Comparing Costs: Employer of Record vs. Establishing an Entity in Vietnam

Vietnam’s growing economy and strategic location in Southeast Asia make it an appealing destination for businesses looking to expand internationally. For CEOs and business owners considering this move, understanding the most cost-effective and efficient method to establish a presence in Vietnam is crucial. This article delves into two popular methods: using an Employer of Record (EOR) and opening a new entity, comparing their costs and implications for your business strategy.

Understanding Employer of Record (EOR)

An Employer of Record is an organization that legally employs staff on behalf of another company. In Vietnam, EORs can handle payroll, tax, and employment benefits, eliminating the need for foreign companies to establish their legal entity. This arrangement is advantageous for companies aiming to test the market without committing extensive resources upfront.

Benefits of EOR:

  • Speed of entry: EORs can typically set up operations and start hiring within a few days to weeks.
  • Cost efficiency: EOR services help avoid the legal and setup costs of establishing a new foreign entity.
  • Compliance and risk management: EORs manage local legal compliance and employment laws, reducing the risk for your business.
  • Flexibility: Companies can scale their operations up or down quickly, based on market response, without the long-term commitments required when setting up a physical entity.


Understanding the Process of Opening an Entity in Vietnam

Establishing an entity in Vietnam involves more steps and commitments compared to the EOR model. This process includes registering the business with local authorities, setting up a physical office, and navigating the legal system to ensure compliance with local laws.

Steps involved:

  • Business registration: Submitting necessary documents and getting approval from Vietnamese authorities.
  • Tax registration: Obtaining a tax code and understanding the local tax obligations.
  • Bank account setup: Opening a corporate bank account, which can be a lengthy process involving lots of paperwork and compliance checks.
  • Hiring staff: Recruiting and employing staff directly, which includes setting up payroll systems compliant with Vietnamese law.

Benefits of opening an entity:

  • Market presence: A physical entity can enhance credibility and visibility in the local market.
  • Control: Greater control over operations and the ability to directly influence the corporate culture and management processes.
  • Long-term investment: Suitable for companies with a long-term commitment to the Vietnamese market, looking to establish a solid and permanent presence


Cost Comparison

Cost Component

Employer of Record (EOR)

Establishing an Entity

Initial Setup Costs None Legal fees, registration fees, consultancy fees (if applicable)
Operational Costs Service fee (percentage of employee’s salary or flat fee per employee) Office rent, utilities, employee salaries, office maintenance
Compliance and Legal Costs Included in the service fee Hiring legal and compliance staff, ongoing legal and compliance costs
HR and Payroll Management Included in the service fee Setup and operation of internal HR and payroll systems
Tax Handling Managed by EOR Managed internally or via hired professionals
Capital Requirements None Significant investment for office space, equipment, etc.

Choosing between an Employer of Record and opening an entity in Vietnam depends largely on your business’s goals, budget, and timeline. An EOR offers a quick, flexible, and less risky entry into the Vietnamese market, suitable for testing the waters or short-term projects. In contrast, establishing an entity is beneficial for those looking to make a significant, long-term investment in the country, providing more control and market presence.

For businesses considering expansion, weighing the cost implications and strategic benefits of each option will guide you in making the most informed decision, tailored to your business objectives in Vietnam’s dynamic market environment.

Metasource: Your Trusted Partner

Metasource is your trusted partner for consulting and supporting effective staff management across global teams, especially in culturally diverse environments like Vietnam.

Read more: Navigating the Complexities of Obtaining a Working Permit in Vietnam

Read more: How To Register A Limited Liability Company In Vietnam A Quick Guide

Discover more tips to help boost your business further in Vietnam by following us on our website and Linkedln page 

Back to list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *