With the constantly increasing number of people who use smartphones and the undeniable development of social media, more and more people choose online markets for their purchases. Due to COVID-19 and all the lockdowns and quarantines that followed, especially in 2021, Vietnam’s E-Commerce Industry is showing greater potential than ever since it forced people to do their shopping online driving a remarkable rise of the e-commerce industry, which is undoubtedly here to stay. This article serves as a guide for those looking to start an e-commerce website in Vietnam.
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In order to start an E-Commerce business in Vietnam, it is essential to choose the right platform or better, to create your own website, which allows you to make your own rules, get direct access to your customers and freely run creative marketing campaigns as you wish. Here, Cekindo presents some regulations on E-Commerce websites and how to start one in Vietnam.
E-Commerce websites in Vietnam – a Guide
How many types of E-Commerce websites are allowed in Vietnam?
There are four, listed as below:
- Sales websites: Sales websites are created by traders, companies, or individuals with the purpose of promoting, selling, or providing their own products/services.
- Trading floors: These are websites that act like an E-commerce service provider. They are created by an organization and belong to that organization with the purpose of being a platform for other traders, organizations and individuals to carry out sale and purchase activities. Some forms of trading floors include:
- Websites that allow setting up booths to present and sell goods or services
- Websites that allow establishing branch websites to showcase and sell goods or services
- Websites that have sections for participants to post news about sales and purchases
- Online auction websites: are established with the aim to provide solutions to traders, organizations, and individuals that do not own the website itself to conduct auctions for their goods and services.
- Online promotion websites: are websites that work as E-commerce service providers that are set up by traders and organizations to promote the goods and services of other businesses, organizations, or individuals. The websites offer services under the terms of promotion service contracts. The services can consist of:
- Selling goods and service vouchers to clients so that they can buy items or use services from partners at a discount or with other benefits;
- Selling frequent customer cards to allow customers to access goods or services from a network of partners at discounted prices or with additional benefits relative to those available when each partner’s goods and services are purchased separately;
- Using freebies or samples to promote goods from other traders, organizations, and persons in accordance with the terms and conditions of promotion service contracts;
- Conducting promotion of goods from other traders, organizations, and individuals in accordance with the terms and conditions of promotion service contracts by selling items at cheaper prices for a set length of time or to a set number of people
Even though you do not need an office to operate an E-commerce website if it is 100% digital-based, it is still mandatory that your website is either registered with or notified to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT). Among those, Sale websites are required to be notified to MOIT, and the other three need to be registered.
Required documents for registering an E-commerce website or getting an E-Commerce website notified
- Enterprise Registration Certificate
- Investment Registration Certificate
- Investment License
- Trading License
- Establishment license (for organization)
- ID or Passport (for individuals)
Step-by-step E-commerce website registration/notification process
- Go to http://online.gov.vn/, sign up for an account to get access to the system by providing the information below:
- Name of the website’s owner
- Business registration number (traders)/Establishment registration number (organizations)/personal tax number (individuals)
- Business lines
- Address of the trader/organization or permanent address of the individual
- Accurate contact information
During three working days, if the registration information is approved, the account will be confirmed and the website owner will be granted access to move on with step 2.
- Log on, choose the category that your E-Commerce website is in
- Check registered email for confirmation on the eligibility and adequacy of the provided information
- If the information is confirmed correct by MOIT, the website owner will receive a code via email. That code can be displayed on the website as a logo to show that it is legally registered/notified with MOIT. The logo is usually placed at the bottom of the website.
See the photo below for what the logos look like.
The red logo: Registered with MOIT
The blue logo: Notified with MOIT
How long does it take to get an E-Commerce website registered/notified?
E-Commerce website registration: 3-5 working days
E-commerce website notification: 10-15 working days
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Which E-Commerce activities are banned in Vietnam?
According to Article 4 of Decree 52/2013/ND-CP on E-Commerce, here are some of the things that are considered illegal in E-Commerce business:
- Organizing an e-commerce marketing and business network in which each participant is obliged to pay a one-time fee to purchase the service and receives a commission, bonus, or another financial advantage for recruiting others to join the network
- Selling fake goods or goods and services that violate Intellectual Property Rights
- Trading goods or services that are banned from businesses
- Using the name of an E-commerce company to illegally raise funds from other traders, organizations, or individuals
- Providing E-commerce services or giving E-commerce monitoring, evaluation, or certification services that have not been registered or licensed in compliance with Decree 52
- The goods or services that are provided on the website is not consistent with the information registered with Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)
- Making consumers/clients/viewers confused about the E-Commerce website’s relationship with other traders, organizations or individuals by using logos, links or other technologies
Create your E-Commerce website and start your business in Vietnam
According to Statista, Vietnam’s E-Commerce market value hit around 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, which was only below Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. That is expected to keep going up, given the fact that Vietnam’s digital population is getting larger. Moreover, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) also stated that up to now, more than 70 percent of Vietnamese people have access to the Internet, of which nearly 50 percent of consumers have experienced online shopping themselves and 53 percent of them have tried e-wallets and online payment.
Cekindo is a one-stop solution, whose legal experts with rich experiences over the years will assist you in every step of your E-Commerce journey in Vietnam, from obtaining necessary certificates and licenses to registering your website and choosing a suitable Virtual Office that works best for your business. Take the first step by filling in the form below and get in touch with one of our consultants!