As a developing country in Asia with robust economic growth and numerous opportunities for business, Myanmar focuses on accelerating economic growth by allowing non-residents to start businesses in the country. While the civil war in the past plagued the country, the situation has improved, and peaceful environment has been created by the people and the government paving the way for a new future.
Myanmar has an untapped business potential with a promising economy, and a vast prospective market for entrepreneurs, international investors and well-established companies to expand their business operations. Business leaders who interested in understanding and operating in Myanmar have a handful of options to start their business in the country by registering their company in Myanmar, one of the options is launching a Representative Office (RO).
Representative Office in Myanmar
The Representative Office (RO) registered in Myanmar may only act as a liaison office, and its services are limited to market research, feasibility studies and collecting data for head office. RO's are not allowed to trade inside Myanmar. Usually, registered offices are satellite offices of established businesses outside Myanmar or subsidiaries that are created to expand business operations in the country.
Who can start a Representative Office?
The Myanmar Companies Act permits international investors, corporates and business people to register their business in Myanmar as a Representative office for a specific purpose such as research, analysing and marketing.
Representative Office for Individuals and Entrepreneurs
According to the new Company Laws, a foreigner and non-resident individual in Myanmar one can start a Representative Office (RO) in Myanmar. The office can be used for understanding the prevailing market conditions in Myanmar, promoting established businesses from other countries, or exploring business opportunities and planning useful business model to get into Myanmar market to take advantage of the lower cost of operations, cheap labour, and numerous facilities for local manufacturing operations.
Representative Office for Corporates
International companies who are planning to enter into the Myanmar market can set up their Representative Office to research the viability of doing business in Myanmar by assessing the market scenario. The RO is allowed to analyse industry growth, calculating profitability, and send data to the headquarters. Furthermore, the corporate-owned RO can work on understanding the local competition, finding prospective partners and other critical business parameters such as infrastructure, logistics, human resources etc., before setting up permanent operations in the country.
Regulations for a Representative Office in Myanmar
The Representative Office is not allowed to perform trade inside the country and thereby should have no income from its operations in Myanmar. Representation offices are expected to operate with the periodic remittances received from the overseas headquarters or their invested capital, these funds from one of the two sources must be used for covering the administrative costs, launching marketing campaigns, office rents, employee salaries and other expenses.
Requirements for Setting up a Representative Office in Myanmar
There are specific requirements outlined by Myanmar's governmental organisations according to the Myanmar Companies Act for setting up a Representative Office in Myanmar.
- Under Section 27A of the Myanmar Companies Act, the Representative Office must obtain permit and registration from the Ministry of Commerce
- If the Representative Office is registered by a foreign citizen or non-resident in Myanmar, then the office must appoint a Burmese citizen or non-Burmese agent who must stay in the country for more than 186 days per year
- The office must have a staff of Burmese nationality and need to be registered with the Ministry of Commerce in accordance with the laws governing employment
- If any of the documents required for registration are in languages other than English, then a certified translator must be hired to translate the official documents into English and be notarised by the Myanmar Embassy
Documents Required for Registering a Representative Office
- Application to establish RO in Myanmar
- Passport copies of each director or owner
- Company’s board resolution
- Signed undertaking that the office will not trade in Myanmar
- Notarised copy of the foreign company's Memorandum of Association
- Notarised copy of the foreign registered company's Articles of Association
- Annual report of the foreign registered company for the last two financial years notarised by the Myanmar Embassy
Advantages of Setting up a Representative Office in Myanmar
- Can be started by a foreign individual or corporate
- Easy to register and start an office
- Requires minimum capital to operate
- Permits the business to conduct market research, perform business analysis and promotional activities
- Assists in conducting feasibility studies for understanding the ground reality of starting permanent business operation
- Can be used to analyse the scope of business opportunities as a corporate
- Can be used as a subsidiary to handling and launch marketing campaigns
- Can be used to assess the industry in the country and helps you finding out competitors and prospective business partners
- Can be used to promote a company or service before setting up an operation
With tremendous opportunities for investment and growth, the first-mover advantage can significantly assist your business growth in the upcoming years when Myanmar's economy grows. If you're planning to set up your representative office in Myanmar contact us. Our expert team shall assist you in understanding the business environment in Myanmar and help you in registering your business in the country.