The national business community is looking forward to the effective date of the Law on Enterprises 2020 which will take effect from 01/01/2021. Among a series of new points, the provision of removing procedures related to seal notification is the most widely mentioned content.

Having become a deeply ingrained custom and consciousness, the enterprises in Vietnam have a habit of stamping any document such as a shield against tampering which enhances the trust of recipients. This habit is maintained for long time even by requests from the Government in liaising with the enterprises. After all, the seal was born in the State’s internal operation, before being introduced into private sector.

However, the seal is not enough capable and also is not the key factor to ensure the reliability of the document or to verify the will of the parties in transaction. In addition, many inconvenient consequences arise out from the procedures of physically printing, stamping and preserving the seal or from disputes caused by the possession of the seal within the company. In the midst of the dynamic economic integration cycle, it is also a barrier for enterprises wishing to do business and connect with partners through online means.

The new regulations encourage the enterprises to use other methods to verify their partners (for example, directly exchange and identify, look up information through multiple channels, verify through technology, etc.), instead of trusting all red-ink stamp. It is in line with the practice of not having to force the seal in business sector in developed countries around the world.

Particularly, Article 43 of the Enterprises Law 2020 stipulates that a digital signature is also considered as a corporate seal. In addition, the enterprises no longer have to notify the State to publicly post the seal sample. Because the enterprises have full authority to decide on the seal, including not to use the seal. This is a positive signal in the process of reducing the administrative procedures and transforming the way of enterprise administration of the State.

This provision is expected to help radically change the habit of using the seal of the Vietnamese enterprises, which serves the orientation of increasing the international trade.