How To Start a Business in Vietnam

how to start a business in vietnam
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Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for entrepreneurs looking to start a business overseas. With its growing economy, young population, and business-friendly policies, Vietnam offers many advantages for those willing to take the plunge. Here are some key steps to get your business up and running in Vietnam:

Choosing a Business Structure

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing a business structure. Some common options for foreigners include:

Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Offers liability protection and allows foreign ownership. Popular choice for small to medium sized businesses.

Joint Stock Company – More complex structure but allows you to raise funds through share issuance. Best for larger, more ambitious ventures.

Representative Office – Easy setup but limited in scope. Useful for market research and business development activities.

Branch Office – Allows foreign companies to extend parent operations to Vietnam. Must be an established foreign business.

Consider factors like ownership structure, number of owners, scope of operations and registration requirements when weighing the pros and cons of each.

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Registering Your Business

The business registration process in Vietnam can be complex, with many bureaucratic procedures to follow. Here are some key steps:

– Choose a unique company name and verify availability with the National Business Registration Portal.

– Obtain an investment certificate from local authorities if you meet capital requirements.

– Get approval for your company seal, which will be used for official documents.

– File necessary documents like charter, owner IDs, lease, etc and pay registration fees.

– Obtain business license, tax code and bank account. Total process may take 4-6 weeks.

Hiring a legal consultant can help navigate this process smoothly. Some registration requirements depend on your business industry.

Funding Your Business

As a foreigner, you have a few options to fund your Vietnam business:

– Self-funding from personal savings and assets. No limits on amount.

– Foreign direct investment from offshore sources. Requires proper documentation.

– Loans from Vietnamese banks. May require higher collateral as a foreigner.

– Private equity funding from international investors. Networking helps find interested investors.

– Venture capital money from funds with a Vietnam focus. Good for tech/startups.

– Crowdfunding from platforms like Kickstarter. Useful for creative projects.

Choose funding sources wisely as it impacts ownership structure and operational control.

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Finding Business Premises

Major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offer many choices to locate your Vietnam business:

– Renting an office in a commercial building or managed workspace. Move-in ready.

– Purchasing commercial property. Costly but asset ownership has advantages.

– Renting a retail space for customer-facing businesses. Foot traffic is key.

– Leasing a warehouse or land for industrial operations. Outskirts offer affordable rates.

– Coworking spaces or incubators for cost efficiency. Useful for networking too.

Look for locations with infrastructure relevant to your industry. For manufacturing, proximity to suppliers is key. Make sure to budget properly for real estate costs.

Hiring Employees

Building a strong team is crucial when starting a business in Vietnam. Consider these tips when hiring:

– Leverage online job boards and recruitment firms to find qualified candidates.

– Ask for referrals from business networks and personal contacts in Vietnam.

– Look for graduates from reputable universities pertaining to your industry.

– Offer competitive salaries and benefits compared to industry benchmarks.

– Hire some bilingual Vietnamese staff, especially for client-facing roles.

– Make sure to fulfill all legal requirements like employment contracts, visas, payroll.

– Provide ample training to get new hires up to speed. Be patient with the onboarding process.

Also consider hiring remote workers and outsourcing tasks rather than hiring full-time. This adds flexibility as you scale up operations.


While launching a successful venture in Vietnam requires research, capital and perseverance, the potential rewards are well worth the endeavor. Pay close attention to choosing a business structure, following registration formalities, securing funding, finding prime locations and building an exceptional Vietnamese workforce. With some dedication and strategic thinking, your business idea can flourish in this burgeoning Southeast Asian market. Consult with advisors and authorities to ensure full legal compliance along the way. The possibilities are endless for ambitious entrepreneurs in Vietnam!


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