Guide to Opening a Guesthouse, Hostel or Hotel in Vietnam

What do you need to open a hostel or hotel in Vietnam?


Starting a guesthouse, hostel, or hotel in Vietnam as a foreign investor is relatively simple. However, there are some local regulations to keep in mind.

Below you will find the requirements for opening a guesthouse, hostel, or hotel in Vietnam. We will also talk about the process of registering this type of business and how to offer other services.

Allowed Foreign Ownership of a Guesthouse, Hostel or Hotel in Vietnam

Foreign investors can have to up 100% ownership of guesthouses, hostels, or hotels in Vietnam. This rule applies to any sort of business related to lodging and accommodations.

Note that if you will offer other services in your guesthouse or hotel, you will have to comply with the maximum foreign ownership for that business. It is possible to register other services as a separate business so you can retain full ownership of the guesthouse or hotel.

Setting up a hostel or hotel in Vietnam

Minimum capital requirement for hospitality businesses in Vietnam

There is no minimum capital requirement for most business lines in Vietnam. This includes hospitality businesses like guesthouses, hostels, and hotels. However, investors must present a realistic amount in line with their business.

Investors must take into account all expenses to establish and operate the business. This may include costs for construction, training of staff, and furniture, among others.

Requirements to Open a Guesthouse, Hostel or Hotel in Vietnam

Per local regulations, you must meet the following requirements to open and operate a hotel in Vietnam:

  • Business location. Before you can begin the registration process, you must first secure a location for your business. Note that some locations do not allow operations of a hotel or similar business due to its proximity to certain areas. For example, religious and cultural monuments Our consultants at Emerhub can help you find a suitable address for your lodging business.
  • Legal representative or signatory for the business. Your company’s representative must be a Vietnamese citizen or a legal resident of Vietnam. He or she must also have a clear criminal record. The representative does not have to be the owner of the company.
  • Suitable infrastructure. The People’s Committee of the area as well as the Department of Natural Resources and Environment will inspect your business location to verify this.
  • Licenses. There are a few licenses you must get to operate a hospitality business. We discuss these in further detail below.

Timeline of registering a hotel in Vietnam

#1 Investment Registration Certificate

To conduct business in Vietnam, you must get an investment registration certificate. The Department of Planning and Investment issues this certificate. At this stage, the People’s Committee will assess your business location. This is to ensure that your project remains compliant with the master plan of the area.

#2 Business registration certificate

All companies in Vietnam must also have a business registration certificate.

Note that you must make your initial capital contribution within 90 days after receiving the certificate.

#3 Additional licenses

In Vietnam, some businesses need additional licenses. For hospitality businesses, the following are necessary:

  • Certificate of fire prevention and fighting.
  • Security and order guarantee plan. Relevant government authorities will inspect this.

Note that if you plan on offering other services in your hotel, you may need to get other licenses.

The table below shows the average time it takes Emerhub to register a hotel or similar business in Vietnam.

Documents ObtainedTimeline
Investment Registration CertificateUp to 1 month
Business Registration CertificateUp to 1 week
Licenses for lodging businessUp to 2 weeks

Open a hostel or hotel in Vietnam.

Hassle-free company registration with Emerhub.

Operating other businesses under a hotel in Vietnam

You can provide other services under your lodging business. However, you need to get the appropriate sublicenses for these services.

Providing tourism services in Vietnam

You can provide additional tourism services under your hotel or hostel. You will need an international travel license to offer tourism services.

To get this license, you must enter a joint venture with a 100% Vietnamese-owned company that already has the license. Additionally, the maximum allowed foreign ownership of a business offering tourism services is 99.99%.

It is possible to establish a separate business for your tourism services. That way, you can retain 100% ownership of the hotel.

Opening a restaurant or a bar in a guesthouse, hostel, or a hotel in Vietnam

Food and beverage businesses are open to foreign ownership. You can set up a bar, cafe, or restaurant in your hotel without partnering up with a local company.

Note that such businesses require sublicenses. Examples of additional licenses for bars and restaurants in Vietnam include:

  • Certificate of food safety and food safety knowledge;
  • Retail licenses for alcohol and/or cigarettes (if these are offered in your establishment)

Buying Land in Vietnam to Build a Hotel 

Foreigners and businesses with foreign ownership cannot purchase land in Vietnam. However, it is possible to lease land for up to 50 years after which, you can renew the lease. You can still get full rights to a property through a lease agreement.

Getting started with setting up a guesthouse or a hotel in Vietnam

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