Expansion to Vietnam: A Complete Guide

Vietnam is an emerging market with a rapidly growing economy, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand in Southeast Asia. However, expanding into Vietnam can be complex and challenging, particularly for foreign companies unfamiliar with the local business environment. In this guide, we will explore the various options available to businesses looking to establish a presence in Vietnam, including Employer of Record (EOR) and Global PEO services, as well as the process of incorporating a company.

Why you need to be interested on expanding into Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a young and dynamic workforce, a growing middle class, and a favorable business environment. The Vietnamese government has taken steps to attract foreign investment, including reducing bureaucracy and streamlining the process of setting up a business. As a result, Vietnam is an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand in Southeast Asia.

Employer of Record Vietnam: Step by step

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a third-party service provider that takes care of all employment-related tasks on behalf of a client, including payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance. EORs are an excellent choice for businesses that want to expand quickly without having to set up a legal entity in Vietnam.

The steps involved in using an EOR in Vietnam include:

  1. Finding a reputable EOR service provider with a presence in Vietnam.
  2. Negotiating a service agreement with the EOR, including fees and services.
  3. Providing the necessary information about the employees to the EOR.
  4. The EOR handles all employment-related tasks, including payroll, taxes, and benefits.
  5. The EOR ensures compliance with local laws and regulations.

Advantages of using EOR services

There are several advantages to using EOR services in Vietnam, including:

  1. Speed and efficiency: EOR services allow businesses to expand quickly without having to set up a legal entity in Vietnam.
  2. Cost savings: Using an EOR can be more cost-effective than setting up a legal entity in Vietnam.
  3. Reduced risk: EOR services ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, reducing the risk of legal and financial penalties.
  4. Local expertise: EOR services provide access to local expertise, including knowledge of local labor laws, regulations, and customs.

Why use EOR instead of Global PEO

While EOR and Global PEO services share some similarities, there are significant differences between the two. EOR services are focused on employment-related tasks, such as payroll, taxes, and benefits, while Global PEO services provide a more comprehensive suite of services, including legal, financial, and administrative support.

Incorporating in Vietnam

Incorporating a company in Vietnam can be a complex process, but it’s a necessary step if you’re looking to expand your business in the country. Below we’ll go through some of the key steps and considerations involved in the incorporation process in Vietnam.

  1. Determine the Type of Business Entity The first step in the incorporation process is to determine what type of business entity you want to establish in Vietnam. The most common options are limited liability companies (LLCs) or joint stock companies (JSCs). Other types of business entities include partnerships, sole proprietorships, and representative offices.
  2. Choose a Company Name Once you have decided on the type of business entity, the next step is to choose a company name. The name must be unique and not already in use by another company in Vietnam. It’s important to choose a name that reflects your business and is easy to remember.
  3. Obtain a Business License To legally operate a business in Vietnam, you must obtain a business license. This license is issued by the Department of Planning and Investment in the province or city where your company will be located. The process of obtaining a business license can take up to a few months and requires the submission of various documents, including the company’s articles of association, business plan, and financial statements.
  4. Register for Tax and Other Licenses Once you have obtained a business license, you must register for tax and other licenses. This includes registering for value-added tax (VAT), corporate income tax, and social insurance. Depending on your business activities, you may also need to obtain additional licenses or permits.
  5. Open a Bank Account To operate a business in Vietnam, you must have a local bank account. This is necessary for paying taxes, receiving payments from customers, and paying salaries to employees.
  6. Register with the Ministry of Labor If you plan to hire employees in Vietnam, you must register with the Ministry of Labor. This involves submitting various documents, including employment contracts, job descriptions, and other employment-related documents.
  7. Register with Social Insurance and Health Insurance As an employer in Vietnam, you are required to contribute to social insurance and health insurance for your employees. This involves registering with the social insurance and health insurance authorities and making regular contributions.

In summary, incorporating a company in Vietnam involves several steps and can be a complex process. It’s important to work with a local advisor or attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that you comply with all local laws and regulations.


In conclusion, Vietnam is an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand in Southeast Asia due to its growing economy, strategic location, and favorable business environment. However, the incorporation process in Vietnam can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful planning and execution. Fortunately, there are alternatives to company incorporation, such as Employer of Record services and Global PEO solutions. These options provide a flexible and cost-effective way for businesses to establish a presence in Vietnam and hire local talent without the need for a local legal entity. Ultimately, the decision of which approach to take will depend on the specific needs and goals of each business. By considering all available options and working with trusted partners, businesses can successfully expand into Vietnam and tap into its potential for growth and success.

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