How To Register an Advertising Agency in Vietnam

Getting a license to open an advertising agency in Vietnam is difficult. But not impossible. Learn how to get started.

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advertising agency in vietnam

Vietnam’s economy has experienced steady growth over the past few years. Both new and established businesses continue to expand presenting opportunities for advertising and digital marketing agencies to be highly profitable. 

Foreign investment in this line of business is welcome in Vietnam. However, there are unique requirements you need to fulfil before you can set up an advertising or digital marketing agency in Vietnam. 

The greatest challenge prospective agencies face is finding a local partner with an advertising licence to take on 1% of company ownership.

Read on to find out how you can set up an advertising agency in Vietnam and what you need to know before you do. 

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Requirements to set up an advertising agency in Vietnam

Joint venture with a locally owned advertising agency

Foreign-owned advertising agencies can only operate in Vietnam by partnering with a 100% Vietnamese-owned advertising agency. To register an advertising agency in Vietnam as a foreign company at least 1% of your company has to be owned by your local partner. 

Finding a partner is the most challenging requirement to fulfill. Your partner must be a 100% locally owned company that holds a license to advertise and can prove existing advertising activities. 

Emerhub matches you with a qualified partner. Get in touch by filling out the form below. 

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Additional company registration requirements

Other than the joint venture requirement, the advertising agencies follow the same requirements as the other business business classifications, such as:

  • At least one resident director
  • Commercial business address

Read more about how to set up a company in Vietnam.

Getting approval for your ad agency from the DPI

As mentioned above, finding a suitable partner is usually the most challenging requirement to fulfil. Your application to set up an advertising agency won’t be approved unless you have a local partner that holds an advertising licence that owns at least 1% of your agency. 

This can be easily overcome with Emerhub’s Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) service.

The SPV service protects your investment, ensuring that you maintain control over your company while providing you with a suitable partner that holds only 1% of your advertising agency.

Get in touch with Emerhub in the form below to enquire about the SPV service. 

Advertising Laws in Vietnam

Advertising and digital marketing are heavily regulated lines of business in Vietnam. There are specific laws set in place that limit who can advertise and what can be advertised online and in public spaces. 

As long as you are aware of what these laws are, running an advertising agency in Vietnam can be a lucrative endeavour. 

Advertising in public spaces

In the case of digital advertising and marketing, ensuring that the content you publish isn’t banned under Vietnamese advertising law is sufficient. However, offline ads meant for public places need to be submitted to the Department of Culture and Technology for approval before they can be displayed. 

Goods banned from advertising

Article 7 of Law 16 stipulates that certain goods and services cannot be advertised in Vietnam. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Cigarettes
  • Prescription drugs 
  • Beverages with over 15% alcohol content
  • Weapons
  • Pornographic products

Acts and ideas banned from advertising

There are certain acts or ideas that are banned from advertising under Article 8 of the same law. This includes but is not limited to the banning of content that:

  • Disrespects Vietnamese culture, leaders, history or cultural celebrities
  • Expresses racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, prejudice against disabled people, or violate the freedom of belief and religion
  • Compares price, quality or efficiency of goods and services 
  • Uses the words “best”, “only”, “number one” or words with similar meaning without legitimate documents proving so as prescribed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 

The laws for advertising in Vietnam won’t pose as much of a hindrance to digital advertising and marketing. The overarching goal of these laws is to promote respect for Vietnamese culture and protect consumers from misleading advertising. 

Advertising and digital marketing is an emerging industry in Vietnam

Opportunities to capitalize from digital marketing and advertising are clear to many. However, the industry remains relatively underdeveloped in Vietnam due to a lack of professional education and foreign investment in these particular areas of expertise.  

A survey conducted by Asia Plus Inc showed that:

  • 60% of agencies think that their clients lack understanding of digital marketing
  • 30% of companies think that they lack an understanding of digital marketing within their own organization
  • Less than 10% of companies rate their agencies over 7 out of 10 on the Net Promote Score scale with the largest issues being a lack of communication and low output of expected deliverables.

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