Microbusinesses Account for Majority of Registered Enterprises in Laos

Microbusinesses dominate private sector in Laos
A rural barber shop.

Microbusinesses account for the majority of businesses in Laos, making up 94.2 percent of all registered enterprises, according to a recent survey.

Vientiane Times reports that a total of 133,997 enterprises recorded operations in 2019, up by 9,124 when compared to 2013, according to an economic census conducted by the Lao Statistics Bureau between 2019 and 2020.

There are 126,168 microbusinesses, 6,600 small enterprises, 954 medium enterprises, and 276 large enterprises, according to the survey.

The majority of enterprises were registered in central Laos and in urban areas, with fewer enterprises in southern Laos and in areas without road access. Larger enterprises were concentrated among Luang Prabang, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Champasack, and Vientiane Capital.

Wholesale and retail businesses accounted for the largest percentage of registered enterprises in Laos, followed by car and motorbike repair garages, together making up 61.2 percent of all registered enterprises. Processing plants made up 14.7 percent, while hospitality businesses accounted for 10.6 percent.

These registered enterprises employ a total of 490,373 personnel, with 50.1 percent of them female, while over 90 percent of enterprises surveyed said they employ between one to five staff members.

Registered capital across all enterprises totalled LAK 649,000 billion, while in 2018 registered enterprises generated revenue of LAK 107,584 billion.

The Lao Statistics Bureau collects and reports on a range of national statistics, including finance, public health, tourism, road accidents, and agriculture. Reports are available on its website in Lao and English languages.