Work Permit vs 100% foreign owned LLC

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Question: I am a retired Professor from French, my retirement I have been living in Hanoi on a temporary basis on a tourist visa. However, many Vietnamese Universities have approached me about working with them to provide training courses, develop curricula, and teach courses at their universities.

I was wondering if it would be better for me to establish a 100% foreign owned LLC in Vietnam or simply have the various Universities apply for a work permit for me. Since I envision I’ll be working with a number of Universities a work permit from each seems daunting.

Lastly, what are the approximate fees & costs to establish a 100% foreign owned LLC in Vietnam if this is the preferred method.

Answer:  This is reference to your email below. I am Lawyer of SB Law. We understand that you would like us to advise on obtaining a work permit in Vietnam or setting up a foreign invested company in Vietnam.

The main matter here is about the business activities of the LLC. You can have three following choices:

(i) Setting up a foreign owned company for providing short-term training courses. For this kind of service, you are allowed to setup and provide many short-term training course for multiple clients in Vietnam. However, you must clarify what kind of short-term training course that you intend to provide. For example, soft skills, foreign language, computer etc. We would like to further note that for this option, you shall need to obtain sub-license from competent authority for running such short-term training courses and competent authority shall carefully check facility of your company before granting license.

(ii) Setting up a foreign owned company for providing training, curricula development supporting services. This business activity is not mentioned in Vietnam-WTO Commitment. Then, Vietnam Government does not has obligation to open market to foreign investor. If you wish to follow this option, the Licensing Authority shall need to get approval from relevant ministries i.e. Ministry of Planning and Investment; Ministry of Education and Training etc..before granting you business license.

(iii) Setting up a pure local nominee company. You shall need a local person to act as the company owner. Then, this nominee company shall hire you and obtain work permit for you and assign you to work with multiple clients in Vietnam. In comparison with option (i) and option (ii), this option shall save you much cost and time.

For the option 1, it shall take you about 06 months to complete all including business license and sub-license for short term training course. Our fee for this shall be around 11,000USD.

For the option 2, it shall take you 03 months to complete business license. Our fee for this shall be around 9,000USD.

For the option 3, it shall take you about 10 working days to complete the business license. Our fee for this shall be around 350USD.

We do hope that the above information is helpful for you. If you have any further inquiry, please feel free to contact us.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

If you would like further information on Work Permit vs 100% foreign owned LLC, please either email to our Partners at: or call to our Office:

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