General Information Banking
Business Etiquette Tips Embassy Locations and Registration
Employment-Legal Requirements Entry and Exit Requirements
Intellectual Property Legal and Registration of a Business Entity
Safety and Crime Taxes

General Information

NepalThe country has suffered from political instability for many years. Travelers should check the U.S. State Department Web site for current information about safe travel to Nepal.  Nepal is ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse. Traditional and conservative by nature, the Nepalese are congenial people who take pride in their national heritage.

Major Cities Capital:  Kathmandu (3 districts)
Major cities: Biratnagar, Patan, Pokhara, Birgunj, Dharan, and Nepalgunj
Official Currency Nepalese rupee (NPR).
Time Zone GMT +5.75 (10 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Washington, D.C. during Eastern Standard Time). 
Language Official language is Nepali and the script is Devanagari (the same script in which Hindi is written).  But many businesspeople also speak both Hindi and English. 

Legal System and Government

Type of Legal System

The Nepalese legal system is based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law. It has not accepted compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ)  jurisdiction.

Form of Government

Democratic republic



The Nepali banking system is small, fragmented, and plagued by bad loans. As a result, several joint venture banks such as Nepal Arab Bank (now NABIL Bank, a Nepal-Bangladesh joint venture), Nepal Investment Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of Kathmandu (a Nepal-Thai joint venture), and others were established in addition to a large number of finance companies. The existing banking law of Nepal does not permit branch operation by any foreign banks. All commercial banks have correspondent banking arrangements with foreign commercial banks, which they use for transfers and payments. 

Available Banking Services

Online banking
Banking in English
Overdraft protection
Credit cards
Variety of loan options

Bank Holidays

Maghi Parba 
Martyr Day 
National Democracy Day
Nepalese Women's Day
Nepali New Year Day 
Democracy Day 
Labor Day 
Buddha Jayanti 
Gai Jatra (for Kathmandu only)
Krishna Janmastami
Teej (For ladies only) 
Rishi Panchami (for ladies only)
Dashain Holidays
Eid-ul-Ajha (For Muslims only) 
Christmas Day 
Lhosar (Tamu) 

U.S. and Other Major Banks in Country

(Note: Addresses and contact information subject to change.)

Nepal Bank Limited
Nepal Bank Bldg., Dharma Path
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone:  977-1-4222397, 4221185
Fax:  977-1-4222383

NABIL Bank Limited
"Nabil House" Kamaladi
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 977-1- 4429546, 4429547
Fax:  977-1- 4429548

Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Limited
Naya Banashwor
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 977-1-4782333, 4783304
Fax:  977-1-4780314


Business Etiquette Tips

Business Attire

Light-weight suits or business casual attire is considered suitable.

Business Negotiations

Foreigners should be prepared to obtain the appropriate introductions and to spend the proper amount of time on confidence-building before entering into serious business negotiations. 

Proper Greetings

Visitors are normally greeted by saying "hello" or "namaste," followed by a handshake. An exchange of greeting cards follows next. Nepalese like conversing briefly before entering into business negotiations. 


Embassy Locations and Registration

Americans living or traveling in Nepal are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department's travel registration Web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Nepal. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. embassy. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy or consulate to contact them in case of emergency. 

(Note:  Addresses and contact information subject to change.)

U.S. Embassy
Maharajgunj in Kathmandu
Phone: (977) (1) 400-7200
Fax:  (977) (1) 400-7281

Embassy of Nepal
2131 Leroy Place NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 667-4550


Employment-Legal Requirements

All employees are placed on a probationary period until the completion of continuous service of one year. A typical work week is 48 hours for full-time employment, with a maximum of eight hours per day. Overtime is paid at the rate of one-and-a-half times regular pay, and it cannot exceed four hours of overtime per day up to a maximum of 20 hours in a week. 

Currently Nepal is working to improve its labor force of skilled and educated workers.  The overall literacy rate is only 49 percent. Vocational and technical training is poorly developed, and the national system of higher education is overwhelmed by large enrollments. Many secondary and college graduates are unable to find employment in positions commensurate with their education because most of the schools and institutions do not provide job-related training. The employment of foreigners is also severely restricted. Under current law, the Department of Immigration must approve the employment of foreigners for all positions except the most senior ones. In private organizations, however, a significant number of professionals from India may be found in midlevel managerial positions. 

