What is liaison office?
A Liaison Office [also known as representative office] can undertake only liaison activities i.e. it can act as a channel of communication between Head Office aboard and parties in Bangladesh. It is not allowed to undertake any business activity in Bangladesh and cannot have any income in Bangladesh.
What is Branch office?
A Branch office is considered as a country office of a foreign entity. Usually Branch office is also restricted to undertake any business activity in Bangladesh and cannot have any income in Bangladesh. However, there are options to extend the parameters of Brach office, whereby Branch Office can with due pre-consent from BIDA engage into commercial activities.
Minimum capital requirement:
Any foreign company/sponsors which intend to set a liaison office in Bangladesh must bring minimum USD 50,000 in Bangladesh within two months of receipt of permission from BIDA into the designated account of branch office/liaison office in Bangladesh.
Meeting of Operation expenses:
All expenses will be met out of funds transferred from abroad through normal banking channel and converted to local currency account
No outward remittance from Bangladesh is allowed. However in case of Branch office, it is possible with pre-approval of BIDA.
Visa & Work Permit:
Sponsors may apply for Private Investors Visa. Dependent family members can also obtain visa. Foreign employees can be appointed.
Import & Export
Not permissible. However Branch Office may with due approval from BIDA obtain Import and Export Registration Certificate and engage into import and export.
Registration and statutory formalities
Registration with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.
Repatriation of Investment amount within 2 months from the date of registration with BIDA
Trade License from the Local City Corporation
Income Tax Registration & VAT Registration with National Board of Revenue.
Any other licenses or permission or NOC required as per the relevant laws of Bangladesh.
- Prescribed Application Form duly filled in, signed and stamped
- MOA and AOA of the Principal Company & Certificate of Incorporation
iii. Audited Accounts of the last financial year
- Board Resolution to open a Branch/Liaison/Representative Office in Bangladesh
- Details of activities to be conducted in Bangladesh.
- Details of shareholders, promoters & directors.
- Proposed organogram of the office.
Item ii-iv must be attested by the Bangladesh Embassy/High Commission of the country of origin, Embassy/High Commission of the applicant’s country of origin or Apex Chamber of Commerce of the country of origin. The proposed office must first apply online and then submit the documents to BIDA. 4 copies of all documents need to be submitted to BIDA.
Timeline for Registration-
BIDA Registration timeline is 3-4 weeks upon submission. Other formalities are consequential and will take about 2 weeks.
Validity & renewal-
Normally permission is given to operate for three years, which is then renewable for further terms.
Cost of Establishment:
Approximately USD 2500 for government fees, misc expenses and legal fees for the above mentioned licenses and permissions.