Proposed changes in enterprise registration certification are expected to help improve Vietnam’s business climate.

Under the latest draft revised Law on Enterprises, which will replace the existing legislation issued in 2005, the freedom for firms to do business would be maximised in line with the country’s new Constitution which states that all people are entitled to freely engage in business in sectors and professions that are not banned according to the law, the Vietnam Investment Review quoted Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh as saying.

Specifically, according to the draft compiled by the MPI, the existing enterprise registration certificate would be changed to allow wider freedom for firms to pursue business opportunities.

Under the first proposal, names of business sectors and professions would no longer be included in the certificate and enterprise registration dossiers.

In another proposal, the certificate would only include a list of business sectors and professions subject to conditions. The founders of the firms would have to write the sectors and professions in their enterprise registration dossiers if they want to engage in such sectors and professions.

Currently, enterprises have to register which business sectors and professions they want to operate in. However, if they engage in other sectors and professions not banned by law without adjusting the certificate, the firm would be defined as acting illegally. Meanwhile, the constitution states that all people are entitled to freely engage in any business activity that has been legally prescribed.

“The MPI proposes that the second scheme be selected, because it is a big breakthrough in realising the right to do business as outlined in the Constitution,” Minister Vinh said. “If firms want to do business in sectors and professions subject to conditions, they will have to meet certain criteria.”

Economist Huynh Buu Son said it would be very good news for enterprises if the registration of business sectors and professions was removed. “Enterprises should be allowed to do any business not banned by the law. If this regulation comes into force, enterprises would face fewer administrative procedures, which could save time and cash,” he said.

The Central Institute for Economic Management’s head Nguyen Dinh Cung, also chief author of the draft, said: “Due to the current regulation, many enterprises have missed out on business opportunities because if they want to do more business, they have to have their business registration certificate amended, and this can be a long and arduous process.”

However, General Director of the Viet Steel Company Do Duy Thai said the Government would need to do more to remove the burdens facing enterprises.

“Besides the removal of registration of business sectors and professions, the Government needs to pursue administrative reforms and remove many other types of sub-licenses,” he said.-VNA