Independent Contractor Versus Employee Status

Workers are not considered permanent employees until the completion of their one-year probationary period, at which time a letter of appointment is to be provided to the individual. The employee shall be appointed permanently on the basis of his efficiency, sincerity, discipline, diligence toward work, and regularity at the same period. A formal letter of appointment is given stating the name of the post of the worker, his remuneration, and conditions of service, and this information is also furnished to the Labor Office.

Terminating Employees

Terminations are done in the following manner: (a) by providing a one-month pre-notice with reasons for termination or in lieu of notice by paying the salary of one month in the case of a permanent worker or employee; and (b) by providing a compensation in a lump sum equal to the amount of product of present remuneration of 30 days multiplied by the total number of years of service of worker or employee in the enterprise. Termination of permanent employees for reasons due to business failures, slowdowns, and other economic situations are to be made utilizing the rule of "last hired, first fired." 

Legally Mandated Benefits and Leave*

Home Leave 1 day every 20 days
Maternity Leave 52 days (100 percent pay-only twice during employment)*
Mourning Leave 13 days (upon one year of service)
Public Holidays 13 days annually
Sick Leave 15 days (50 percent pay-upon one year of service)
3 days or more requires medical certificate
Special Leave 30 days with special approval-unpaid

*In Nepal, annual leave and other forms of leave are not automatically considered a right. It is only a benefit. The authority empowered to approve leave may reject the application for leave, postpone it, reduce its duration, or postpone leave that has already been approved according to the requirements of the work of the establishment while referring to the reason for such a decision. But time is to be provided for female workers and employees to nurse their suckling babies.


Entry and Exit Requirements

Nepal is a developing country with extensive facilities for tourists that vary in quality according to price and location. A passport and visa are required for entry. A single-entry tourist visa for a stay of up to 60 days is issued at ports of entry upon arrival as well as from Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad. A visitor who wishes to stay for more than 60 days can extend the tourist visa for 30 days by paying an additional amount in Nepalese currency to the Department of Immigration.

Multiple-entry business visas for one and five years can be obtained from the Department of Immigration on the recommendation of the Ministry of Industry. Travelers can obtain additional information by visiting the Nepalese embassy Web site.

Visas in Nepal define the period for which a visitor has permission to stay. Six-month visas are provided to prospective investors for the purpose of conducting feasibility studies. To obtain a six-month visa, applicants must provide personal information and a description of relevant work and professional experience. The process can be expedited if the person can be readily identified as a legitimate business representative. Endorsement by a recognized foreign industrial enterprise is one means of accomplishing this. 

Investors describe the business visa process as bureaucratic and time consuming. It is important to allow sufficient time for the process as many say they spent more than 24 work hours per visa over a period of 20 to 30 days.

Travelers occasionally report immigration difficulties with Chinese authorities when crossing the Nepal-China border over land in either direction. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Tibet from Nepal may contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for current information on the status of the border-crossing points. Travelers may also wish to check with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Nepal for current regulations on entry into Tibet.


Intellectual Property

In order to prevent infringement of intellectual property rights, patents and trademarks should be registered with Nepal's Department of Industries in accordance with the Patent, Design and Trademark Act. Nepal is not a signatory to any international conventions protecting patents, copyrights, or trademarks, so registration in the United States will not automatically result in protection in Nepal.

When registering a trademark of foreign origin, a copy of the home registration with application form, deed of assignment, and four copies of the representation sheet should be included in the application. 

Similarly, the Copyright Act offers only limited protection for copyrighted works, which must also be registered in Nepal to qualify for protection. Nepal's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in April 2004 obligates Nepal to draft new legislation and to amend many laws to become compatible with WTO requirements. Nepal has not yet signed the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty or the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

Nature of Rights and Available Protection


Patent registration, under the Patent, Design and Trademark Act of 2002, is valid for seven years and can be extended twice for a total period of 21 years.  Nepal does not automatically recognize patents awarded by other nations.


Trademarks must be registered in Nepal to receive protection. Once registered, trademarks are protected for a period of seven years and can be renewed for an additional seven years. Enforcement can be very poor, however.


