Vietnam is becoming an increasingly important market for talent, and we have witnessed growing demand for the offering of share-based awards to employees in Vietnam in recent years. Due to currency control restrictions imposed by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), including the requirement that each plan be registered with the SBV, it has traditionally been challenging to implement a share plan in Vietnam. Since the adoption of Circular 10 in 2016, the SBV registration process has been clarified and a growing number of companies have successfully registered their plans with the SBV.

That said, companies should be cognizant of the remaining obstacles and challenges in offering awards in Vietnam, ideally before making any grants. It is important for companies to weigh the costs and benefits of obtaining SBV approval, given that the application process remains a significant undertaking and the ongoing requirements necessitate continued resources.
For the latest SBV guidance on the registration and approval process, as well as the pitfalls and challenges to consider, we encourage you to read and share our white paper with your stock plan teams.

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Kela Shang is a partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office and a member of the Global Equity Services Practice Group. Mr. Shang advises multinational companies on the implementation and ongoing compliance of their equity compensation plans, dealing with issues such as securities law compliance, local and cross-border tax obligations, data privacy, exchange control and labor law compliance. He also advises companies on the effects of mergers, reorganizations, spin-offs and other corporate adjustments on their equity programs. Mr. Shang is a member of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals and the Global Equity Organization.