Legal assistance for SMEs (Part 2)
09:04 | 13/08/2019

VGP – The Government on June 24 issued Decree No. 55/2019/ND-CP (Decree 55) on legal assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Question: What are regulations on legal assistance for SMEs?

Answer:

Free of charge the database on legal cases and enquiries

Under Decree 55, SMEs may exploit and use free of charge the database on legal cases and enquiries on the Website for assisting small and medium-sized enterprises of the Ministry of Justice.

The database on legal cases and enquiries that the small and medium-sized enterprises can access includes:

(1) Verdicts and decisions of courts; judgments and decisions of commercial arbitrators; decisions on settlement of competitive cases; decisions on settlement of enterprise-related administrative violations which are effective, eligible for disclosure or linked to e-portals for disclosure;

(2) Written responses given by ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level people's committees to legal enquiries of small and medium-sized enterprises during law enforcement;

(3) Written legal advice provided by the network of legal advisors regarding legal cases and enquiries of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Legal advice on legal cases or enquiries

Ministries, ministerial-level agencies and provincial-level people's committees are responsible for responding to legal enquiries of small and medium-sized enterprises within the scope of their business lines, sectors or localities in 15 business days from the date of receipt of requests and no later than 30 business days for complicated enquiries.

For specific cases related to business and production activities, SMEs may use the legal advice service provided by advisors in the legal advisor network under the management function of ministries or ministerial-level agencies posted on the e-portals of such ministries or ministerial-level agencies.

After reaching an agreement on the legal advice service with advisors, SMEs will lodge a written request for assistance with legal advisory fees with the ministry or ministerial-level agency for its consideration.

The assistance levels will be as follows:  

(1) Extremely small enterprises are assisted with 100% legal advisory fees but no more than VND3 million per year;  

(2) Small enterprises are assisted with 30% legal advisory fees as a maximum, and no more than VND 5 million per year;

(3) SMEs are assisted with 10% legal advisory fees as a maximum, and no more than VND10 million per year;

(4) SMEs may receive legal assistance in each period, business line, sector and locality via legal assistance programs.

Decree 55 will become effective from August 16, 2019./.

By Kim Anh

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