After leaving their homeland and achieving certain successes; Many overseas Vietnamese wish to return to Vietnam to do business and trade by establishing a company. However, if you are of Vietnamese origin but have no Vietnamese nationality, can you set up a business? Can overseas Vietnamese establish a company in Vietnam? Let’s find out in this article with LSX Law firm.
- Investment Law 2020;
- Enterprise Law 2020.
Can overseas Vietnamese establish a company in Vietnam?
In practice, I have met many Vietnamese who have lost their Vietnamese citizenship during the course of their lives but really want to return to their homeland to set up a business. It is true that the right to establish businesses and do business in Vietnam doesn’t vary by nationality, but there are more “open” mechanisms to facilitate economic development. This means, not only people with Vietnamese nationality but also people of Vietnamese origin and foreigners can set up companies in Vietnam.
Are overseas Vietnamese establishing a business different from ordinary Vietnamese citizens?
Overseas Vietnamese here is a person of Vietnamese origin (possibly with a confirmation of Vietnamese origin by the consulate) but with no Vietnamese nationality. In these cases, the right to establish a company will be somewhat different.
Specifically, according to the provisions of the latest Investment Law 2020, there are the following provisions:
Article 3. Interpretation of terms
19. Foreign investors are individuals with foreign nationality or organizations established under foreign laws. conduct business investment activities in Vietnam.
20. Domestic investor means an individual with Vietnamese nationality; or an economic organization that does not have a foreign investor as a member or shareholder.
As can be seen, the Investment Law 2020 will not focus on whether or not “of Vietnamese origin” but only defines that if you do not have Vietnamese nationality, you will be a foreign investor. Thus, it can be understood that overseas Vietnamese without Vietnamese nationality will not be considered domestic investors.
The advantages of domestic investors are those who have Vietnamese nationality, will not be restricted in terms of business lines, percentage of share ownership. Additionally, investment procedures and business registration will be simpler.
Procedures for establishing a business for overseas Vietnamese
Based on practice experience, I can advise overseas Vietnamese brothers and sisters with 02 options as follows:
Option 1: If you want to enjoy the same policies and procedures and no business restrictions as ordinary Vietnamese citizens, you can apply to re-enter Vietnamese nationality, then you will be a domestic investor. However, this method will have some limitations such as some countries will require you to renounce your nationality after naturalization in Vietnam, which many overseas Vietnamese will not want.
Method 2: Establish a business with procedures for foreigners. For this option, the procedure will be more complicated, limited and costly than the first method. The process will be as follows:
- Step 1: Prepare valid documents to apply for approval. investment project policy in Vietnam – the result is an investment certificate;
- Then, Step 2: Apply for a sub-license for conditional business lines such as: Environmental license, fire prevention and safety permit, security and order…;
- Step 3: Create a business based on the licenses in Step 1 and Step 2.
After completing the above steps, your business is eligible to operate in Vietnam.