Starting a Business in Thailand
and Things You Should Know
Setting up a company in Thailand and working in Thailand.
Interested in starting a business in Thailand? Setting up a company in Thailand can be a daunting process. However, with the right information and understanding, it can help make the entire process that much easier.
Some of the most questions we get are:
Q: Can foreigners start a business in Thailand?
A: Yes, foreigners can start a business in Thailand.
Q: Can foreigners set up a company in Thailand?
A: Yes, foreigners can set up a company in Thailand.
Q: Can foreigners work in Thailand?
A: Yes, foreigners can work in Thailand.
Setting up a company or a business in Thailand is possible if you are a foreigner. However, you must have a valid visa, a work permit and the business industry must not violate Thailand’s Alien Employment Act.
Are you thinking of starting a business in Thailand? See our easy advice further below in this blog for more information on how to set up a business. Things to keep in mind include:
What is required to set up a company in Thailand?
In order to open a company in Thailand, there are multiple steps that will need to be considered and completed. You will need to fill out many forms which are written in Thai, and these forms will need supporting documentation in order to be filed at Thai government agencies. For foreigners looking to open a company, we recommend you seek the assistance and advice of an experienced lawyer in Thailand.
One thing does need to be clarified, though. The majority of shares in a Thai company must be owned by a Thai citizen, unless the company is part of a special Board of Investment (BOI) program. What this means is that a foreigner is only allowed to own up to 49% of a Thai company, and the 49% limit for certain business activities can either be exceeded or exempted if a Foreign Business License is granted. A Foreign Business License is only granted to a foreign-owned business that is unique and does not directly compete with an existing Thai business.
In Thailand, there are several forms of companies, but the most popular form of a company is a private limited company. In a PLC, shareholders have limited liability while the directors may have unlimited liability. Private limited companies require at least a minimum of three promoters, who can be foreign or Thai, but they must be non-juristic and also own shares in the company.
The process of setting up a company in Thailand
Begins with the promoters reserving the name of the company with the Department of Business Development. A minimum of three company names that are not similar and do not violate ministry regulations must be presented. The Department of Business Development will then choose one of the three names.
Preparing your company’s memorandum
A memorandum must then be filed with the Memorandum of Association with the Commercial Registration Department. The Memorandum must have:
- The name of the company
- The number of shares plus their value
- The names of the promoters.
After the filing, a statutory meeting takes place to establish the particulars of each company share, the establishment of each director, and the remuneration to the promoters. Also, if the company intends to have foreign workers, expect minimum registered capital requirements as well as employment requirements for the company. During the company application process, each shareholder and promoter must submit payments for the shares in the new company and sign all of the registration documents. New companies must also obtain a tax ID from the Revenue Department within 60 days of the start of the business. The entire process takes approximately three months.
BUSINESS LICENSE IN THAILAND
Once the company is registered, you can then obtain your company’s business license and start operating. It is up to the company to keep track of and book income and expenses according to procedures specified in the Civil and Commercial Code, the Revenue Code, and the Accounts Act. Financial submission requirements must be kept in place and submitted in order for the company to continue operating.
What to look out for and be aware of when starting a business in Thailand?
If you’re planning to set up a company in Thailand, make sure to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer. As a friendly tip from us to you, make sure you have a good relationship with all your shareholders. As well as make sure that everything is documented and traceable via paperwork. There are a number of fees, so make sure you have sufficient funds to cover all startup and operational costs.
So, now you know the requirements for setting up a company in Thailand. Should you need further assistance, contact TMT Visa Service in Phuket, Thailand, for more information or to schedule a consultation.