Questions regarding opening a restaurant/cafe in Vietnam.

Hi all,
I am trying to open a small restaurant/cafe/bar in saigon. There will be live music/food/alcohol and coffee.
I've actually been looking into this for quite some time now. I realized that pretty much all the so called " foreign-owned" bars/cafes/restaurants here in saigon are actually registered under the name of the vietnamese wives/partners or a vietnamese friend of the foreigner which for me is unlikely to be happening since i am female and i dont see myself ending up with any vietnamese man anytime soon nor that i have any friends that i can really trust yet...
Also noise-issue seems to be one of the biggest problem that many bars/cafes face- esp since i am trying to have bands play in my place and etc..
So, I've listed out some questions and hopefully I will get some answers here.
Thanks in advance for taking the time.

1. Can such a business be 100% foreign owned?

2. What other licenses do I need? How much would each indivisual license cost?
ie. liquor licenses and etc..

3. I was told that liquor license is really difficult to get.. but I want to know just how difficult it is and how much would it cost?

4. Approximately,how much would the start-up cost be?

5. I also read somewhere saying that I can pay a local lawyer to take care of all the procedures and pay after he succeed in doing so. I wonder if it's possible.

Please answer if you have any knowledge and/or experience. Or if you know anyone who actually owns a business at the moment, would be much appreciated if you can get in touch with me. Thanks a lot.

Hi,
The first met important thing is that this must be under Vietnamese name.
2. Yes you can get the license to sell everything. Be sure that nothing is impossible , just a little difficult only.
3. Yes sure you can hire the persons who will take care for you the whole license procedure and you can ay him when he done his job. Just need to have a level of confidence , as he should pay upfront, so he need to be sure that you will pay after he done his job.
4. Upfront cost, thus depend on you? BTW what kind of upfront cost you mean?
5. Only one license can take care of everything, as the jobs can be done under this license will be mentioned on this.  BTW You can add the jobs in the license with the time as well.
If you need any other information you can ask me anytime you like. Best of luck. U

Mellowmom,

Anything is possible in Vietnam.  It all depends on who you know.  If you know a good person, things will get done cheaper and faster.

I entertained the 100% foreign-owned company a few years back.  The admistrative cost, including attorney fees, was $7 thousand USDs; and the processing time was 45 days.

Then, I looked into a Vietnamese owned concept and it was less than $100 USDs, in administrative fees, and the wait was a week.

I of course chose the later model.  But, that was because I had good Vietnamese friends, who knew a lot of people in the right places and were on top of all that they were doing.  I also had no need to get money out of Vietnam and, even if I had to, knew people who could get that done for me.  Last but not least, my companies were in cosmetics and clothes, I did not compete directly with other Vietnamese businesses.

The industry that you are looking to get into is much more saturated.  The competition is fierce.  I highly suggest that you get to know some good Vietnamese business folks, before jumping into it.  I recommend these because attorneys here don't worth a crap.  There is nothing they can do here that a connected business person cannot do.  There is no deliberation or negotiation within the Vietnamese bureaucracy.  All decisions are firm and final. 

I hope this helps you somewhat.

Best,
Howie

HELLO

I AM LOOKING TO OPEN 1 INDIAN RESTAURANT IN HO CHI MINH CITY.

I WANTED TO KNOW THE FULL PROCEDURE FOR THIS ALONG WITH THE COST NEEDED TO OPEN THE RESTAURANT.

ALSO I WNAT TO SEE THE GOOD LOCALITY WHERE I CAN OPEN IT SO THAT IT WILL BE NEAR FROM THE PUBLIC PLACE.

WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY

THANKS

Also a bar or restaurant can be 100% foreign owned under the name of a company. Startup costs in total will depend on your equipment, rental and personal.
Legal and para-legal costs can be anything from as little as USD 500.00, +, + ++++, depending on that, what you can make yourself, assets and location.
Startup periode, depending on chosen way can be as little as 7 calendar days and 2,5 years (from people I know).
Many have never manged without legal or para-legal assistance.

Hello sarafamit487 -> Could you please lower your caps lock when writing so as to ease the reading? ;)

Thank you,
Aurélie

Hey Howie,

Thanks for the information. It helped a lot.

However, I hope you can give me some advice.
I am going to open a hostel in Saigon.
However, to start a company in HCMC.
How and where do I register the business in Saigon?
What sort of licenses do I need to obtain from the government?
How can obtain those licenses? through an agent, lawyer?
How much will it cost to get those licenses and lawyer fees to open a company?

Your help will be much appreciated. :)

Regards,
Aaron Tay

You are replying to a post from 5 years ago. Start a new thread, I'm sure you will get more response.

Hey mate,

Great suggestion.
Thanks!

1. Can such a business be 100% foreign owned?
*YES

2. What other licenses do I need? How much would each indivisual license cost?
ie. liquor licenses and etc..
* all depending, what etc will be, food safety, alcohol licenses (depending a lot, as those licences are granted depending on a number of residents, not sure  neither about the real number and the borders drawn ( eg . per district, or the whole HCMC ..) You might need some insurance, theft, accident, fire, taxi/rental if lending bikes ..)

