5 Notes On Setting Up Foreign Invested Dental Clinics - Apolat Legal

5 Notes On Setting Up Foreign Invested Dental Clinics

As society grows, people’s needs for beauty are increasing, in which, the need for dental beauty is of great interest to many people, because just changing a smile is enough to make you confident and your face becomes more beautiful. Therefore, Dental Clinics are being established more and more to meet this demand. This clinic model with not high investment capital, low risk, therefore attracts investors, especially foreign investors. Besides, Vietnamese tend to choose Dental Clinics established by foreigners. Therefore, foreign investors invest in establishing more and more Dental Clinics in Vietnam. However, in order to set up a Dental Clinic in Vietnam, foreign investors need to pay attention and must meet the conditions prescribed by law.

Firstly, in terms of charter capital, based on the Schedule of Specific Commitments in Services of Vietnam in the World Trade Organization – WTO (“WTO Commitments”), “Medical and dental services” (CPC 9312) is a service committed by Vietnam to open markets for foreign investors. Therefore, foreign investors can set up a company with 100% foreign capital or enter into joint ventures with Vietnamese partners or through business cooperation contracts. However, foreign investors must ensure a minimum investment capital for Dental Clinics is 200,000 USD.

Secondly, in terms of business lines, according to Decision No. 27/2018/QD-TTg, foreign investors can register code 8620 – Medical and dental practice activities and the detail is Clinic of Odonto-Stomatology (except for patient stay).

Thirdly, in terms of facilities, foreign investors need to meet the conditions for the minimum areas prescribed by law for each type of functional room in the Dental Clinic according to the promulgated technical regulations and there is a separate division between the rooms specified in Clause 1, Article 26 of Decree 109/2016/ND-CP, in which, the consulting rooms with an area of at least 10 m2 and a place for patient reception; the operation room with an area of at least 10 m2; the odonto-stomatology clinic having more than 01 dental chair, the space for each dental chair must be at least 5 m2…

Normally, the investors will rent the offices as Dental Clinics to save costs and convenience. Therefore, if the foreign investor intends to rent the offices to register the business of the Dental Clinic, it is necessary to negotiate with the landlord and the lease agreement has a provision that the investor has the right to renovate the leased area in accordance with the design and construction of the Dental Clinic.

On the other hand, some foreign investors often take advantage of the rented premises to make both Dental Clinic and personal accommodation to minimize costs. This is entirely possible from November 12nd, 2018, the effective date of Decree 155/2018/ND-CP issued by the Government, abolishing the regulation on the separation of Dental Clinic and personal accommodation.

Fourthly, in terms of medical equipment, the Dental Clinic must ensure that there is a box of anti-shock medicine and sufficient specialized emergency medicine[1], in addition, from November 12nd, 2018, the effective date of Decree 155/2018/ND-CP, the Government has abolished the regulation that the Dental Clinic must have medical equipment suitable to the professional scope that will apply for a license to operate the Dental Clinic (“Operating License”).

Fifthly, in terms of personnel, the professional qualifications and experience of the person in charge of professional and technical is one of the important factors to be considered for Operating License by the competent authority. Therefore, the chief physician of a dental clinic who is also the direct physician performing the medical examination and treatment must meet the following conditions[2]:

  • Being a doctor with an appropriate professional qualification and practice certificate and only providing healthcare within the assigned scope of work.
  • Having worked as a healthcare practitioner in such speciality for at least 54 months about the Odonto-Stomatology

In addition, if wishing to provide healthcare, other doctors working in the Dental Clinic must have a practice certificate and be assigned in accordance with the practice scope specified in such practice certificate.

Doctors who have registered to practice at a dental clinic are not allowed to register as physicians in charge of professional and technical of the dental clinic in another province or city, in order to assure the continuity and stability of his/her medical examination and treatment[3].

However, a physician who is registered as a physician in charge of professional and technical of the dental clinic may register to work overtime at another dental clinic in the same province or city but the total extra working time must not exceed 200 hours in accordance with the Labor Code[4].

If the doctor is a foreigner working at the Dental Clinic, he/she must have a work permit, a labor contract signed with the Dental Clinic and a certificate of proficiency in Vietnamese. In the absence of a certificate of proficiency in Vietnamese, an interpreter is required to translate from the language of the registered physician into Vietnamese. The interpreter must have a certificate of qualification for interpreting that is suitable for the language of a foreign doctor registered to use who must also sign a labor contract with the Dental Clinic where the foreign doctor is employed[5].

In addition, foreign investors should note when carrying out the procedures for applying for licenses to operate the Dental Clinic as follows:

  • Documents, certificates, diplomas granted in foreign countries must be consular legalized and translated into Vietnamese, the translation must be certified according to the provisions of Vietnamese law;
  • In addition to the above conditions, foreign investors need to prepare documents on registration of environmental protection plans, contracts for treatment of medical waste and domestic waste, certification of satisfaction of all fire prevention and fighting conditions at the Dental Clinic to submit the dossiers for obtaining the Operation License;
  • Qualifications granted by foreign countries to doctors do not usually list in detail the professional they are trained in, which can make it difficult to prove that a doctor is trained or able ability to perform the registered professional to be approved for Operation License.


If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Apolat Legal – An International Law Firm in Viet Nam.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.


[1] Clause 2, Article 26 of Decree 109/2016/ND-CP
[2] Clause 3, Article 26 of Decree 109/2016/ND-CP
[3] Clause 7, Article 11 of Circular 41/2011/TT-BYT
[4] Clause 6, Article 11 of Circular 41/2011/TT-BYT
[5] Clause 1, Article 6 of Circular 41/2011/TT-BYT

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