Are you considering starting a new business in Vietnam but need more information?
Look no further. You’ll find everything you need right here. From how to open a business in Vietnam, necessary licenses, calculating and paying tax; right through to how to close your company when you’re finished.
If you can’t find you’re answer here, just ask us at LETO and we’ll point you in the right direction.
How fast are business start-ups increasing in Vietnam?
In the first 5 months of 2019, there were nearly 54,000 newly registered enterprises, the highest number of registered enterprises in the past 5 years.
Why should I set up my business in Vietnam over neighbouring countries?
It boasts a relatively simple tax system offering several incentives, especially in select industries and those operating from a Special Economic Zone.
Companies can be 100% foreign-owned.
Large, cheap workforce.
Easy for businesses to move money in and out of the country.
Vietnam is focusing on developing infrastructure as well as attracting foreign investment for long-term development. The economy with foreign direct investment (FDI) ranked among the top in the region with US $ 14.1 billion in 2017, equivalent to 6.3% of nominal GDP, the third highest in ASEAN.
What do I need to officially open a business in Vietnam?
A valid visa, work permit, passport and a bank account with a minimum balance of USD$1,00 (2.3 million dong)
More often than not, a police report from your home country dentifying you as a person(s) of good standing with no history of criminal activity.
How do I go about opening a business in Vietnam and how long does it take?
To register a company in Cambodia, the name must also be registered with the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
To receive the company’s constitutive documents - which include the certificate of incorporation, and the business license - you will need to register with the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI). The process can now be carried online here.
Finally, all enterprises must pay a visit to the Ministry of Labour, which registers the company under the Labour Law, provides workbooks for employees and work permits and employment cards for foreign workers.
The latest estimation is that it takes 90 days for the whole process to be completed.
For more information, read our latest article on the subject.
What license do I need to operate a business in Vietnam?
Newly established businesses also need to obtain the necessary licences in order to operate.
Licences are issued by the relevant ministry. For example, a publishing company would need a licence from the Vietnam Ministry of Information; while a business aimed at tourists would need to apply to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Licences are renewed. It's up to the kind of licenses.
What taxes do I have to pay and when?
Similar to other countries, in Vietnam, the taxes applied to Enterprises include License Tax, Value Added Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Employee Personal Income Tax, and Other taxes corresponding to the business activities of the enterprise such as environment tax, import and export tax, special consumption tax;
Time of paying taxes and the amount of tax corresponding to each type of tax, please contact LETO for detailed advice.
Are there compulsory audit requirements in Vietnam?
Annual financial statements of foreign-invested enterprises are subject to audit
How do I close my company?
It is not recommended you shut up your business and just leave Vietnam.
The Goverment states companies must declare themselves bankrupt or formally dissolve; otherwise you may face legal action and hefty fines.
To close your business, first send a letter to the Vietnam General Department of Taxation declaring your intent to close.
Within 1 - 2 months, an auditor will address outstanding taxes.
A certificate of closure is then issued, which must be taken to the Department of Planning and investment, who then issue a Certificate of Closure.
As with registering a business, the process for dissolving a company can now also be done online. For more information, contact us.
How quickly can I begin business in Vietnam?
The latest estimation is that it takes 90 days for the whole process to be completed, and costs on average $2000 - $5000
Many business owners have said the process can be quicker - from just one week to a month, especially for small and mid-sized companies where there is less paperwork involved.
The process can go very smoothly if you’re well prepared.
Doing everything through yourself might save you costs, but having professional advice, an attorney to review your documents, and a Vietnamese speaker can simplify the process greatly.
How do I properly evaluate a business in Vietnam?
Looking at assets is a good starting point, such as machinery, fixtures, inventory, etc.
But also consider intangible assets such as customer relationships and the employees.
A potential buyer should also estimate a company’s earning potential.
Is the market saturated, or is there still a niche to be filled and can the business grow and develop?
How strong is the competition?
What does it offer that sets it apart from competitors?
If the business has an earnings track record, it’s easier to project the likely future revenue stream.
Business Start-up Top Tips
Make sure you get the help you need – get local experts
Like all markets, the Vietnamese market has some pitfalls unfamiliar to many new investors.
