A Step-by-step Guide to Setting up a Business in Vietnam

Setting up a business in Vietnam is both challenging and financially rewarding from an investor's point of view. Find out more.

Vietnam had an average economic growth of about 6-7% at pre-pandemic levels, and expected economic growth at similar rates is projected well into the year 2026 according to Statistica. However Vietnam is still considered a developing nation, this growth comes with plenty of growing pains, meaning that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s still not an easy place to set up a business. Done correctly, however, it can be an extremely financially rewarding venture.

Investing in Vietnam? See Cekindo’s Company Registration Services for Foreign Entities.

Setting up a Business in Vietnam:

1. Prepare a Business Plan

Your business plan must at least include the most important details:

  • Main business lines, production processes, and activities, including those that are conditional, restricted, or developed via tax incentives
  • Capital structure, investment scale, and resources
  • Mechanism of internal governance. This is especially crucial for a company with many co founders to prevent any potential conflicts
  • Board of directors and founding members
  • Organisational chart and key management personnel
  • Cost structure and revenue scale in the previous fiscal year
  • Business details such as business name, website, brand, and contact number. Do check with a professional consultant for naming your business

2. Choose Your Business Location

You need to choose your business location carefully while setting up a business in Vietnam. Things to consider regarding your business location are as below:

  • You must choose a business location for your headquarters, representative office, branch, factory, showroom, retail shop, etc.
  • There may be certain enterprise registration restrictions and you should avoid choosing some places as your business locations. For example, non-commercial buildings, locations where certain business lines are not allowed to be performed
  • You can enjoy corporate tax incentives in certain locations. For instance, a tax exemption for years and a tax reduction for 9 to 15 years

3. Compile Required Documents for Business Registration

The following documents are mandatory:

  • Financial documents to prove the founder’s financial capacity
  • Profile regarding the founder’s professional experience
  • Legal representatives’ current residency
  • Passports, identity cards, or other identification documents
  • Enterprise registration certificates, decisions of establishment
  • Certified copies of enterprise registration
  • Investment registration certificate
  • Power of attorney for representatives who perform the business registration
  • Articles of Association
  • Enterprise registration application
  • Founding shareholders and members’ list
  • Business plan, production plan, and business objectives

Local Investors vs. Foreign Investors: The Differences

Local Investors

  • The registration of a business certificate takes five working days
  • The applicable license is the enterprise registration certificate
  • Industries restricted for local investors are very minimum, with the exception for certain industries such as education, healthcare, and conservation
  • Documents such as rental contracts for business locations and financial statements are not compulsory

Foreign Investors

  • The registration of a business certificate takes 30 to 60 working days
  • Applicable licenses are enterprise registration license, investment registration certificate, and business registration certificate
  • Documents such as rental contracts for business locations and financial statements are compulsory
  • Must open foreign direct investment accounts in Vietnam
  • Overseas documents must obtain legalisation
  • Several business lines are restricted for foreign investors

RELATED: Company Incorporation in Vietnam – Essentials Every Foreign Investor Must Know

Company Establishment Options

Setting up a business in Vietnam means that you can pick one of the two most common legal structure types:

1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • 1 to 50 owners are allowed
  • 1 to 3 months setup time
  • No specific requirement for initial capital as long as it is sufficient. But it is required for some sectors such as real-estate

2. Joint Stock Company (JSC)

  • At least 3 owners but there is no limitation on the maximum number of owners
  • 1 to 3 months setup time
  • No specific requirement for initial capital as long as it is sufficient. But it is required for some sectors such as real-estate. If the company is listed, VND 10 billion initial capital is required

How Cekindo can Assist in Setting Up a Business in Vietnam

Setting up a business in Vietnam is an exciting undertaking for many entrepreneurs. Before you establish your business, it is highly recommended to speak first with Cekindo’s experts about your business idea, and needs.

Our team at Cekindo is equipped with years of valuable experience. We can give you a better picture and insight into the now and future for starting and operating your business. What is more, we will help you create an action plan to help you move forward in this entrepreneurial path.

Cekindo’s business setup solution can save you thousands of dollars in the long run with highly valuable advice. Get in touch now because we want you to succeed. Fill in the form below.

Contact Our Consultant

Tomas Svoboda - Cekindo - Vietnam Country Manager

Verified by:​

Ing. Tomas Svoboda

Tomas is an expansion manager responsible for Vietnam. His role is to define the key potential of the Vietnamese market and to ensure that Cekindo branch in Vietnam provides its clients with smooth and hassle-free market entry solutions.