Everything You Need to Know About Opening A School in Vietnam

If you are thinking of opening up a school in Vietnam, then there are certainly lots of things you need to consider. Although the process of setting up a school in Vietnam is pretty straightforward, there are lots of steps involved in this. You need to make sure that you do it right to avoid any issues.

More than half of Vietnam’s population is under the age of 30. Thus, establishing highly efficient educational institutions is crucial for the country. Because of the vast opportunities in Vietnam’s field of education, the industry has become appealing for foreign entrepreneurs. If you’re thinking of setting up a school in Vietnam, here’s everything you need to know.

Registering a Foreign-Owned School in Vietnam

One of the first things that you need to do when setting up any business in Vietnam is to register the company. For educational-related businesses, the following must be registered:

  • Investment project
  • Company
  • License for educational activities

Education System in Vietnam

When opening a school in Vietnam, you must familiarize yourself with the education system of the country. That way, you can decide on what type of school to open in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s structure of the education system starts with the Preschool and Kindergarten, followed by Primary school, Secondary school, and Higher education. The five years that will be spent in Primary School will be the only compulsory requirement for Vietnamese children. However, secondary school is divided into two separate educations. These are the lower secondary and the higher secondary.

Incentives to Opening a School in Vietnam

To attract more foreign investors, the Vietnamese government has decided to set up incentives for those who will invest in the following fields:

  1. Preschool education
  2. Compulsory education
  3. Vocational education

Here’s what a foreign investor should expect when opening a school in Vietnam:

  • When it’s a vocational school, the minimum capital required is 100 billion Vietnamese Dong or equivalent to 4.4 million US dollars. The school can be 100% foreign-owned.
  • For universities, the minimum capital required is 300 billion Vietnamese Dong or equivalent to 13.2 million US dollars. The school can be 100% foreign-owned.
  • Take note that the capital does not include the expenses needed for land use. If you will be renting some facilities, the minimum investment capital should be at least 70% of the required minimum capital.

Other Educational Related Business in Vietnam

Aside from schools, there are several other educational-related businesses that you can set up in Vietnam. Examples are language centers and short-term training centers. Now that more and more Vietnamese locals are recognizing the importance of learning the English language, opening a language center in Vietnam is surely a wise business decision.

Educational businesses that are non-formal by nature will not require an additional license from Vietnam’s Dept. of Education and Training after the company is already setup.

Which Education Business Requires a License?

Not all education businesses require a license to operate in Vietnam. Below is a list of business lines that would require a license:

  • Computer training
  • Lifeguard and survival training
  • Overseas study consultancy
  • Tutoring

But there are also certain alternatives. For instance, if your business involves employee or management education during training, you can register your business as business support or management consultancy. It’s also a good idea to outsource the training for the short term if you believe that it will work best for you.

Getting a License

If your business requires a license, you can get licensing from the education ministry. However, this will require endorsement and support from various government entities. This is usually the case when opening a school in Vietnam.

It’s important to note that the rules and regulations for companies set up by foreign entities will bee different from local companies. Setting up foreign-owned businesses would require additional legal documents, certifications, and licenses. These requirements are needed to justify the school’s qualifications. The requirements may include work permits or visas for foreign teachers, land ownership or rental agreement, funding proof, and others. There is also paperwork involved that must be requested from the local Police Department. As for boarding schools, there’s no legal framework that has been issued at the moment.

The time it will take to set up a school in Vietnam will vary. In most cases, the building process could take somewhere from six months to a year, depending on the size of the school, location, and the construction company involved. If you will use an existing facility or refurbish an old school building, then that will definitely make the process faster. But when it comes to this, it’s important that you plan well. As with any renovation projects, you could run into some problems that could delay the opening of your school even further.