How to recover debt when you only have the email of the buyer?



ABC Company bought goods from us, because we knew each other and they regularly purchased goods, so that they ordered goods by email, and we delivered. Now Nam Viet requires a contract for payment of goods, currently we only have the order email, delivery notes, VAT invoices and debt confirmation records signed by the director of Nam Viet, can we collect this debt?



   Hello and thank you for your question. Based on the information you provide about the purchase and sale of goods without a specific contract, only exchange orders via email and conduct sales transactions as above. Under the provisions of Vietnamese law specified in Article 24 of the 2005 Commercial Code “Forms of sale and purchase contract” and in Clause 1, Article 124 of the Civil Code 2005 stipulate the following forms of civil transactions: “The civil transaction is expressed verbally, in writing or by specific acts. Civil transactions via electronic means in the form of data messages are considered to be written transactions. ”

   Based on the above provisions, the goods trading contract may be made in the form of Email. Except for cases in accordance with state regulations such as international trade, electricity sale and purchase contracts or for convenience of tax administration or customs clearance, protection of legitimate rights and interests of involved parties … it is mandatory to make a document. In other words, the formality of a contract only applies to certain types of contracts that the law specifies in terms of form, not all contracts for the sale of goods.


   You have the right to first ask the Purchaser to pay for your purchase in accordance with article 440 “Payment Obligations” of the 2015 Civil Code. In case the buyer still does not pay or extend the payment time, you can sue at the District Court where the defendant resides.


Note: According to Article 319 of the 2005 Commercial Code, the statute of limitations for instituting a lawsuit for commercial disputes is two years, counting from the time the legal rights and interests are infringed, except for the case specified at Point e Clause 1 Article 237.


   When suing, you need to provide emails, delivery notes, delivery records, documents related to the purchase and sale of goods together with the petition to prove that the claim is grounded according to Article 94 “Source of evidence” of the 2015 Civil Procedure Code.

In particular, data messages are expressed in the form of electronic data exchange, electronic documents, electronic mail, telegraphs, faxes and other similar forms (Article 10 of the 2005 Electronic Transaction Law).


Note: The above advice is for reference only. Depending on the time and the different subjects, the above contents may not be suitable due to the change of legal policies. Any questions, suggestions please contact email: or contact the hotline 1900 636 213.

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