Vietnam Business

Star can provide detailed business advice or full administrative support for your foreign investment in Vietnam.

Star Provides the Following Business Services: (Click headings to jump to relevant section.)

On-Going Administration Support Packages

These incorporate many of the day-to-day administration tasks that come with running a corporate operation. Note that all reporting to, and liaison with, Government authorities such as the Department of Labour and Invalids, the Tax Office and the Social Security Office must be in Vietnamese.

By having an independent outsourced administration, foreign clients can save a lot of money while eliminating a lot of time-consuming and frustrating activities.

Star Boardroom
Star Boardroom

Employers can claim damages from trade unions and individuals who cause illegal strikes. To do this the employers must request damages within 1 year of court ruling that the strike was illegal. Instalments from a worker’s wages must not exceed 3 months wages in total. It’s not much considering the damage that may be caused, but it may act to deter indivuals.  No more than 30% of any month’s wage can be claimed at a time.

To be lawful a strike must Include:

Trade union leaders must get 51% of vote of other trade union members.

Other cumbersome procedures that require about 20 days to complete.

There are obviously still many problems with labour disputes that remain unsatisfactory to both employers and employees.

The CEO of Star was a practising industrial relations advocate prior to opening this company so he can ably assist investors with any IR matters.

Work Permits

CEO meetting
CEO meeting President of Gulf Medical University Teaching Hospitals in Dubai

In general the latest edition of the Labour Code is a little more favorable to employees. For example, the maternity leave period will be extended, while the set terms for work permits have decreased from 3 years to 2 years and are even more difficult to obtain. In nearly all cases foreigner workers will need a university degree, proof of 5 years’ experience in the expert role being filled, or if not having a degree, proof of having worked in a similar technical management position for over 3 years with a formal technical qualification of at least 1 year (these requirements are currently under review).

After 3 months in the country, all workers need to apply for, and obtain, a work permit or risk being deported. Certain persons are except from needing a work permit. Exempt persons include:

1. Contributing members or owners of a limited liability company
2. Members of the Board of Directors of a publicly listed shareholding company
3. Head of an office or project of an international organization or non government organization (ie non commercial office)
4. Workers coming to Vietnam for under 3 months to offer services
5. Workers coming to Vietnam for under 3 months on technical troubleshooting tasks that local experts cannot handle and that threatens production
6. Foreign lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Vietnam under the Law on Lawyers
7. Those working under the provisions of any international agreement that Vietnam has signed
8. Students who are studying and working in Vietnam, provided the employer provides 7 days’ advanced notice in writing to the provincial agency on labour

The final approval for  work permits now rests with the head of the applicable regional People’s Committee. Stay tuned to this site for further updates.

Tax Stamps, Tax Registration and Red Invoice Books

After incorporation of a new foreign-owned or JV company, Star can assist with the registration of their tax number, with obtaining the electronic submission device and with obtaining the tax stamp from the Police Department. All taxation and VAT reports in Vietnam are based on the ‘red invoice’ system. Star can design and print the appropriate red invoice book appropriate to the investment, including special format e-Commerce invoices. Tax booklets need to be submitted monthly and additional consolidated returns submitted quarterly and annually. The tax year in Vietnam runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Obtaining Staff and Other Permits

Star can obtain a wide array of staff and other permits that may be required from time-to-time for foreign staff. These include Temporary Residence Cards, work permits and driving licenses.

Commercial Leases and Letters of Intent to Lease

As anywhere, commercial leases are of great importance in Vietnam. This is especially so due to the often chaotic system of land ownership that exists due to the turbulent past. All new companies require a physical address. Villas and approved commercial premises can be used, but not apartments. Star can assist the investor find and lease a suitable location, advise n the conditions, draft the lease, and advise on the land usage rights system (a kind of land tax) applicable to Vietnam. Commercial premises cannot be owned by foreigners.

Often it can take a while to prepare and compile the foreign investment application dossier and then wait for its approval by the Vietnamese authorities. All this time a lease address is needed. Star led the way in Vietnam in providing Letters of Intent to Lease that will often be accepted as part of the application process to save the investor paying out dead money in rent while awaiting the results of his application. A formally signed lease is then submitted upon licensing.

English Drafting, Editing, Corporate Reports, Presentations and Handbooks

For more information see the section of ‘Other Specialist Business Services’ below and click on the applicable headings.

General Oversight and Troubleshooting for Absent Foreign Owners

If you are running your business in Vietnam while remaining absent most of the time overseas, the CEO and staff of Star can provide you with a very experienced and reliable oversight and troubleshooting service. Star staff are very commercially oriented. They manage many types of companies in Vietnam at the grass roots level.  Other than you yourself, there are probably no people better able to oversee and troubleshoot the corporate and administrative aspects of your operations in Vietnam.