What is the List of business activities prohibited for foreigners in Vietnam? Legal consequences of doing business on prohibited days. Please refer to the following article for more information.

List of business activities prohibited for foreigners in Vietnam

Foreigners in Vietnam are generally allowed to engage in various business activities, subject to certain restrictions and regulations. However, there are a few business activities that are generally prohibited or restricted for foreigners in Vietnam.
It’s important to note that the regulations may change over time, so it’s advisable to consult with legal experts or the relevant Vietnamese authorities for the most up-to-date information. Here are  the List of business activities prohibited for foreigners in Vietnam

Media and Publishing

Foreigners are generally prohibited from establishing or owning media agencies, publishing houses, or newspapers in Vietnam. These activities are typically restricted to Vietnamese individuals or organizations.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications

Foreign ownership in broadcasting and telecommunications services is subject to specific limits and licensing requirements. Certain activities, such as terrestrial broadcasting, are reserved exclusively for Vietnamese entities.

Legal and Notarial Services

Foreigners are typically not allowed to practice law or provide notarial services in Vietnam. These professions are generally restricted to Vietnamese citizens who meet the necessary qualifications and licensing requirements.

Retail and Distribution 

There are restrictions on foreign ownership in retail and distribution sectors. For example, foreign investors are required to meet specific capital requirements and obtain necessary licenses to engage in retail activities.

Real Estate

Foreigners face restrictions when it comes to acquiring land or owning real estate in Vietnam. While there are provisions for long-term leases and ownership of certain properties, there are limitations on the maximum duration and the types of properties that can be owned.

Education and Training

Foreigners are generally not permitted to establish educational institutions offering compulsory education. However, they can establish and operate higher education institutions under specific regulations.

Healthcare Services

Foreigners are generally restricted from providing primary healthcare services in Vietnam. However, they may be allowed to participate in certain specialized healthcare services and activities under specific conditions and licenses.

Legal consequences of doing prohibited business in Vietnam

Engaging in business activities that are prohibited for foreigners in Vietnam can have legal consequences. These consequences can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the severity of the violation. Here are some potential legal consequences that individuals or entities may face for conducting prohibited business activities:

Administrative Penalties

Violations of regulations regarding prohibited business activities may result in administrative penalties imposed by the relevant government authorities. These penalties can include fines, suspension of business operations, or revocation of licenses or permits.

Contractual Invalidity

Business contracts related to prohibited activities may be deemed invalid or unenforceable under Vietnamese law. This means that parties engaging in prohibited business activities may not have legal recourse or protection for their contractual rights and obligations.

Legal Liability

Individuals or entities involved in prohibited business activities may be held legally liable for their actions. This can result in civil claims and damages sought by affected parties, including individuals, organizations, or the Vietnamese government.

Criminal Charges

In more severe cases, engaging in prohibited business activities can lead to criminal charges under Vietnamese law. This may include charges such as fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, or other offenses related to illegal business operations. If convicted, individuals may face imprisonment, fines, or both.

Immigration Consequences

Foreign individuals involved in prohibited business activities may face immigration consequences, including the cancellation or revocation of visas, work permits, or residence permits. This could result in the loss of legal status in Vietnam and potential deportation.

Conditional Industries

In addition to the List of business activities prohibited for foreigners in Vietnam, there are certain industries that are subject to specific conditions and requirements. These conditional industries typically involve sectors that are considered sensitive or strategically important to the country. Foreign investment in these industries may be allowed, but it is subject to certain conditions, such as partnership with a Vietnamese entity, a minimum level of capital investment, or specific licensing requirements. Some examples of conditional industries in Vietnam include:

Banking and Finance

Foreign banks and financial institutions are allowed to establish a presence in Vietnam, but they must meet certain requirements, such as minimum capital requirements and partnership with Vietnamese entities.


Foreign insurance companies can operate in Vietnam, but they must satisfy specific conditions and obtain necessary licenses from the regulatory authorities.


While foreigners may be allowed to establish and operate higher education institutions, they are required to meet certain criteria, including obtaining approvals and meeting quality standards set by the Ministry of Education and Training.


Foreign companies involved in pharmaceutical production, distribution, or import/export must comply with regulations and requirements from the Ministry of Health.

Legal Services

While foreigners are generally prohibited from practicing law in Vietnam, there are some exceptions for providing international legal consultancy services. However, these activities are subject to specific licensing requirements and conditions.

Aviation and Air Transportation

Foreign ownership in Vietnamese airlines is subject to certain limitations and conditions, including requirements related to the percentage of foreign ownership and partnerships with Vietnamese entities.

Mining and Natural Resources

Foreign investment in mining and exploration of natural resources is subject to specific regulations and conditions, including the requirement for partnerships with Vietnamese companies and compliance with environmental and resource management laws.

These are just a few examples, and there may be other industries with specific conditions and requirements for foreign involvement in Vietnam. It’s important to consult with legal experts or relevant government agencies to understand the specific conditions and procedures related to the industry you are interested in. Let gate2v.com help you do that. Contact us: (84) 916 545 618