Setting up a manufacturing business in Vietnam

Setting up a manufacturing business in Vietnam

Many foreign businesses plan to shift the supply chain and expand production in Vietnam. Discover what makes Vietnam attractive to foreign investors, and learn more about the process of setting up a manufacturing company in Vietnam.

The trend of relocating supply chains to Vietnam

Positioned as the preferred choice for global investors, the country has attracted major projects from industry giants such as Samsung and LG, involving investments ranging from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. These substantial undertakings underscore Vietnam’s appeal as an ideal location for expansive global manufacturing facilities. The economic and political factors contributing to this preference include:

  1. A youthful and cost-effective labor force.
  2. Well-established and robust infrastructure.
  3. Competitive cost efficiency.
  4. Strategic geographical positioning.
  5. Attractive tariffs facilitated by Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
  6. Political and social stability.
  7. Recognition as the fastest-growing region for the majority of the 2020s.

This shift in global supply chain dynamics towards diversification aligns with the ongoing trend, further emphasizing Vietnam’s allure.

For the above reasons, now is the perfect time for foreign investors to expand production in Vietnam. Investors wishing to establish a manufacturing company in Vietnam, please refer to the following article for detailed instructions on the process.


Procedures for setting up a manufacturing company

Due to the specificity of the manufacturing industry, the process of establishing a manufacturing company will have a few changes as follows:

1. Find a suitable factory

 Manufacturing companies need to choose locations such as factories or workshops that align with the industry’s scale and operations. Investors have three location options to consider:

  • Purchase Existing Factories/Workshops
  • Rent Readily Available Factories/Workshops
  • Secure Land in Industrial Zones and Construct Your Own Factories

It is essential to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a Lease Agreement with the landlord. Ensure that the agreement stipulates the provision of all relevant documents and papers related to the land and any structures attached to it. This step ensures a clear understanding of the terms and conditions surrounding the chosen location for your manufacturing venture.

2. Determine the investment capital

With the particularity of needing to use a lot of capital to serve production activities, the production company can freely choose the amount of investment capital by the actual needs of the business. Besides, according to the law, investors can contribute capital with assets such as machinery, equipment, factories, etc. provided that such assets can be valued in Vietnamese Dong.

When contributing capital with assets, please take note of the following:

  • Assets must be valued in Vietnamese Dong.
  • Machinery and equipment, as assets, should be new and equipped with advanced technology.
  • Documentation confirming the legal ownership of the property by the investors is required.

3. Meet the conditions in environmental protection, fire prevention

When establishing a manufacturing company, it’s important to meet stringent environmental and fire protection conditions due to the industry’s impact on the environment and the risk of fire and explosions. The law outlines specific regulations for each manufacturing sector concerning environmental standards, fire prevention, and firefighting measures. Failure to meet these conditions may result in the project not gaining approval from the authorities or facing inspections and sanctions after operation.

4. Prepare the necessary documents

Investors need to prepare documents related to the project and the company to process the establishment procedures. This list of documents is divided into 2 groups depending on whether the person contributing capital is an individual or an organization:

The investor is an individualThe investor is an organization
Passports of all investors
  • Company Registration Certificate
  • Passport/ID Card of authorized representative(s) of the Investor
Bank Account Balance Certificate

(Note: The account’s balance must be equal to or more than the value of the declared capital)

  • Financial Statement of the 02 latest fiscal years.
  • Bank Account Balance Certificate
Documents related to the project location: Lease Contract and its legal documentation related to the business address, …
Documentation on the environment, fire prevention and fire fighting

For foreign documents, investors need to consular legalization for these documents and after that, translate them into Vietnamese and notarize them.

5. Apply for the necessary permits

To ensure the legality of the project to establish a production company, the investor will have to submit documents to apply for the relevant permits and certificates. The types of licenses required to set up a manufacturing company include:

– Please approve the investment policy (if any). Depending on the size, location, and objectives of the project, it is necessary to consider whether the project is subject to the application for approval of the investment policy. In addition, the People’s Committees of different provinces and cities will have their regulations on investment capital levels, thereby stipulating which capital levels need to be approved for investment policies.

– Investment Registration Certificate (IRC). The timeline for the IRC procedure: about 15 days

– Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC). The timeline for the ERC procedure: about 10 days

6. Apply for incentives and investment support

In some cases, production projects can apply for investment incentives and support but must meet the conditions prescribed by law such as:

– Investment projects in industries or professions with preferential/special investment incentives: for example, high-tech, supporting industry

– Investment projects with an investment capital of VND 6,000 billion or more are eligible for investment incentives when fully meeting the conditions of the law.

Currently, forms of investment incentives and support include:

– Incentives on corporate income tax: CIT exemption for the first 4 years, 50% CIT reduction for the next 9 years

– Preferential import tax: applied to some specific items

– Incentives on exemption and reduction of land rent, land use levy, land use tax

– Incentive for fast depreciation, increasing the amount of deductible expenses when calculating taxable income

– Special investment incentives

Investors need to know whether their project’s target industry is eligible for investment incentives, thereby determining the types of investment incentives that their company is entitled to and carrying out procedures with the tax authorities, customs authorities, and other competent authorities corresponding to each type of incentive.

7. Open a company bank account

After incorporation, companies will have to choose a bank to open a Direct Investment Capital Account (DICA) and a Current Account. Any FDI enterprise must have these two basic types of bank accounts. The DICA will be used for investment-related transactions, while the current account is used for the company’s daily transactions. For details on company bank accounts and accounts opening procedures, please read more at:

8. Employee recruitment

Most manufacturing companies will use a fairly large number of employees, so according to the law, the company will need to develop internal working regulations and register them with the competent authority. In addition, the company also needs to establish a labor union, build a welfare regime, and pay social insurance for employees working in the company.

In the case of recruiting foreign workers, the company will have to apply for a work permit for foreigners before they start working. Please refer to Nova Law’s guidance through the following article:

9. Nova Law – Your Partner in Manufacturing Company Establishment

Above are the issues that investors need to consider when setting up a manufacturing company in Vietnam. Due to the specificity of the manufacturing industry, which contributes greatly to the economy, the legal requirements of the manufacturing project are also more tightly regulated both in terms of procedures and documents. Therefore, if you need assistance in setting up a production company, please do not hesitate to contact a lawyer from Nova Law for specific advice and support.


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