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Set up a company in Vietnam trading food

Food is one of the most basic and indispensable human needs, so the food business is always considered a potential, stable business that serves the most basic needs of people. No matter what period, people always have a great need for food. Therefore, the food business is always an extremely stable business. So what are the conditions for establishing a food business company? To answer customers’ questions, Viet An Law Firm offers the way to set up a company in Vietnam trading food below.

Vietnam trading food Company

Legal basis

  • Vietnamese Commitments in WTO;
  • Law on Investment 2020;
  • Law on Enterprise 2020.

What is a food trading company?

Food business is the performance of one, more, or all of the activities of introducing, preserving, transporting, or selling food.

Currently, popular forms of food business include:

  • Fresh food business;
  • Food processing and processing facilities;
  • Trading in processed foods;
  • Catering business;
  • Street food business.

Conditions for setting up a food business company in Vietnam

Conditions for foreign investors

Investment conditions for foreign investors are conditions that foreign investors must meet when implementing investment activities in conditional business lines for foreign investors according to the provisions of international treaties on investment, relevant laws, ordinances, and decrees.

Accordingly, when establishing a company, foreign investors must meet the following conditions:

Obtaining investment registration certificate:

  • According to current investment laws, before establishing a food business company in Vietnam, foreign investors must have an investment project and carry out procedures for granting an Investment Registration Certificate.
  • Import and distribution are investment fields in which Vietnam 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 do food business in Vietnam.

About business products

Based on the Investment Law 2020 and the accompanying appendices, the investment field in the food business belongs to a conditional business line. Accordingly, when establishing a foreign-invested food business company, it must ensure food safety conditions for food production and business establishments.

Conditions for domestic investors

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

Conditions for production and business establishments

  • Have an appropriate location and area, with a safe distance from toxic sources, pollution sources and other harmful factors;
  • Water sources for food production and business meet technical standards;
  • Fully equipped with suitable equipment for processing, handling, packaging, preserving, and transporting food and disinfection and antiseptic or anti-insect equipment;
  • The production facility meets the requirements for a waste treatment system;
  • Records must be kept on the source and origin of food ingredients and other documents on the entire food production and trading process;
  • Comply with health regulations, knowledge, and practices of people directly producing and trading food.

Conditions for food preservation

  • Storage places and facilities must have a large enough area;
  • Prevents the influence of temperature, humidity, insects, animals, dust, strange odors, and other negative environmental impacts on food. At the same time, there must be enough light and specialized equipment to monitor 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 made of materials that do not contaminate the food or food packaging and must be easy to clean.
  • Ensure food preservation conditions during transportation.
  • Do not transport food with toxic goods that can cause cross-contamination or any other goods that affect food.

Procedures for applying for a Food Safety Certificate

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

Prepare dossiers

The application for a food safety license includes:

  • Application for a certificate of food safety.
  • Copy of enterprise registration certificate (with food industry registration).
  • Floor plan of food production and business establishments.
  • Explanation of facilities, equipment, and tools to ensure food hygiene and safety conditions according to regulations.
  • Certificate of good health of the facility owner and employees directly producing and doing business at the facility issued by the health agency at the district level or higher.
  • Certificate of sufficient knowledge of food hygiene and safety of the facility owner and employees directly involved in production at the facility.
  • Certificate of origin of raw materials and inspection of water source used.


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

Competent authority to issue the Food Safety Certificate

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has the authority to issue licenses to facilities producing alcohol, beverages, processed milk, vegetable oil, flour, starch, cakes, jams, and candy.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will have the authority to issue qualified licenses for primary production facilities of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products or salt including the entire process from planting to harvesting and at wholesale and auction of agricultural products markets.

The Food Safety Department of the Ministry of Health has the authority to grant for companies with a scale of providing 300 meals/day or more. Facilities providing ready meals. Catering services in hospitals, export processing zones, industrial parks or collective kitchens, and canteens of universities, and colleges.


The Food Safety Certificate is valid for three years. After being issued the certificate, the authorities will check again. If the facility violates regulations on production and business, its certificate will be revoked.

Procedures for establishing a food business company in Vietnam

To establish a food business, you need to prepare with the following steps:

  • Prepare establishment documents.
  • Submit documents to the Business Registration Office – Department of Planning and Investment where the business is headquartered.
  • Receive results at the Department of Planning and Investment.
  • Engrave the company seal and carry out some post-establishment procedures.

List of food trading business lines

For the food business, when establishing, you can register a number of business lines as follows:

No Business lines Industry code
1 Wholesale of food. 4632
2 Food and beverage retail. Beverages, cigarettes, and tobacco account for a large proportion of general stores. 4711
3 Food retail in specialized stores. 4722
4 Wholesale of agricultural and forestry raw materials (except wood, and bamboo) and live animals (types permitted by the state) 4620
5 Wholesale of rice, wheat, other grains, flour. 4631

Clients who want to learn more information about conditions to set up a company in Vietnam trading food, please contact Viet An Law Firm for our best support!

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