The Copyright Act does not recognize foreign registrations, necessitating re-registration in Nepal if one wants some form of protection within the country. In theory, the act covers modern forms of authorship, provides protection during the lifetime of the author, and continues for 50 years after death. Unfortunately, enforcement is still weak and much of the software and sound or video recordings in Nepal are pirated.


Legal and Registration of a Business Entity

The length of time to start a business in Nepal is listed as 30 days or one month. Some common forms of business organization are partnership firms, private limited companies, public limited companies, corporations, and branch offices. Foreigners are free to establish and own business enterprises and engage in all forms of business activity (with the exception of a few industries), given that they have registered in Nepal as a foreign investor or have a permit to import and export commodities and services. Foreign investors should be aware that the legal system in Nepal can be very slow and highly bureaucratic should contractual disputes arise. It is therefore essential that legal advice be obtained prior to establishing a presence within the country.

Registration Formalities (Including Timing)

Any U.S. company that desires to undertake business in Nepal can register the company after submitting the required documents. The World Bank lists 7 steps for properly registering a private limited liability company. 

The steps, listed here in brief form, are:

  1. Verify the uniqueness of the proposed company name
  2. A professional verifies and certifies the memorandum and articles of association.
  3. Buy a stamp to be attached to registration form.
  4. File documents with the Company Registrar's Office, Department of Industry.
  5. Make a company rubber stamp.
  6. Register for VAT and income Tax with the Inland Revenue Office, the Ministry of Finance.
  7. Enroll the employees in the Provident Fund.

(Source:The World Bank, Doing Business - Nepal)

Below are additional resources that may assist in establishing an office.

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Ministry of Commerce and Supplies
Nepal Chamber of Commerce
Nepal Employment and Labor Contact Office 

Office of the Company Registrar


Safety and Crime

Nepal continues to experience politically motivated violence in major urban areas. Crime in the Kathmandu Valley, including violent crime and harassment of women, has continued to increase since April 2006, and police are unwilling to interfere. Car travel outside of Kathmandu Valley can be dangerous due to erratic drivers, poor road maintenance, and frequent accidents. Travelers are advised to use good judgment about their security, particularly at night. Almost all U.S. official travel outside the Kathmandu Valley, including by air, requires specific clearance by the U.S. Embassy's Regional Security Officer. As a result, emergency assistance to U.S. citizens may be limited.  Active-duty U.S. military and Department of Defense contractors must obtain a country clearance for official and unofficial travel to Nepal.

Of special note: All travelers intending to go hiking or mountaineering are advised to register with the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Hikers are also required to have a valid Trekker's Information Management System card issued by TAAN, its member agencies, or NTB. This new system helps authorities in locating trekkers who may be lost or in danger.



The income tax year in Nepal correlates with the start of Shrawan to the end of Ashad, and it is the same as the government's own fiscal year (mid-July to mid-July). All employers and employees are required to have a Permanent Account Number (PAN) as their tax identification number, issued by the Department of Inland Revenue. Although there is no tax treaty between the United States and Nepal, a tax credit may be claimed for foreign taxes paid.  Consult with your tax accountant in respect to this matter.

Individual and Employee Taxation

Determining Tax Residence

Nepalese residents are taxed on all worldwide income earned whether through employment, investment, or from a business operation. A resident is an individual whose permanent residence is in Nepal and who is present at any time of the year, for 183 days or more, or who is an employee of the Government of Nepal regardless of where they may be posted. Residents are permitted to claim medical and other approved deductions where applicable.  Individual resident tax rates can be found on the Nepal Tax Rates page.

Nontax Resident Employees

Nonresident individuals are taxed on all income originating in or from Nepal. A wide variety of exemptions and deductions apply and should be researched prior to payment of final tax assessment.

Corporate and Employer Tax Obligations

Specific corporate tax rate information, including corporate income, social security contributions, and Value Added Tax can be found on the Nepal Tax Rates page.

Corporate Residence

A company residing in Nepal and incorporated under the laws of Nepal or with its effective management in Nepal is considered resident. Partnerships are always resident persons. Permanent establishments are places where a person carries on a business, and they are subject to tax if they belong to a nonresident person and are situated in Nepal.

Application for Exemption

To obtain tax-exempt status, an organization must provide the appropriate completed application, a copy of the certificate of registration, a copy of the organization's charter of establishment, and a copy of the certificate of PAN. Upon approval and acceptance the organization will then be treated as tax exempt.


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