Myanmar Ministry of Commerce sets out framework for operation of retail and wholesale businesses
30 August 2018
From 26 to 31 July 2018, the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce (“Ministry”) issued three Newsletters which set out the framework for the conduct of retail and wholesale business by foreign companies and joint ventures between local and foreign investors (“joint ventures”).
Foreign companies and joint ventures have been allowed to conduct retail and wholesale business in Myanmar from 9 May 2018 pursuant to Ministry of Commerce Notification No 25/2018 (“Notification”).
What you need to know
- A company wishing to engage in retail or wholesale business must register with the Ministry unless the company is an existing retail or wholesale Myanmar company.
- A company may apply for a retail license or a wholesale license or both.
- The license will be valid for five years from the date of issue. A registration fee of MMK 50,000 (approximately US$34) is payable.
- There is a minimum initial investment amount payable upon registration.
Application for licence to conduct retail or wholesale business
The Ministry, in Newsletter No 2/2018, sets out the procedure and rules relating to the registration of a retail or wholesale business and its licensing. The procedure applicable is determined by the category within which the company falls. The stipulated categories are as follows:
- New foreign companies or joint ventures (“Class A Company”)
- Existing foreign companies or joint ventures (“Class B Company”)
- Companies already licensed to engage in retail or wholesale businesses (“Class C Company”)
- Existing retail or wholesale Myanmar companies (“Class D Company”)
The differences between the above categories relate to where the application for registration can be made, the minimum initial investment and what supporting documents must be attached. All companies must register with the Ministry prior to engaging in retail or wholesale business with the exception of Class D Companies already engaged in retail or wholesale business with an investment of below US$700,000.