Legal Consultancy for Expats Moving to Vietnam

Are you an expat considering a move to Vietnam? This vibrant Southeast Asian nation offers a wealth of opportunities, from bustling cities to stunning natural landscapes. However, navigating the legal landscape can be daunting. That’s where legal consultancy comes in. In this article, we’ll explore the key areas where legal guidance is essential for a smooth transition to life in Vietnam.

Visas and Work Permits

One of the first hurdles you’ll face is securing the appropriate visa and work permit. Vietnam offers several types of visas, including:

  • Tourist visas
  • Business visas
  • Work visas
  • Student visas
  • Retirement visas

The type of visa you need depends on the purpose and duration of your stay. A legal consultant can help you determine which visa is right for you and guide you through the application process.

If you plan to work in Vietnam, you’ll also need a work permit. Your employer will typically handle this process, but it’s important to understand the requirements and timeline involved. A legal consultant can ensure that all necessary documents are in order and help troubleshoot any issues that arise.

Business Registration

For entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Vietnam, legal guidance is essential. Vietnam has made strides in streamlining its business registration process, but navigating the bureaucracy can still be challenging. A legal consultant can help you:

  • Choose the appropriate business structure
  • Draft and file necessary documents
  • Obtain required licenses and permits
  • Comply with ongoing reporting requirements

By working with a legal expert, you can minimize delays and ensure that your business gets off to a smooth start.

Property Ownership

Vietnam has strict regulations around property ownership by foreigners. In general, expats are only permitted to buy property in certain designated areas and under specific circumstances. A legal consultant can help you:

  • Understand the restrictions on foreign property ownership
  • Identify properties that are available to foreigners
  • Draft and review purchase contracts
  • Navigate the title transfer process

With the right legal guidance, owning a piece of Vietnam’s vibrant real estate market is within reach.

Employment Contracts

If you’ll be working for a Vietnamese company, it’s crucial to have a clear and legally sound employment contract. Vietnamese labor law has specific requirements around contracts, including:

  • Required clauses
  • Language requirements
  • Termination provisions
  • Dispute resolution procedures

A legal consultant can review your contract to ensure that it complies with Vietnamese law and protects your rights as an employee. They can also advise you on common employment issues, such as:

Probationary periodsLimit of 60 days for most positions
OvertimeCapped at 200 hours per year
TerminationStrict requirements for termination with and without cause
Non-compete clausesGenerally unenforceable under Vietnamese law

By understanding your rights and obligations as an employee, you can avoid costly misunderstandings down the road.

Taxes and Social Insurance

As a resident of Vietnam, you’ll be subject to Vietnamese taxes and social insurance contributions. The tax system can be complex, with different rates and requirements depending on your income level and source. A legal consultant can help you:

  • Understand your tax obligations
  • Take advantage of available deductions and credits
  • Comply with reporting and payment deadlines
  • Navigate audits or disputes with tax authorities

In addition to taxes, most expats are required to contribute to Vietnam’s social insurance system. This includes contributions for:

  • Health insurance
  • Social insurance
  • Unemployment insurance

A legal consultant can explain the contribution rates and benefits available under each program.

Intellectual Property

If you’re bringing a business to Vietnam, it’s important to understand the country’s intellectual property laws. Vietnam has a system for registering and enforcing trademarks, patents, and copyrights, but the process can be complex. A legal consultant can help you:

  • Conduct trademark and patent searches
  • File registration applications
  • Enforce your rights against infringement
  • Navigate licensing and transfer agreements

By proactively protecting your intellectual property, you can safeguard your business’s most valuable assets.

Dispute Resolution

Even with the best planning, legal disputes can arise. Whether you’re facing a business dispute, employment issue, or personal matter, it’s important to have a strategy for resolution. A legal consultant can advise you on the best approach, which may include:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Litigation

Vietnam’s legal system is based on civil law, which may be unfamiliar to expats from common law countries. A legal consultant can explain the key differences and help you navigate the court system if necessary.


Moving to Vietnam is an exciting adventure, but it’s not without its legal challenges. By working with a knowledgeable legal consultant, you can minimize risks and maximize opportunities. From visas and work permits to business registration and dispute resolution, a little legal guidance goes a long way.

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Don’t navigate the complexities of Vietnamese law alone. Contact today via phone or Zalo to schedule a consultation. With our help, you can focus on enjoying all that Vietnam has to offer, while we handle the legal details. Let’s build your dream life in Vietnam together!

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