name within the given timeframe, the approval of enterprise name shall be considered as having lapsed and the enterprise registry officials are entitled to issue a new approval to other persons or legal entities applying for registration of such name.
Rights and Duties of the Use of Enterprise Name
A person obtaining an approval of enterprise name shall have the following rights and duties:
Prohibitions on the use of the approval of enterprise name are as follows:
If a person or legal entity uses an approval of enterprise name in a manner not compliant with laws and regulations, the action or result of such use shall be null and void, and the violator shall be sanctioned by measures stipulated in Articles 240, 241, 242, and 243 of the Law on Enterprise and other relevant laws and regulations.
The Department of Domestic Trade and the provincial Division of Industry and Commerce shall be assigned to strictly implement this Provision.
All organizations, business units, and relevant stakeholders shall cooperate in implementing this Provision.
This Provision shall be enters into force on the date it is signed.
Minister of Industry and Commerce
[Seal and signature]
Dr. Nam Viyaketh