When opening bar in Vietnam using foreign-imported alcohols, strong alcohol, or tobacco, etc., the enterprise should obtain a license for trading these items as well as pay full special consumption tax, import tax, VAT depending on each specific case. In case of serving food and drink to guests, it is also necessary to have a certificate of food safety as prescribed by law.
Bar business is a conditional business line specified in Decree 54/2019/ND-CP (“Decree 54”). There is no provision prohibiting certain entities from doing business in this sector.
Therefore, it can be understood that all organizations or individuals (except those who are not allowed to establish enterprises under Article 17.2 of the Law on Enterprises 2020) if they meet the conditions on bar business. Specifically, under Article 5 of Decree 54:
- Be an enterprise or household business that is established as specified by regulations and law.
- Ensure fire safety, public security and order as specified in Decree No. 96/2016/ND-CP dated July 01, 2016 of the Government on security, and order conditions of conditional business sectors.
- Have a usable area of 80 square meters or larger, excluding the auxiliary works.
- Ensure no door locks or alarming devices (except fire alarm) are installed inside the rooms.
- Be located at least 200 meters away from schools, hospitals, religious establishments, cultural – historical heritage.
Enterprises, business households doing bar business must ensure the fulfillment of the responsibilities stated below (according to Articles 6 and 8 of Decree 54):
- Use only songs that have been licensed and permitted.
- Comply with labor code for workers specified in regulations and law. Provide the workers with uniforms and name tags.
- Ensure noise isolation of the singing rooms or dance floors are in conformity with National Technical Regulation on noise.
- Comply with regulations and law specified in Decree No. 105/2017/ND-CP dated September 14, 2017 of the Government on trade in alcohol.
- Comply with regulations and law on tobacco harm prevention.
- Comply with regulations and law on environmental protection; food safety; copyright; employment contracts; occupational safety; insurance; social evils prevention and other related regulations and law.
- Not operate from 02 a.m. to 08 a.m.
- Not serve people under 18 years old.
- Comply with regulations and law on art performance when organizing art performances.
Along with the integration and international cultural exchange, the bar business is becoming an increasingly popular business type, because of the huge profits of this business form as well as the hedonistic lifestyle of young people these days. However, not everyone knows and fully complies with the provisions of the law, partly due to a lack of knowledge, and partly due to deliberate deviation to evade financial obligations. Therefore, enterprises or business households should also equip with the necessary legal knowledge, and comply with the conditions prescribed by the law to avoid being sanctioned for violations, suspending operations or closing permanently from failure to comply with any prescribed conditions.