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Conditions for establishing a food trading company in Vietnam

Eating is one of the most basic and urgent needs of human beings, so food business is always evaluated as a potential and stable business that serves the most basic needs of people. No matter what the period, people always have a great need for food. Therefore, the food business has always been an extremely stable type of business. So what are the conditions for setting up a food trading company? To answer your questions, Viet An Law Firm offers the article on conditions for establishing a travel company below.

Vietnam trading food Company

Legal basis

  • WTO;
  • Investment Law 2020;
  • Enterprise Law 2020.

Food Trading Company

Food business is the performance of one, many, or all of the referral activities, preservation services, transportation services or food trade.

Currently popular forms of food business include:

  • Fresh food business;
  • Food preliminary processing and processing establishments;
  • Processed food business;
  • Food service business;
  • Street food business.

Conditions for establishing a food trading company in Vietnam

Conditions for foreign investors

Investment conditions for foreign investors are conditions that foreign investors when carrying out investment activities are required to meet in investment industries and trades subject to investment conditions for foreign investors as prescribed in international treaties on investment,  relevant laws, ordinances and decrees.

Accordingly, foreign investors, when establishing a company, need to satisfy the following conditions:

Issuance of investment registration certificate:

  • According to the current investment law, foreign investors, before establishing a food trading company in Vietnam, must have an investment project and carry out procedures for issuance of an Investment Registration Certificate.
  • Import and distribution is an investment field that Vietnam has committed to open its market when joining the WTO. Accordingly, foreign investors from countries and territories that have joined the WTO will be allowed to trade food in Vietnam.

About business items

Based on the Law on Investment 2020 and the annexes promulgated thereafter, the field of investment in food business belongs to conditional business lines. Accordingly, when establishing a foreign-invested food trading company, it will have to ensure food safety conditions for food production and trading establishments.

Conditions for domestic investors

According to the current law, because food business is an industry directly related to human health, business establishments are required to ensure the following safety conditions:

Conditions on production and business establishments

  • Having an appropriate location and area, having a safe distance from sources of hazards, sources of pollution and other harmful factors;
  • Water sources for food production and trading meet technical standards;
  • Adequate equipment suitable for processing, handling, packaging, preservation and transportation of food and equipment and tools for disinfection, antiseptic or tools against insects and harmful animals;
  • The production facility meets the conditions on the waste treatment system;
  • Records of origin and origin of food raw materials and other documents on the entire process of food production and trading must be kept;
  • Comply with regulations on health, knowledge and practices of persons directly involved in food production and trading.

Conditions on food preservation

  • The storage place and storage facilities must have a sufficiently large area;
  • Prevent the influence of temperature, humidity, insects, animals, dirt, foreign odors and bad effects of the environment on food. At the same time, it must ensure sufficient lighting, have specialized equipment to regulate temperature, humidity and other climatic conditions. Fully meet ventilation equipment and other special storage conditions required by each type of food.

Conditions for transporting food

  • Food transport vehicles are constructed of materials that do not contaminate food or food packaging and must be easy to clean.
  • Ensure food storage conditions throughout the transportation process.
  • Do not transport food or hazardous, cross-contaminated goods, or any other goods that affect food.

Procedures for applying for a food safety and hygiene certificate in Vietnam

After fully preparing the above conditions, you are required to contact the food hygiene and safety management board to apply for a certificate of satisfaction of food hygiene and safety. The preparatory procedure will be as follows:

Prepare documents

An application for a food safety permit includes:

  • An application for a certificate of satisfaction of food safety conditions.
  • A copy of the business registration certificate (already registered in the food industry).
  • Design of premises of food production and trading establishments.
  • An explanation of facilities, equipment and tools to ensure food hygiene and safety conditions according to regulations.
  • A certificate of health adequacy of the establishment owner and employees directly engaged in production and business at the establishment issued by health agencies of districts or higher.
  • Certificate of sufficient knowledge of food hygiene and safety of the establishment owner and employees directly involved in production at the establishment.
  • Certificate of origin of raw materials and inspection of water source used.


Before applying for the certificate of satisfaction of food hygiene and safety, the establishment owner and employees working there must register for training in food hygiene and safety knowledge with the provincial Food Safety Management Board,  the city where the business is located.

Competent agencies issuing food safety and hygiene permits

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will have authority to grant authority to establishments producing alcohol, beverage, processed milk, vegetable oil, flour, starch, cakes, jams and sweets.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall have the authority to issue qualified permits for agricultural, forestry and fishery or salt initial production establishments covering the entire process from cultivation to harvesting and at wholesale markets and agricultural auctions.

The Food Safety Department of the Ministry of Health will have the authority to grant to companies with the scale of providing 300 meals / day or more. The facilities offer ready-to-eat meals. Food service in hospitals, export processing zones, industrial parks or collective kitchens, canteens of universities, colleges and intermediate schools.


The food hygiene and safety permit is valid for three years. After being issued, the authorities will check again. If the establishment violates regulations on production and business, the granted license will be revoked.

Procedures for establishing a Vietnamese-invested food trading company

To be able to set up a food trading company, you need to prepare the following steps:

  • Prepare incorporation documents.
  • Submit the application to the Business Registration Office – Department of Planning and Investment where the enterprise is located.
  • Get the results at the Department of Planning and Investment.
  • Engrave the company seal and carry out some post-establishment procedures.

List of food business lines

For food business, when established, you can register some business lines as follows:

STT Business line Business code
1 Food wholesale. 4632
2 Food retail, food. Beverages, cigarettes, pipe tobacco account for a large proportion in general business stores. 4711
3 Retail sale of food in specialized stores. 4722
4 Wholesale sale of agricultural, forest raw materials (except wood, bamboo, cork) and live animals (types permitted by the state) 4620
5 Wholesale of rice, wheat, other grains, flour. 4631

If you want to find out more information about the conditions for establishing a food trading company, please contact Viet An Law Firm for our best support!

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