The Myanmar Companies Act 1914 (MCA) is the principal legislation governing forms of business ownership and the types of business permitted in Myanmar and the operation of Myanmar established companies. Domestic legislation provides for sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited companies, joint ventures or wholly foreign-owned subsidiaries.

Business Partnerships in Myanmar

A partnership is formed by a group of individuals. The partnership’s rights and obligations are based on the agreement entered into between the partners and the Partnership Act 1932. A partnership can have up to 20 partners. Registration of a partnership is not compulsory and the business ends when all partners agree to dissolve the partnership.

Myanmar Limited Companies

Limited companies are the most common form of business vehicle used to establish foreign enterprises in Myanmar. There are two types of companies limited by shares, namely, private limited liability companies and public limited liability companies.

Private limited liability companies must have at least 2 members and a can have a maximum of 50 members. The transfer of shares is restricted, and therefore the public cannot be called upon to subscribe for shares. In a public limited liability company, there must be at least 7 shareholders. Foreign enterprises are allowed to set up foreign companies registered in Myanmar, or a branch or representative office of a foreign company formed outside of Myanmar. Companies limited by shares are required to be registered. As long as a foreigner owns at least one share, the company shall come under the definition of a foreign company and is required to obtain a permit before registration.

Myanmar Joint ventures

Joint ventures can be established either as partnerships or limited companies with any individual, firm, cooperative, or state-owned enterprise of Myanmar.