How to legally start a business in beer production and distribution in Vietnam?

A German man residing in Vietnam has reached us to consult our opinions on this issue. Under the name of the Vietnamese-based enterprise of his Vietnamese wife (the “Company”), he wants to set up a business premises in Northern Vietnam to produce and distribute beer products.

Based on the initial information, the manufacturing premises will be built on the land which the Company leased from the State with the leasing term of 50 years. It is expected that the premises will include a warehouse for putting the machinery for beer production and a bar for serving food and drinks in front. The beer production capacity can be from 1,000 to 2,000 liters per day. Beer products are made in the form of cans of 330ml and barrels of 30 liter. The premises will serve the consumers with beer to consume it on-site.

To answer the title question, BLawyers Vietnam pointed out 04 issues to the German man for his consideration: 

beer

1. Has the Company registered the business line of beer production and trade?

We have viewed the Company’s Enterprise Registration Certificate to check this information and then requested the Company to conduct the procedure for adding the business line.

2. Which permits must the Company obtain to legally do business in beer production and distribution in Vietnam?

Firstly, we have considered whether this German man wants to own the capital of the Company or not. The Company currently has no foreign-invested capital but when he intends to contribute his capital to the Company, he and the Company must satisfy some regulatory requirements. Some of them are the obtainment of the approval for purchasing the Company’s contributed capital portion and the application of the Investment Registration Certificate in Vietnam.

Then, we have checked the conditions regarding the following matters:

  1. Food business: The unit serving food and beverages should pay attention to such as building the premises according to the competent authority’s approval, the source of water for beer production, the beer containing tank, etc.
  2. Product declaration: The Company shall declare and be solely responsible for the safety of manufactured products.
  3. Environmental protection: As a manufacture generating waste and having the risk of causing environmental pollution, the Company should extremely pay attention to checking the approvals for environmental protection and waste treatment (in forms of solid, liquid, gas).
  4. Fire protection and prevention: Subject to the structure of the unit, the Company may be required to obtain the approval for the design on fire protection and prevention, and the requirements on fire protection and prevention.
  5. Mandatory insurance: Mandatory fire insurance is one of the issues to consider.

3. What does the Company need to do if selling beer products via a website?

First, the Company needs to carefully check the conditions for beer distribution and retail via e-commerce. Some notable conditions are the application of non-cash payment method or the implementation of the measures to prevent the people under the age of 18 from approaching, accessing, searching for information and buying beer.

Next, the Company must notify the competent State authority of the establishment of the electronic commerce website for selling goods as prescribed by laws in case the website has the online ordering function.

In addition, when advertising beer products on the website, the Company shall comply with the regulations of the laws on advertisement.

4. Should the Company register for trademark protection?

The answer is yes. When he seriously considers 03 above-mentioned issues, the registration for trademark protection is necessary to protect his long-term investment and business and limit the risk of having unnecessary disputes.

Of note, the information we presented above is for reference only for this specific case, not generally applicable to cases with like information.

The above is not official advice from BLawyers Vietnam. If you have any questions or suggestions about the above, please contact us at consult@blawyersvn.com. We would love to hear from you.

Date: 03 March 2023

Writers: Trinh Nguyen & Minh Ngo

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