PLF Tutorials

LEGAL TUTORIALS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN VIETNAM

How to name your business legally in Vietnam?


Names of foreign-owned enterprises, although entirely within the discretion of business owners, must comply with Vietnamese regulations.  

Components of a company name

When registering to establish a foreign-invested business, investors must also register its names, including:

  • The Vietnamese name;
  • The foreign language name;
  • The abbreviated name.

In which the Vietnamese name is a requisite for licensing procedures.

Once licensed, investors may choose to promote their business with one of the registered names, whether it is the Vietnamese name, the foreign name, or the abbreviated.  

The Vietnamese name

The Vietnamese name contains two components:

  + 

Type of enterprise

Normally, types of enterprise are abbreviated in Vietnamese:

  • Limited liability company (Công ty trách nhiệm hữu hạn): ‘Công ty TNHH’
  • Joint stock company (Công ty cổ phần): ‘Công ty CP’
  • Partnership (Công ty hợp danh): ‘Công ty HD’
  • Private enterprise (Doanh nghiệp tư nhân): ‘DNTN’

Examples:

Công ty trách nhiệm hữu hạn Nước giải khát Coca-Cola Việt Nam (Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Limited Liability Company)

⇒ Công ty TNHH Nước giải khát Coca-Cola Việt Nam

Công ty Cổ phần Hưng Thịnh (Hung Thinh Joint Stock Company)

⇒ Công ty CP Hưng Thịnh

Proper name

The proper name is written using the letters in the Vietnamese alphabet, letters F, J, Z, W, numerals, and symbols.

Symbols permitted for use: “&”, “.”, “+”, “-”, “_”

Example:     Công ty TNHH Thời Trang T&T (T&T Fashion Company Limited)

Vietnamese name transliterated from the foreign language name may also be used.

Example:     English name: Gossen Salvador Limited Company

   Vietnamese name: Công ty TNHH Gôxen Xanvađo.

The business registration office has the right to refuse or accept the name proposed to be registered by an enterprise.

Article 38 of the 2014 Law on Enterprises

Foreign language and abbreviated names

The name of an enterprise in a foreign language is the name translated from Vietnamese into any of the foreign languages in the Latin lettering system.

Example:  Công ty TNHH Aeon Việt Nam

⇒ English name: Aeon Vietnam Company Limited.

When translated, the proper name may remain unchanged or may be translated into a foreign language with a corresponding meaning.

Example:  Công ty TNHH Rồng Việt

⇒ English name: Viet Dragon Limited Company; or
⇒ English name: Rong Viet Limited Company.

The abbreviated name of an enterprise may be an abbreviation of its Vietnamese name or its foreign language name.

Example: ‘Hung Vuong JSC’ is abbreviated from the English name ‘Hung Vuong Joint Stock Company’.

 

Prohibited acts in naming a business in Vietnam

Using letters of other foreign languages in the proper name.

Example: 寶成 Joint Stock Company => Wrong

Using names which are identical or confusingly similar to that of an enterprise already registered in Vietnam (except for enterprises that have been dissolved or declared bankrupt by the court).

Using the name of a state agency, people’s armed forces unit, political organization, socio-political organization, socio-politico-professional organization, social organization, or socio-professional organization.

Example:  Vietnam Women’s Union Joint Stock Company

⇒ Wrong. Vietnam Women’s Union is a socio-political organization, representing Vietnamese women’s legitimate rights and benefits.

Using words, phrases and symbols that contravene national historical traditions, culture, ethics and fine customs.

Example: Phan Boi Chau Company Limited

⇒ Wrong. Phan Boi Chau is the name of a Vietnamese notable. Using famous names as proper names of enterprises is a violation to the historical tradition of the Vietnamese people.

Using a protected trade name, brand name, or geographical indication of an organization or individual as part of the enterprise’s proper name without the consent of the owner of said protected names.

Example:  Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Joint Stock Company

Wrong. Phu Quoc Fish Sauce is a protected geographical indication. This name must not be used by investors.

Article 39 of the 2014 Law on Enterprises, Article 17 and 19 of Decree No. 78/2015/ND-CP
 

Confusingly similar names

The proposed Vietnamese name of a business applying for registration is completely identical to the name of a registered enterprise when pronounced.

Example:  Côca Côla Beverages Vietnam Company Limited

Wrong. Pronounced similar to Coca Cola Beverages Vietnam Company Limited

The proposed abbreviated  name of a business applying for registration is identical to the abbreviated name of a registered enterprise.

Example:  Sunlight Electronics Vietnam Company Limited (SEV)

Wrong. Identical to the abbreviated name of Samsung Electronics Vietnam Company Limited (SEV).

The foreign-language name of a business applying for registration is identical to the foreign-language name of a registered enterprise.

Example:  Song Hong Company Limited and Hong Ha Company Limited.

Wrong. Both of the names above are translated into ‘Red River Limited Company’. The enterprise that registers after with the same translated violates the law due to the confusingly similar name. 

The proper name of the enterprise applying for registration is different from the name of a same-type registered enterprise only by a cardinal number, ordinal number, or letter in Vietnamese and English alphabets immediately following the proper name.

Example:  

  • Apollo Company Limited and Apollo 1 Company Limited Wrong
  • Kelly First Company Limited and Kelly 2 Company Limited Wrong
  • Ocean Joint Stock Company and Ocean X Joint Stock Company Wrong

The proper name of the enterprise applying for registration is different from the name of a same-type registered enterprise only by a symbol, such as “&”, “.”, “+”, “-”, “_”

Example:  Alpha Partnership and Alpha+ Partnership Wrong

The proper name of an enterprise applying for registration is different from the proper name of a same-type registered enterprise only by the word “tan” (new) or “moi” (new).

Example:  Century Joint Stock Company and New Century Joint Stock Company Wrong

The proper name of an enterprise applying for registration is different from the proper name of a same-type registered enterprise only by the words “the North,” “the South,” “the Central,” “the West,” “the East”, or words of similar meanings.

Example: Star Partnership and North Star Partnership Wrong

Names which are identical or confusingly similar to that of an enterprise already registered in Vietnam can only be used when the registered enterprise has been dissolved or declared bankrupt.

Article 42 of the 2014 Law on Enterprises

PLF will assist investors in selecting the desired business name in accordance with the law when Starting a business in Vietnam.

Questions