3. I was told that liquor license is really difficult to get.. but I want to know just how difficult it is and how much would it cost?
Yes, they ain't to easy to get, but possible. I had one (with closure expired)

4. Approximately,how much would the start-up cost be?
Anything in paperwork as from somewhere 1200 USD upwards, this is usually a sum of some 30 plus positions on paperwork, news paper publication, business references, market research, potential customers ..., red seal, first invoices blocks print, residency, business registration , (certified) translations, medical checkups ....

5. I also read somewhere saying that I can pay a local lawyer to take care of all the procedures and pay after he succeed in doing so. I wonder if it's possible.
* The odds you pay at least twice BEFORE  you get a job done are Billions to  NIL

Anything catering, low level work related (catering is) as well as in most industries (some actually you can't as foreigner) here, you can't do alone, unless you speak, write/understand the language at a legal level
You need a agency/lawyer for assistance at least

I think you will do very well with a hostel in Sai Gon. I hear there is an extreme shortage of hostel. Good luck.

i am interested in your statement about "no negotiation".

my understanding is that pretty much anything is for sale. pay enough and you get most anything you want. of course the right connections help a lot too.

Hi there. Very nice to meet you Here. My name is Amy.  hope I won’t bother you, since you post this article 6 years earlier. I am really interested in knowing if you managed to open the restaurant / cafe in the end? I am from China and opening a restaurant of my own has been a dream to me for years. I really would like it to happen but have absolutely no idea how I am gonna start it. I am actually hoping to receive some useful tips from yiu.

Yes, some what you are right, few days back, I had enquired same in HCMC with some of leagel procedure for same kind of business. 100% foreign investment is possible in Vietnam, bcoz government supports a lot and want to develop market of Vn and just local nationality should get jobs opportunities, For other things you can ask me details on whatsapp

Linku :

Yes, some what you are right, few days back, I had enquired same in HCMC with some of leagel procedure for same kind of business. 100% foreign investment is possible in Vietnam, bcoz government supports a lot and want to develop market of Vn and just local nationality should get jobs opportunities, For other things you can ask me details on whatsapp

Could you point our what kind of things the Government will help foreign investors? Love to hear it from another ex-pat.

Hii, First of all Arr you in hcmc vietnam or in your own country, truth is you need to come and first visit things practically, Government had opened many options for foreign investment, all process is not very difficult but not so much easy same time due to language barrier, If you need any help in future, than tell me details what's in your mind about opening which kind of business

Linku :

Hii, First of all Arr you in hcmc vietnam or in your own country, truth is you need to come and first visit things practically, Government had opened many options for foreign investment, all process is not very difficult but not so much easy same time due to language barrier, If you need any help in future, than tell me details what's in your mind about opening which kind of business

Are you trying to offer your service?

No, it's your choice, I am not agent, just can help you

Linku :

Hii, First of all Arr you in hcmc vietnam or in your own country, truth is you need to come and first visit things practically, Government had opened many options for foreign investment, all process is not very difficult but not so much easy same time due to language barrier, If you need any help in future, than tell me details what's in your mind about opening which kind of business

I think you really need to be more specific about the things that the government will allow.

You are making a very general and vague statement, and then inviting people to contact you for more information.

Also your English is not very good.

So you are not inspiring people to want to contact you.

Are you afraid to give away secrets that only you know?

If these things are possible, and they are legal, please talk about the possibilities freely.

Then, people who have an idea about business will know that they should contact you.

OceanBeach92107 :
Linku :

Hii, First of all Arr you in hcmc vietnam or in your own country, truth is you need to come and first visit things practically, Government had opened many options for foreign investment, all process is not very difficult but not so much easy same time due to language barrier, If you need any help in future, than tell me details what's in your mind about opening which kind of business

I think you really need to be more specific about the things that the government will allow.

You are making a very general and vague statement, and then inviting people to contact you for more information.

Also your English is not very good.

So you are not inspiring people to want to contact you.

Are you afraid to give away secrets that only you know?

If these things are possible, and they are legal, please talk about the possibilities freely.

Then, people who have an idea about business will know that they should contact you.

That's what I also concern about, but there was no way to go with more specific and leave it. Having OceanBeach, I think you know it much more about VN law for ex-pat Investors.

Linku :

No, it's your choice, I am not agent, just can help you

You are an Indian living in India.  You don't even live here.  How do you possibly think you are going to be able to help someone who is already here learn about Vietnamese rules and laws?  Please stop trying to give advice now and go back to your thread about how much it will cost you to live here, once you actually get here.

SteinNebraska :

How do you possibly think you are going to be able to help someone who is already here learn about Vietnamese rules and laws? .

Perhaps I could encourage you to explain why reading up on laws clearly posted all over the internet doesn't mean a person knows how those laws work in practice over there.
I've a feeling your explanation could save a lot of people a lot of grief.

PS - I can take a fair guess because of my experience in other SEA countries, but spelling it out might be handy for newcomers, and educational for me. :)

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