Business Licensing in Ho Chi Minh City
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Could I be a business? When am I likely to be considered to be carrying on a business?
You are engaged in business if your activity involves providing goods or services to earn profit.
What legal structure could I choose to use?
Vietnamese citizen host
If you are the sole owner of the business and are a Vietnamese citizen, three main structures which are commonly used are (a) sole proprietorship, (b) household business, and (c) limited liability company.
A sole proprietorship is an enterprise owned by an individual (i.e. you, as the host). A sole proprietor has unlimited liability in relation to the business’ operations.
A household business is an establishment with one business location (i.e. “the household”) and has less than 10 employees. As a household business, you (as the host) will be responsible for and have unlimited liability in relation to the business’ operations. Please note that a household business is not a type of “enterprise”, and you may not be able to register a household business to carry out business activities that require an “enterprise”, such as a tourism enterprise.
A single-member limited liability company is an enterprise owned by a host. Under this business structure, the host would be liable for the company’s debts and other liabilities up to the company’s registered charter capital.
If you are a foreigner, you are not able to establish a household business or a sole proprietorship, and will need to incorporate a company. In addition, as a foreigner host, you will be subject to provisions under the Law of Investment. You should always check with the local licensing authority (see below) for the applicable requirements or seek advice from a legal professional.
Are there any business registration or licensing requirements for businesses in Vietnam?
Yes, you will need to register your sole proprietorship, household business or limited liability company by submitting an application form for registration with the relevant licensing authorities.
Sole proprietorships and limited liability companies
For registration of sole proprietorships or limited liability companies, you may submit your application either directly in person to the Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City (at 32 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) or online through the National Business Registration Portal, available here. Further information on the documents required for registration and applicable fees are available here. Upon approval of your application, you will receive an Enterprise Registration Certificate.
For registration of business households, you may submit your application either directly in person to the Business Registration Office of your relevant district or through such office’s website (e.g., for District 1, you may submit through the website here). Further information on the documents required for registration and applicable fees are available here. Upon approval of your application, you will receive a Certificate of Household Business Registration from the licensing authorities.
An exception applies where your household business is engaged in providing services that earn low revenue (which will be determined by your province). In this case, your household business will not require registration. However, this exception does not apply if your household business is engaged in conditional business lines. Please check with the Business Registration Office of your relevant district if you are in doubt whether your household business requires registration.
If you are registering a limited liability company as a foreigner, please note that you will be subject to additional procedures, including an investment project assessment and consideration of foreign ownership caps. You should always check with the local licensing authority for the applicable requirements or seek advice from a legal professional.
If you carry on a business without the proper registration, you may be subject to a fine of VND 3,000,000 to VND 15,000,000 (approximately USD 135 to 675). You may also be compelled to register your business, or otherwise cease your operations. If you are in any doubt whether you’re operating as a business or require registration, it is best to get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor.
What if I am a business – Is there anything I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers?
Vietnam has in place laws for the protection of consumer rights. If your business will be providing services to persons for personal use, use for families or use for organisations, you should be aware of these laws.
As a business providing services to consumers, you will have an obligation to, among other things:
- keep consumers’ information safe and confidential;
- provide accurate and complete information about the Experience you are offering;
- warn consumers about any potential risk your Experience may have on their health, life or property; and
- ensure that any contract that you sign with the consumer, if any, is clear and easy to understand.
A copy of the Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights, which details obligations of businesses to consumers is available here.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes. Depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. Our information pages on activity specific licensing requirements and rules covers some of the typical activities, but is not intended to be comprehensive. You should always check the position with your local licensing authority or seek advice from a legal professional.
You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place to cover all the activities you will be providing.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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