The third myth – Registering a company in Vietnam takes ages

Registering a company in Vietnam

During the Bizspective Talkshow – “Debunking myths about opening a company in Vietnam”, one of the common myths was “Registering a company in Vietnam takes ages”. This is a well-known statement that could discourage foreign investors from investing in Vietnam.

So, without further ado, let’s see how this myth was debunked by our experts.

How long does it take to register a company in Vietnam?

According to Mr. Simon – our legal expert, it will take three weeks to obtain the IRC (investment registration certificate) and ERC (enterprise registration certificate). For the sublicenses, it depends on what sublicenses you need to acquire. Because depending on the business lines of each company, you may or may not be required to obtain one or more sub-licenses when registering a company in Vietnam.

For example, some sublicenses include ‘food safety hygiene’ or ‘retail licenses’. However, to carry out this process quickly, you should prepare the relevant documents and meet all the requirements. We cover this topic in more detail in the next question. You can also contact our team directly for more information.

In Ho Chi Minh City, registering a company could only take three weeks. In some cases, they can shorten the timeline to 2 weeks with additional fees. Depending on many factors including the location where you register your company, your project, and your amount of capital, the business registration will require a different amount of time. For example, according to our experts’ experience, registering a company in Da Nang will take you (at least) twice as long as in Ho Chi Minh City.

For more information on registering a company in Vietnam, you can take a look at this article that includes a more detailed description and time frame in regards to the IRC, ERC, and the sublicenses.

Registering a company in Vietnam

How to shorten the company registration time in Vietnam?

When talking about registering a company in Vietnam, Mr. Marijn – Bizspective business start-up expert shared a good tip to shorten the time frame.

To make the process of registering a company in Vietnam quicker and easier, it helps a lot if you prepare the required documents as much as possible ahead of time. Especially for registering a foreign-owned company in Vietnam, sometimes you need to submit relevant documents from overseas. If you have the chance: prepare them before you come to Vietnam.

For example: if you wish to establish a manufacturing company in Vietnam owned by your existing company in the United States, then you may need to provide certain documents from the United States. For example: financial statements and the certificate of incorporation of the United State company will be required by the Department of Planning and Investment in the province or in the city where you want to register in Vietnam.

Normally, those documents must be notarized in your home country first. Then in most cases, they are required to be legalized by the Vietnamese Diplomatic Mission (Embassy or Consulate) as well. And then they may also need to be stamped by the Department of Foreign Affairs in your home country. Therefore, you should prepare the required document as soon as possible before registering a company in Vietnam. Or even before you leave for Vietnam. Because obtaining some of these documents remotely will likely take you (much) longer, compared to when you are still in your home country.

Registering a company in Vietnam

How does your location affect the time it takes to register a business in Vietnam?

Another point that you should pay attention to when registering a business in Vietnam is the difference between the local Authorities that are in charge of approving your project. In Vietnam, the Authority in charge of approving the project is the Department of Planning and investment. Big cities such as Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City have their own “DPI”, but if you are investing in a smaller town such as Hoi An, then you will often find it in the provincial capital city (in the example: that would be Tam Ky).

Even though theoretically (and legally) speaking, they each apply the same set of investment Laws. In practice, it is easy to see the differences between the way of working, the focus, and the local policies of different DPIs.

For example, in places that are more open to start-ups, like Ho Chi Minh city, you can register a company in two to three weeks. On the other hand, in Da Nang or Hoi An it could take a lot longer to register a company, sometimes double or triple the time. Therefore, the location in which you register your company is considered one of the decisive factors that directly affects your company registration process.


After a thorough discussion, Bizspective’s experts all agreed that depending on the location where you want to register your company and your preparation, it could take three to seven weeks. Therefore, the myth “Registering a company in Vietnam takes ages” was semi debunked.

Costs of starting a business in Vietnam


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