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’
Công ty trách nhiệm hữu hạn Nước giải khát Coca-Cola Việt Nam (Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Limited Liability Company)
Công ty Cổ phần Hưng Thịnh (Hung Thinh Joint Stock Company)
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
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
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
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
Using words, phrases and symbols that contravene national historical traditions, culture, ethics and fine customs.
Example: Phan Boi Chau Company Limited
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
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
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)
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.
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.
- 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 “&”, “.”, “+”, “-”, “_”
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
M&A Vietnam will assist investors in selecting the desired business name in accordance with the law when Starting a business in Vietnam.