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Doing Business in Myanmar
 
 
 

General

Operation in Myanmar can be carried out through one of the following business organisations:

• Sole Proprietorship;

• Partnerships;

• Companies limited by shares (i.e. joint venture companies, local companies, foreign companies);

• Branch or Representative offices of a foreign company;

• Associations not for profit.

Forms of Business Organisation

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by an individual which usually operates under the name of the owner. Establishment and operation is simple. It is not required to register. Capital formation and withdrawal can be performed at one’s will. However, the proprietor’s liability is unlimited.

Partnerships

A group of individuals may enter into partnerships in order to carry on a business. The partnership’s rights and obligations are based on the agreements between the partners and the Partnership Act of 1932. In accordance with the Act, the number of partners is limited to twenty. A partnership firm may be registered, but registration is not compulsory. All partnerships formed in Myanmar are of unlimited type. When no provision is made for the period of time, the partnership will be dissolved when all partners are willing to do so.

Companies Limited by Shares

A company limited by shares is required to register. For foreign enterprises, the most normal method of doing business in Myanmar is through a limited company. Such a company could be a foreign company registered in Myanmar or by means of a branch office or representative office formed outside Myanmar. If one share is owned by a foreign partner, the company shall come under the definition of a foreign company, and shall apply and obtain a Permit before registration.

There are two main types of companies: a private limited liability company and a public limited liability company.

In a private limited company, the transfer of shares is restricted, the public cannot be called upon to subscribe for shares, and the number of members is limited to 50. In a public limited liability company, the number of shareholders must be at least seven. The company, after registration, must apply for a Certificate of Commencement of Business to enable start the business operation.

The governing law for the limited companies is the Myanmar Companies Act 1914. A company with share contribution of the State shall be registered under the Special Company Act 1950 and the Myanmar Companies Act 1914.

There are generally no minimum share capital requirements. However, minimum requirements do exist for banking and insurance companies and foreign companies and branches of all business. For foreign companies and branches, the minimum capital to be brought in are as follows:

• Industrial company – foreign currency equivalent to K1,000,000;

• Trading company – foreign currency equivalent to K500,000;

• Services company – foreign currency equivalent to K300,000.


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