Foreigners are encouraged to make investment in Vietnam through direct investment by setting up company in Vietnam.
However there are restrictions in some cases in regard to investment capital, investment area, special licenses required. The investor is suggested to consult with a law firm in Vietnam for advice and service offering.
Before setting up business in Vietnam, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Which business should I invest in Vietnam? There are non-conditional investment areas and conditional investment areas. Establishing company in the non-conditional investement areas are more simple than in conditional investment areas. Investment in IT services, manufacturing, management consulting, business promotion are a few samples of non-conditional investment areas. Example of conditional investment areas are real estate, trading, travel agencies, freight forwarding…which are more complicated with investment conditions. Investment conditions might also be changed over the time depending on the WTO commitments which Vietnam enters.
2. What should I name the business in Vietnam? The company in Vietnam has to have Vietnamese name, and English name. The company could also have abbreviated name. The name of the company in Vietnam indicates the structure of the company, the business lines, and the name that differentiate against other businesses. For instance, the company could be named Alpha consulting limited liability company.
3. Where should I register the address of the business in Vietnam? Not every address could be used to register a company. The address has to be an address of a house with leasing agreement or office building which owner has license to operate as office building.
4. What is the legal structure of the company? Depending on the number of investor contributing capital, company could be set-up as one member limited liability company or two ore more member limited liability company or joint stocks company.
5. How much capital is required to set-up a company in Vietnam? The investment amount depends on the business plan and is subject to the approval of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment evaluating application dossier. In some business areas like real estate, banking and finance, minimum capital is required. In general for non-conditional investment area, the law does not specify the minimum capital to establish a company in Vietnam however the State agencies that evaluate investment plan could reject the investment project which are not feasible. Bank statement in foreign banks could be used to prove sufficient fund of investment capital.
6. Whom will be legal representative and work permit in Vietnam? The investor will need to appoint the legal representative in Vietnam to oversee the business performance and take legal responsibility in Vietnam. If the legal representative is an expatriate, whom is a capital contributing member or owner of a limited liability company or a member of the Board of Management of a shareholding company which is registered to operate in Vietnam, he or she will be exempted from work permit in Vietnam. Otherwise, he or she will need to have a work permit to work in Vietnam legally. The work permit holder would then apply for temporary residence card to live in Vietnam as long as the work permit allows.
7. How long does it take to set-up a company in Vietnam? It depends on what type, scale, and whether or not conditions are required. For a simple minimum capital without conditions to set-up, it would take 30 working days. For setting up company in conditional investment areas i.e. trading company in Vietnam, time would be lengthen due to the involvement of a number of State agencies approving the investment project and it would take 60 working days. For setting up company in other investments in areas requiring conditions to meet, time might be taken depending on the type of conditions and the government agencies evaluating the conditions of investment.
8. Whom will be granting the investment license in Vietnam? For most of the investment projects, the provincial state agencies with the approval of the Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) will be granting the Investment Certificate in Vietnam. However, depending on the type, scale, and whether or not conditions are required, other Vietnam State agencies might be involved. For the case of trading company, ministry of trade and commerce, ministry of finance, provincial people’s committee will be reviewing the investment application dossier as well.
9. What are the tax liability in Vietnam? Major taxes in Vietnam are corporate income tax, import and export tax, value added tax, and personal income tax in Vietnam. In some special areas, there are other taxes. The corporate income tax is currently at 22% and will reduce to 20% beginning 2016. Export is mostly encouraged as such the export tax is 0 however there are special cases when export tax is larger than 0. Import tax varies according to tariff. Value added tax is mostly at 10% however in some cases, VAT could be 5% or 0%. Personal Income tax varies according to income level and is applicable from VND 9,000,000 above.
10. What are mandatory reports submissions requirement in Vietnam? Companies are required to keep accounting books, prepare and submit tax reports on monthly, quarterly and annually. Foreign companies are also required to have financial audit taken before the financial year end. The financial year in Vietnam is from January to December and the deadline to submit financial report is March 30th for the previous year. Other reports are required to be submitted at other State agencies.
At ANT Lawyers, a law firm in Vietnam with offices in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, we are always capable to assist clients in licensing and post-licensing matters to help clients with all questions and services in setting up and maintaining the company in Vietnam. We could be reached at email: email@example.com or office tel: +848 35202779.
