Corporate banking in Laos in 2023
Healy Consultants assists our Clients with opening a corporate bank account in Laos. Our experienced banking team will prepare all required documentation and submit them to their preferred bank. We will also attend the bank interview on your behalf and may assist you with applying to the full range of corporate banking services available in Laos. Please read below for further information regarding Laos banking system and our corporate banking services in this country.
Corporate banking options in Laos
- There are 34 commercial banks and branches in Laos which include local and foreign banks, all governed by the State Bank of the Lao People Democratic Republic. However, in June 2014, the Bank of the Lao PDR temporarily suspended the establishment of new commercial banks in Laos until at least the end of this year (2016). Foreign banks and branches of the same are only allowed to operate inside Vientiane, the capital city of Laos;
- Healy Consultants still recommends our foreign Clients to open their Laos corporate bank account with a bank with which they already have a bank account in another country, as this will reduce i) time required to open the bank account and ii) the bank’ requirements for our Client’s security check;
- Foreign banks present in Laos include i) ANZ Laos ii) Siam Commercial Bank iii) Standard Chartered Bank and iv) Bangkok Bank;
- Our Clients may also choose to open a bank account with a Laos bank. Healy Consultants recommend i) BCEL ii) Phongsavanh Bank and iii) BFL which offer good banking services in Laos;
- US dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted currencies in Laos and are used as a medium of trade by some establishments. International debit and credit cards can be used at ATMs nationwide and are accepted at some major establishments like hotels.
Healy Consultants Laos corporate banking services
- Healy Consultants assists our Clients with opening a corporate bank account in Laos. Please read below for further information:
- Healy Consultants will be pleased to assist our Clients with opening a corporate account for their Laos company within 4 weeks. Internet banking will be approved within the subsequent week. Our fee for this service will be US$4,950;
- While our firm will liaise with the banks to prevent our Clients from travelling to Laos, there is still a 30% chance that the bank may require our Clients willing to start a business to travel for a one hour interview in Laos. There will be a fee discount of US$950 if you have to travel;
- Following bank account approval, the preferred Laos bank will directly and independently email our Client the corporate bank account number, required to set up his business in Laos.
- If requested, Healy Consultants will also be pleased to assist our Clients with obtaining bank financial support for their projects in Laos. Please read below for further information:
- Healy Consultants may assist our Clients with obtaining corporate finance in the form of a loan, overdraft or simply preferential credit terms. Please contact our Laos CRO for inquiries regarding these services and related fees;
- Laos banks will consider providing funds to finance investment projects, provided sufficient information is provided. Documents requested include i) a well-prepared business-plan, inclusive of a feasibility study ii) availability of collateral assets iii) qualifications of business owners and management iv) last 3 years audited financial statements and v) a detailed review of the project’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT matrix);
- In addition to corporate finance, our in-house consultants may also provide our Clients with assistance to secure trade finance services including i) bank guarantees ii) letters of credit iii) finance against trust receipt (for imported goods) and iv) document against payment and against acceptance.
Opening a corporate bank account in Laos
In order to open a corporate bank account on our Client’s behalf, Healy Consultants will proceed as below:
- Before setting up a business in Laos, Healy Consultants will assist our Client to choose the best corporate bank account amongst the different banking options available in Laos;
- Healy consultants will then submit the company registration package to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for pre-approval of our Client’s incorporation project;
- Healy Consultants submits a complete corporate bank account opening application to the bank account including i) pre-approval from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry ii) the foreign investor’s investment ID and certificate iii) bank questionnaire forms and iv) all due diligence documents;
- Once the corporate bank account is approved, Healy Consultants emails our Client the bank account details;
- Our Client then proceeds to transfer the share capital onto its Laos corporate bank account. The bank issues a certificate of deposit necessary to continue with the incorporation process.
Exchange controls and other regulation
- The government of Laos has been making periodic reforms in the structure of banking and finance in Laos since 1990, thereby enacting laws to gradually accept the autonomy of banking and allowing foreigners to invest in the banking sector;
- The currency of Laos is the kip (LAK) and foreigners may open foreign currency bank accounts. Exchange rates for the Lao kip against other currencies are determined on a daily basis by the Bank of the Lao PDR;
- Although Laos does not enforce strict exchange controls, foreign investors willing to repatriate capital and their profits to other countries are subject to certain substantiation requirements by Bank of the Lao P.D.R;
- The Lao kip cannot be exchanged outside of the country except at Bangkok Bank in Thailand, so it would be wise for investors travelling outside of Laos to exchange the kip to US$ prior to departure from Laos.