ExpertiseLicensing and regulatory law

Securing operating licenses, investment licenses, various approvals and permits and complying with local regulations for various business activities and operations is a key concern for our international clientele seeking to enter the Myanmar market, and a core competency of our firm. Our clients choose us for our extreme hands-on approach, our ability to communicate processes and document requirements clearly, and our ability to gain quick access to Government decision makers.

Highlights of our practice:

  • Untypical of a law firm, we have created an interdisciplinary team that includes accountants for the financial portion of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) investment licensing
  • Assisted with MIC Permits for some of the largest projects in the country, including a multibillion dollar telecom project, a greenfield brewery investment by a major EU beer brand, the development of a major power plant for a foreign IPP
  • Fully operational office in Ny Pyi Taw, dramatically reducing time to secure decisions from Government counterparts
  • Range of services includes nuts-and-bolts issues, such as securing construction permits, import licenses, import approvals, FDA approvals, etc.

Investment licensing, MIC Permits

Our firm’s approach is to provide not just high-level advice on the process, but to actually prepare the voluminous financial portion of the application ourselves in addition to the legal sections. Of course, this is only possible with an interdisciplinary team that comprises accountants and financial specialists (overseen by a partner with a CPA and Big Four background), as well as lawyers:

  • We drive and monitor the document collection process with precision and unparalleled responsiveness: Our deep understanding of the small but often very important details of the process allows us to be clearer in our communications with the client, and to eliminate unnecessary costs and time.
  • We actually complete the investment proposal and, more importantly, the financial projections that are required to be added to the proposal: The financial projections and analysis is the area where clients lose a lot of time if they are not properly assisted by an advisor who has a deep understanding of the particular requirements and expectations of the MIC. Our team, not the client, will have the labor-intensive task of preparing the investment proposal and its annexes, based on the client’s business plans or budgets.
  • Lodging the proposal with the MIC: We will lodge the investment proposal dossier with the MIC on your behalf.
  • Following up the proposal and project presentation: We will liaise with the authorities in order to obtain the MIC Permit. This usually requires us to provide additional information to the authorities upon their request before they accept or agree to pass on the proposal internally.

    Very often face-to-face meetings and an actual project presentation will be required. We will conduct such meetings (with or without your representatives), assist in preparing the presentation (for example pointing out where to put emphasis, based on our prior experience with the MIC), and assist you at the time of the presentation (or make it on your behalf if you are unable to attend).

Our approach results in significant time and cost savings for prospective investors.

Operating licenses, business licenses

VDB Loi is very often asked by clients to advise on and assist with securing all required approvals from the various regulators or Ministries to carry out a business activity. In practice, even if no specific licensing system exists, investment proposals need to be supported by the Ministry or Ministries that have authority over this activity. If this communication between the various Government departments is not properly supported by the investor’s local advisor, there is the possibility of significant delays. Our service includes advising clients on the policy and practices of the relevant Ministry or Ministries, providing advice on their expectations based on earlier projects, establishing contact, and assisting with securing the required approvals, permits and licenses.

Construction licensing

Obtaining construction permits is extremely hands-on in Myanmar. Procedures are not always as clear as they could be. It is challenging to get access to constantly overloaded authorities. Our team has provided technical assistance to the Yangon City Development Committee in relation to strengthening the administrative process for specialized construction permits. We assist a number of our real estate and engineering clients in the real estate and engineering with obtaining construction permits, contractor operating licenses, zoning approvals and special permissions from the Department of Civil Aviation for certain construction projects. The firm also assists with obtaining import licenses and regulatory approvals for equipment and materials.

Import licensing

One of the firm’s unique specialties is our assistance with securing import and export licenses. Under Myanmar’s system, nearly all imported goods require an import license, which requires processing through a number of Government agencies. Our team in Nay Pyi Taw is experienced, responsive and highly engaged to get the job done as soon as possible.

We also provide assistance with import approvals. A number of goods must be approved in advance for import, such as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications equipment. We assist clients with securing those approvals as quickly as possible.

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