5 minute read
16 Dec 2021

Foreigner Guide: Opening A Bank Account In Vietnam

open bank account in vietnam

If you’re planning to do business in Vietnam, having a Vietnam bank account might be a good idea. From transferring to bookkeeping, a bank account will help you keep track of your business finances.

Whether you plan to do business as an individual or a company, here are some practical factors for you to consider when opening a bank account in Vietnam.

1. Personal bank accounts in Vietnam for foreigners

As a foreigner, you can only open a bank account, use bank cards and bank services if you have permission to stay in Vietnam for longer than 12 months.

Also, you have to provide documents confirming your residential status in Vietnam for 12 months to open your bank accounts.

personal bank account in Vietnam

1.1 Required documents for personal bank accounts

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, you have to submit the following documents:

(1) Your valid passport in readable and identifiable conditions with at least 6 months validity before the expiry date

(2) A valid Vietnam visa with a duration of a minimum of 1 year issued within the last 12 months, or one of the below valid documents with a validity of 1 year or longer, also issued within the past 12 months:

    • Temporary Resident Card (TRC)
    • Work Permit
    • Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
    • Temporary resident confirmation issued by Vietnam police

If you’re interested in getting a Vietnam visa for business purposes, simply read our full guidelines of Vietnam Business Visa, where we provide practical advice for successful visa applications.

1.2 Banking Fees

In general, banks in Vietnam will charge you a fee for opening a bank account. Notably, your banking fees will vary among each bank.

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Below are some common fees that you might want to take notice of.

  • Normal bank fees

Basically, you can open a bank account in Vietnam with no upfront fees at all.

There’s also a minimum balance to keep your account active and a small service fee each month

For instance, the Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), only requires you to keep a balance of VND 50,000 (approximately US$ 2.15).

Plus, you’ll need to pay an extra VND 10,000 (around USD 0.43) each month if you use internet banking.

  • ATM fees

Typically, you’ll have to pay VND 1,100 when withdrawing money from an ATM of your bank or VND 3,300 from that of another bank.

In addition to that, the total amount you can withdraw at a time is different for each bank.

For example, Vietcombank allows a total amount of VND 5,000,000 (roughly US$ 215.73) but Vietnam Technology and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) sets the total amount up to VND 10,000,000 (around US$ 431.46).

Most importantly, if you use a foreign debit card, the withdrawal fee can range from VND 20,000 to 55,000 (US$ 0.86 to 2.37) plus an exchange rate of that bank.

important note

important note

Not all banks will tell you the exact fees for withdrawing money. Sometimes they only display a notification letting you know there will be “a fee”.

1.3 Common banking options for expatriates

Besides Vietnam banks, there are 11 foreign banks currently operating in Vietnam.

Choosing which bank to use is up to your needs and locations.

common banking options for foreigner in Vietnam

Here are some famous choices you might want to consider:

  • Timo

An online bank, which is famous for its cost-saving, convenience, and excellent customer service.

However, Timo has gone through some changes since switching to a new banking partner. You should contact Timo for details before opening your bank account here.

  • Vietcombank

This bank has a wide network of branches and ATMs all across Vietnam.

It is no exaggeration to say this is a popular choice for both Vietnamese and foreigners.

  • HSBC

One of the most famous international banks, which could be an excellent choice if you live in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, etc.

  • VietinBank

It is known as the largest state-owned bank in Vietnam.

VietinBank also has a wide network of branches and ATMs all over Vietnam including rural areas.

If you’re planning to do business in Vietnam as a sole proprietorship, make sure you check out our guidelines on setting up a Vietnam sole proprietorship.

1.4 International money transfer

In general, it can be quite complicated if you transfer money to another country from Vietnam.

In fact, you can only remit and carry money overseas if you have foreign currency in your accounts or legal receipts.

Specifically, if your legal receipts are in Vietnamese Dong (VND), then you can purchase foreign currency and then remit or carry overseas.

International transfer fees vary for each bank.

Let’s take Vietcombank for example. The bank will charge you 0.2% on the total amount of the transaction with the minimum fee of US$ 5 and the maximum of US$ 200.

Important note

Important note

Not all local banks offer international money transfer. Therefore, you should check with your bank first to avoid any hassles, or just head straight to international banks in your area.

2. Business Bank Account in Vietnam for foreign enterprises

It’s not strictly a legal requirement to have a business bank account in Vietnam if your business transactions are usually below VND 200 million.

However, it’s highly recommended that you set up a separate business bank account to ensure sustainable operation and growth.

business banking for foreigner company in Vietnam

Opening your foreign business account in Vietnam will require a lot of consideration and preparation, let’s find out below!

2.1. Types of business bank account

There are two types of business bank accounts that you can register:

  • Investment capital account

You can use this type of account to receive and send investments, including Indirect investment capital account and Direct investment capital account.

Importantly, you’ll need to open your Investment Capital Account with an authorized bank (i.e. commercial or internal bank in Vietnam), which has the permission to trade and supply foreign exchange services.

  • Transaction account

You can use this type of bank account for daily business transactions in Vietnam.

2.2. Requirements to open a business bank account

Opening a business bank account is a bit trickier than a personal account. We’ve listed down some documents for you to prepare:

(1) Application form: the form vary by bank, but generally require the below information:

    • Transaction name (both full and abbreviation name)
    • Headquarter address
    • Transaction address
    • Phone number/Fax number (if any)
    • Business sectors
    • Information about the company’s legal representative who registered as the account holder
    • Information about a Chief Accountant (In some situations where your company required to have a Chief Account (or a person in charge of accounting work) as per the law)
    • Signature sample of the account holder (with the above case, a signature of the chief accountant will be required)
    • Seal sample in transaction documents (if any)
    • Signature and the legal representative’s full name along with a stamped seal (if any) of the company

(2) Proofs that foreign company was established in Vietnam:

    • Establishment decision
    • Operation license
    • Business registration certificate

(3) Documents about a legal representative or authorized representative with a valid Identity or Passport

If you plan on living, working, and even investing in Vietnam, then obtaining a bank account is necessary.

Opening a bank account in Vietnam is not rocket science. It is relatively easy as long as you follow a guided procedure and have all your legal documents prepared.

Should you have any further questions, feel free to drop us inquiries at service@bbcincorp.com or get in touch with one of our friendly consultants for actionable advice!

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