How to Open a Coffee Shop in Vietnam

The coffee shop market in Vietnam is booming, from specialty-grade arabica to traditional Vietnamese coffee. Here's how to open your own café.

The coffee shop market is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative business spaces in Vietnam, especially in larger cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The industry has seen a sophisticated transformation in product quality, as more and more “specialty-grade” coffee has become popular among young coffee drinkers. Thus, for many entrepreneurs, natives and foreigners alike, there has never been a better time to open a coffee business in Vietnam.

Investing in Vietnam? See Cekindo’s A-Z company incorporation services

It’s no surprise that the café culture is mushrooming in Vietnam. First of all, Vietnam is the world’s second-biggest exporter of coffee in the world; second of all, throughout the country, there is a deep-rooted tradition of drinking coffee.

From a business perspective, the rise in new coffee chains has taken the country by storm, with the value of specialty coffee & tea shops in the country valued at more than 1 billion USD, making it one of the markets with the most potential in this accelerating trend.

Aside from the tradition and culture, the new entry of shopping malls, hotels, and recreation venues also boosts the growth of coffee shops.

Of course, just like any other business, you need to pay attention to the country’s laws and regulations and make sure that you will be able to comply with them before starting a coffee shop business.

Our editorial team will provide you with some fundamental steps to set up a coffee shop in Vietnam in this article.

Opening a Coffee Shop in Vietnam: a Step-by-step Guide

how to open a coffee shop in vietnam

1. Establish a Legal Entity for Your Coffee Shop

The process of starting a coffee shop is a little more difficult for foreigners compared to the locals. You have two options as a foreigner: you can either set up a foreign company or purchase shares in a Vietnamese company.

If you want to set up your own foreign company, you are required to submit an application for an Investment Registration Certificate and Business Registration Certificate.

The Investment Registration Certificate is not required if you purchase shares from a local company, upon the approval of the Vietnamese Department of Planning and Investment.

RELATED: Food and Beverages Registration in Vietnam

2. Obtain the Food Safety Certification

Coffee shops are considered catering companies in Vietnam, listed under the conditional sectors according to Vietnamese Law.

Therefore,cafe owners must apply for a food safety certificate to establish a legitimate coffee shop. In order to successfully get the food safety certificate, you will have to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of the Business Registration Certificate
  • A written request for food safety certification
  • Relevant health certificates (owner and employees who are in direct contact with food)
  • Detailed descriptions of equipment, facilities, and devices complying with the food safety requirements
  • Food safety training certificates

All of these documents must be submitted to the Department of Health in Vietnam.

Upon the complete submission of your application, the department will release the results within 15 working days. The certificate of food safety will be issued if the application is approved; otherwise, you will receive a written statement detailing why the application has been rejected.

3. Take Care of Other Legal Details

In addition to the coffee shop setup and food safety certificate requirements, as a foreign investor in Vietnam, you must also pay attention to the following details:

  • Recruitment and training
  • Lease contract of your coffee shop
  • Tax declaration, reporting, and payment
  • Rights of intellectual property
  • Commercial franchise
  • Contracts with suppliers

How Cekindo can Assist

Opening a coffee shop in Vietnam is a challenging venture for many locals and foreigners due to the increasing competition.

However, starting and running a coffee shop in Vietnam can be a remarkably profitable business with some detailed planning and meticulous execution.

Currently, many investors have been sending inquiries to Cekindo, looking to invest in the lucrative café business in Vietnam. Cekindo can assist with your Company Registration, Safety requirements, taxes, and more.

Contact Cekindo now through the form below for any professional help or advice you may need and we’d be happy to assist you.

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Tomas Svoboda - Cekindo - Vietnam Country Manager

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Ing. Tomas Svoboda

Tomas is the co-founder & Chief Business Development Officer responsible for Vietnam. His role is to define the key potential of the Vietnamese market and to ensure that Incorp's branch in Vietnam provides its clients with smooth and hassle-free market entry solutions.