ANT Lawyers is a Vietnam law firm with international standards, recognized by Legal500, IFLR1000. We are an exclusive Vietnam member of Prae Legal, the global law firm network covering more than 150 jurisdictions. The firm provides a range of legal services as following to multinational and domestic clients.
Ho Chi Minh City is not going to renew expired work permit in Vietnam for foreigners, noticed by Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.
Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) issued Notice No.6107/SLDTBXH-VL on May 16th, 2014 guiding the implementation of Decree No.102/2013/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the Vietnam Labor Coderegarding foreign workers in Vietnam. Pursuant to the notice hereof, in the case that expired work permits which has been issued under the provisions of Decree No.34/2008/ND-CP and Decree No.46/2011/ND-CP before the effective date of Decree No.102, enterprises shall apply to HCMC DOLISA for granting work permits under the issued procedures instead of renewal procedure provisions. In particular, for foreign workers having expired work permits and having desire to continue working in Vietnam, the sponsoring enterprise shall submit certificates of qualification, experience, criminal record in Vietnam and in foreign countries (judicial records), medical certificates and the sponsoring enterprise has to be approved by local People’s Committee to employ foreign workers.
As the current regulations, the foreign employee might be asked to present his or her work permit in Vietnam at entering or leaving Vietnam or when requested by government authority. It is suggested that enterprise wishing to employ foreign workers and foreign workers to counsel with employment lawyers in Vietnam in order to ensure compliance.
ANT Lawyers is a Vietnam law firm with international standards, recognized by IFLR1000 on Financial and Corporate practice. We are an exclusive Vietnam member of Prae Legal, the global law firm network covering more than 150 jurisdictions. The firm provides a range of legal services as following to multinational and domestic clients.
Enterprises employing foreign workers in Vietnam should be aware of issues on visa, work permit, liability of enterprise related to Personal Income Tax (PIT) of the foreign employee as declaration, payment and finalization to ensure legal compliance.
Foreigners eligible working in Vietnam are foreign investors whom contribute capital to set-up company in Vietnam, chief representative of NGO, lawyers licensed by Vietnam Ministry of Justice, foreigners workers with valid working permits in Vietnam. Working visa in Vietnam is granted to foreigner working legally in Vietnam. Working visa for foreigner in Vietnam has maximum length of 12 months. In the case the foreigner wishing to stay longer, he/she could apply for temporary residence card for a period of up to three years. The application must be submitted to the provincial Immigration Department, and may include supporting documents such as a housing lease contract and an employer’s certificate of incorporation.
Decree No. 102/2013/ND-CP elaborating some articles of the Labour Code on foreign workers in Vietnam states that for foreigners that requires work permit in Vietnam, the employing enterprises will have to apply for work permit for such employee before they start working. The head of the provincial People’s Committee will have to approve the necessity to hire foreigners before the Vietnam Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs (DOLISA) grants work permit in Vietnam. For foreigners belonging to one of the cases exempted from work permit, the employing enterprises will have to request the provincial DOLISA where foreign workers regularly work to certify that such foreign workers are exempted before the day on which they start to work.
Personal Income Tax obligation
Foreigners whom are subject of Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Vietnam are resident and non-resident workers. Foreigners who reside in Vietnam for less than 183 days in a tax year are considered non-residents for tax purposes. The first tax year is the consecutive 12 months period from arrival date in Vietnam, and the second tax year will follow the calendar year. Non-resident foreigners working and earning income in Vietnam are subject to PIT at a flat rate of 20%. Foreigners who reside in Vietnam for 183 days or more in a tax year are considered tax residents in Vietnam and subject to PIT at progressive rates on their world-wide employment income. Incomes of foreign workers in Vietnam are based on salaries, wages, allowances and other benefits such as housing allowances, memberships at sport and health clubs, personal entertainments. The expenses not being subject to PIT are including return air tickets between Vietnam and home country of the foreigners, school tuition fees of children of foreigners which employing enterprises pay on their behalf.
Vietnam has signed double tax agreements (DTA) with a number of countries, in which tax exemptions may be applied in specified circumstances. To request for tax exemptions, the application has to submit the request to the Ministry of Finance.
ANT Lawyers, the law firm in Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City assist clients to provide visa, work permit, and Personal Income Tax (PIT) services that ensure clients to take advantage of international assignments, ensure mobility and legal compliance. We could be reached at office tel +848 35202779, email:firstname.lastname@example.org or our partner directly at +84 912 817 823.