Make sure you understand these issues fully, or hire a professional business advisory firm to help you navigate through them.
Using local assistance can help bridge the language barrier when dealing with officials and local businesses, ensuring transactions run smoothly and the best prices and quality of goods are secured for you. LETO's here to give you the best guides
Make sure you build good business relationships
Take time to build strong relationships with all your business partners (suppliers, distributors, partners, officials etc) based on trust and mutual understanding before undertaking any substantive business start-up in Vietnam.
Recognise those who seek long-term business prospects and those seeking only to use you for a “quick buck”.
Find entrepreneurs with appropriate industry experience.
But ensure they share your future vision.
Do your research into the Vietnamese marketplace
It’s a good idea to spend some time living in Vietnam before making any major investment decisions.
Carry out feasibility and market entry studies ahead of setting up in Vietnam.
Make the effort to understand not only the market, but also the culture and people.
Make sure your business can offer 'value' to Vietnam
Foreign investors should not just be looking to make a “quick buck” in Vietnam.
Your businesses commitment to the country will, in turn, help sustain your business.
Bring employment opportunities for locals.
Demonstrate the benefits you are able to bring and the Vietnamese Government will welcome your investment as a Qualified Investment Project (QIP).
Vietnamese Visas & Work Permits
How can I get a Visa suitable for working in Vietnam?
Vietnamese visa is a kind of travel documents granted by Vietnamese competent authorities, providing permission to travel to and enter Vietnam.
An electronic visa (E-visa) is one of visa types issued to foreigners by Vietnamese Immigration Department via electronic system. Vietnam E-visa is valid for maximum of 30 days, single entry.
Outside Vietnam foreigners who want to enter Vietnam can personally apply for E-visa or through the inviting/guaranteeing agencies and organizations.
E-visa fee is paid via electronic payment gateway as prescribed by the Immigration Department. The fee will not be refunded if the application is refused.
E-visa holders in Vietnam may be considered to get new visa if being invited/guaranteed by authority/organization/individual in Vietnam in accordance with Law on foreigners' entry into, exit from, transit through, residence in Vietnam.
Foreigners who entry Vietnam must comply with Vietnamese law.
Inviting/guaranteeing foreigners in accordance with section 1, Article 16, Law on foreigners' entry into, exit from, transit through, residence in Vietnam; can be applied through electronic system.
Get approval letter and prepare for getting visa stamped on arrival
After 1 working day (urgent service) or 2 working days (normal one), YOU WILL:
Get visa approval letter via email (attached with entry-and-exit form)
Print out the letter and the entry-and-exit form
Fill out the entry-and-exit form
Prepare 2 passport sized photos 4x6cm and an amount of USD for stamping fee ($25 for single entry; $50 for multiple entry visa)
Put all above mentioned things along with your passport in a package, then show them to Immigration officer at Vietnam arrival airports
How can I get a valid Work Permit in Vietnam?
Work permit is issued for foreigners who enter into Vietnam to work in Vietnamese entrepreneurs and foreign companies, constructors or representative offices… presenting in Vietnam
You should contact a trusted work permit service provider to get the furthest information. Basically, following are documents you must prepare and submit to your provider:
Notarized and Legalized of Non-Criminal record: issued by the foreigner’s authorized body before coming to Vietnam / Police track of Vietnam is issued by Department of Justice for foreigners who live in Vietnam for 6 months or more.
Health check certificate: must be checked by authorized hospitals in Vietnam.
Notarized and Legalized Certificates: degrees such as bachelor, master, doctor or appropriate qualifications
Working experience confirmation document from former employers.
Passport size photos
Employer's Business certification.
Approval document from Committee which allows employer to hire foreign workers.
Note: Make sure all of your documents are authorized by authorities.
Processing time: Around one month
Service charge: depending on providers and kind of service
Foreign workers in Viet Nam without a work permit or written document confirming exemption from work permit as stipulated shall be deported under the Viet Nam law.
And there are more than above you should research before make a business startup in Vietnam
Vietnamese Business Classifications
Vietnamese Company Registration
Vietnamese Tax Registration & Obligations
Closing a Business in Vietnam
Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Vietnam
Qualifying Investment Projects
Let LETO help you start your business in Vietnam.
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