10 Profitable Business Opportunities in Vietnam for Foreigners

10 Profitable Business Opportunities in Vietnam for Foreigners

What are the best business opportunities in Vietnam? Here is our selection of the most promising business opportunities for foreigners entering the Vietnamese market.

We understand that choosing which business to do in Vietnam is also a very personal thing. As a foreign entrepreneur, you are more than capable of assessing what type of business to start, by a combination of your background, skills, know-how, vision, team, etc. Being the right person is one thing, but you need to get into the right industry with the right market conditions in order to truly fulfill your potential.

As your local legal partner, who understands the Vietnamese business and legal environment, Nova Law is pleased to provide foreign investors with more local industry insight: such as the market trends and market entry barriers applied to foreign investors (sorted from easiest to most difficult). We hope that these ideas could be informative, and help to enhance your business plan entry in Vietnam.

1. Consulting Service

Starting a consulting business in Vietnam requires small investment capital, low overhead expenses, and can bring in high margins if done correctly. The most valuable thing needed is your expert knowledge of specific industries and a potential target market. With 98% of SMEs in Vietnam interested in developing their craft by learning from foreign experts, there is a big demand for professional optimization solutions at many stages in the business cycle. Here are some suggested industries to start your consulting company:

  • Digital marketing, services consulting
  • Human resource consulting
  • Corporate governance consulting
  • Engineer consulting
  • Provide business solutions for other businesses

Consulting Business Vietnam

2. Information Technology

Currently, Vietnam has about 45.500 enterprises in the ICT industry, including foreign-invested enterprises with an estimated total revenue of about 126 billion USD (according to the Ministry of Information and Communications). Thanks to tax incentives and favorable legal conditions policies to attract foreign investment and a clear national digital transformation strategy from the Vietnamese Government, competitive costs, good infrastructure with many information technology parks, and high-tech parks, Vietnam has become an attractive destination for technology and ICT investors.

Vietnam labor force

Foreigners can consider the following fields to open a technology business in Vietnam:

  • IT services
  • Software and application productions
  • Software outsourcing
  • Fintech
  • Digital transformation solutions
  • Cybersecurity solutions
  • AI, blockchain, machine learning, big data application
  • Technology solutions
  • Gaming production
  • Digital entertaining production
  • R&D services
Vietnam target to reach 100000 digital technology companies by 2030
Source: Top Dev Vietnam

3. Import and Export

Various reasons to start a trading company in Vietnam:

  • Vietnam is a member of notable Free Trade Agreements such as CPTTP, EVFTA
  • Vietnam has many cheap and high-quality products for exporting
  • The average incomes of Vietnamese have been increasing every year, with high demand for good imported products consumption
  • Many factories of world-famous brands are located in Vietnam, such as Samsung and Foxconn. Following them are trading companies that play a role as factory vendors.
  • A continuous and uninterrupted supply chain, thanks to high vaccination rates, allows the Vietnamese government to lift strict pandemic containment measures, expand trade, and continue an open monetary and fiscal policy wide.
Source: Vietnam Customs General Department

Check out how to establish import and export companies in Vietnam. 

4. Retail and e-Commerce

Vietnam’s retail industry has great potential from GDP growth and a strong middle class. GDP per capita of $ 3,000 is bringing about 1 million people into the middle class each year, becoming the driving force for the new purchasing power of the consumer retail industry.

The service, equipment, and consumer sectors in Vietnam will continue to develop with full potential in the coming time. After the pandemic, the shopping behavior of customers in Vietnam has also changed significantly. Accordingly, the demand for shopping for essential goods as well as using e-commerce platforms has also increased. This is a business opportunity and actively implements investment projects in Vietnam.


5. Interior and exterior design 

Vietnam is a very large market with a population of over 96 million people and many infrastructures under construction. Especially, new apartment buildings and mega-urban have been built in large numbers. Therefore, the demand for construction and construction of works such as houses, villas, hotels… is very large. In addition, the current consumer trend of Vietnamese people is not thinking about cheap prices, but they are having higher requirements for house architecture in accordance with their lifestyle. This is also a lucrative market for interior design services with unique and high-end designs.

Vinhomes Ocean Park Mega-Urban
Vinhomes Ocean Park Mega-Urban in Hanoi, Vietnam

6. Coaching service

Nowadays, Vietnamese are paying more attention to improving themselves in many aspects of life, rather than just spending time for study, work, and family like their previous generations. Coaching businesses can approach customers either directly, via opening coaching centers, or online e-learning courses on:

  • Nutrition coaching
  • Skills coaching
  • Sport coaching

children on a horse ride coaching

7. Foreign languages teaching center

Although many foreign language teaching centers have been operating everywhere in Vietnam, there is still room for new businesses with good quality and services due to the huge demand for Vietnamese students. The 4 most popular foreign languages are learned by Vietnamese students include:

  • English
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Japanese

Please note that doing a foreign language teaching business in Vietnam requires a certain amount of capital for facility renting, teaching materials, and requirements for teacher qualifications.

An English Center in Vietnam
An English Center in Vietnam

8. Foods and beverages

Doing an F&B business is not a new idea but it never gets old. Pizza 4p’s is a case study about a Japanese startup that succeeded in F&B business, by creating a different value and experience for local customers. Here are several F&B business ideas that can excite Vietnamese:

  • Foreign cuisine restaurant
  • Famous franchised beverage chain
  • Healthy foods and drinks
  • Food, coffee truck. This model is not popular in Vietnam yet.
A Restaurant in Vietnam
A restaurant in Vietnam

9. Healthcare services

Taking care of health is a global trend, and Vietnam is very interested in this since the pollution is high, and health education lags behind first-world standards.

  • Baby and children clinic
  • High-tech dental clinic
  • High-end clinic for wealthy Vietnamese and foreigners
  • Beauty center

Provided that the market entry barriers in this industry are difficult, the minimum capital required to open a small clinic is $200.000. Furthermore, the clinic must obtain some special medical licenses and comply with strictly medical, human, and facilities conditions.

Sun Medical Center

10. Processing and manufacturing

Vietnam has emerged as a low-cost manufacturing hub, beating India and even China on indicators, including FDI policy, foreign trade policy and exchange control. Some Japanese companies and American corporations, such as Apple vendors, have shifted part of their production lines to Vietnam. Factors that make Vietnam a new manufacturing hub destination in Asia are the incentives to encourage international businesses. establishing units to produce high-tech products, low-cost labor force and increasing the number of free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed, the Government has stepped up investment in upgrading infrastructure for production.

Industrial Park Vietnam

To Sum-Up

Business opportunities in Vietnam for foreigners are enormous. The Southeast Asia region in general, and Vietnam in particular, is a strategic business destination in the coming decades. Because it has stable political conditions, a young and dynamic economy, and most important reason, it still has a large room for growth.

Please keep in mind that doing business in Vietnam as a foreign individual (without a formal business registration) is not allowed. Foreign investors can Start a Business in Vietnam in several ways, such as:

Nova Law has been assisting foreign investors in setting up businesses in Vietnam for years. Nova Law offers a wide range of business legal services: Legal Consulting, Company Registration, Licensing, Visas, and more. Contact our lawyers to start your business in Vietnam today!

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If you are interested in starting a business in Vietnam, Nova Law can help. Request a proposal now to take the next step towards your dream business.

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