Streamlining Establishment Procedures for Foreign-Invested Companies in Vietnam

, Streamlining Establishment Procedures for Foreign-Invested Companies in Vietnam


Forming a company in Vietnam or any other foreign jurisdiction is never a simple matter. Obligations, procedures, timelines, languages and costs all vary widely from country to country, and sometimes between cities and provinces.

In this article, Global Business Services LLC (GBS), the the leading expert in cross-border company formations, offering services to help with company formation in Vietnam and globally will help you how to join the thousands of companies that started their business without the hassle.

GBS’s comprehensive services are delivered by experienced teams of local experts, giving you an insider’s understanding of jurisdictions in Vietnam and worldwide.

According to Sophie Dao,  Senior Partner at GBS, in the endeavor to set up a Foreign-Owned Enterprise in Vietnam, the road to registration and establishment typically spans a duration of one to three months. This process is divided into four main stages, each with its own set of requirements and actions to be taken.

Stage 1 – Pre-Investment Approval: In exceptional cases, where an investor intends to engage their Foreign-Owned Enterprise in a specific specialized sector, the initial step is to seek Pre-Investment Approval. This stage necessitates meticulous planning, as investors must determine whether their proposed investment project falls under this category. Pre-Investment Approval requires compliance with specific prerequisites and adherence to application processing timelines.

Stage 2 – Investment Registration Certificate Application: For the majority of investors, the process proceeds directly to Stage 2, which involves the application for an Investment Registration Certificate (IRC). This certificate is a fundamental requirement for all foreign-owned investment projects and confers upon the foreign enterprise the right to invest within Vietnam.

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To initiate this step, the investor must prepare the following documents:

  • Application for the implementation of the investment project (comprising comprehensive project details in Vietnam).
  • Proposal for the investment project (encompassing project specifics, including lease agreements or land use requirements).
  • Financial statements (including the last two years of the company’s operational financial records; additional documentation may be needed to validate financial capacity).
  • Legal documents of the investors and their authorized representatives (in the case of an organizational investor).
  • Lease agreement or memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  • Any other documents related to the investment project, as well as requirements concerning the eligibility and capacity of the investor in accordance with legal regulations (if applicable).

Stage 3 – Enterprise Registration Certificate Application: The subsequent phase, Stage 3, necessitates the application for an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC). This certificate is a mandatory requirement for all projects aiming to establish new entities within Vietnam. Upon obtaining the ERC, the entity is furnished with a unique tax registration number.

To progress through this stage, the investor should prepare the following information:

  • Application for enterprise registration.
  • Company charter.
  • A comprehensive list of all board members.
  • A list of legal representatives.
  • Letters of appointment and authorization.

Stage 4 – Post-Licensing Procedures: Following the issuance of the IRC and ERC, further actions must be taken to finalize the procedure and commence business operations. These actions include:

  • Carving the company seals.
  • Opening bank accounts.
  • Registering the labor force.
  • Paying business license tax.
  • Contributing charter capital.
  • Announcing the company’s establishment publicly.

In summary, the establishment of a Foreign-Owned Enterprise in Vietnam is a meticulously structured process comprising these four distinct stages. By comprehending the requirements and obligations inherent in each stage, investors can navigate the path to establishing their enterprises efficiently and effectively.

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Should you need any support, please contact Sophie Dao, Senior Partner at Global Business Services LLC (GBS) in Vietnam via phone number: +84903189033 or email: You can also visit the company website at:

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