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5 Steps to Opening a Thai Company

Thailand offers excellent potential for business, and setting up a company in the country unlocks numerous possibilities. With your own company, you can conduct business, hire employees, and even purchase property. The best thing is that the requirements for opening a Thai company are quite straightforward and not very restrictive.

Registering a Thai company can be completed in less than two weeks if you’ve got all your paperwork right. Here’s a look at the necessary steps for opening a company in Thailand.

Find a trustworthy service provider

It’s essential to work with a reputable legal professional and accountant to ensure you get all the legal requirements for opening a Thai company right. This step is especially true if you are foreigner looking to set up business in the country. You may also want to find trustworthy partners who will help you deal with local suppliers to ensure you don’t get ripped off.

Choose shareholders and directors

To register your company in Thailand, it must have three or more shareholders. Also, the shares held by foreigners shouldn’t exceed 49%. If you are a foreigner, therefore, you should choose at least one Thai shareholder to control at least 51% of the company.

If your company is over 49% foreign-owned, it will be categorized as a foreign business. In that case, you’ll need to apply for permits and licenses as stipulated in the Foreign Business Act. This is usually a requirement for companies that are registered in other countries and are looking to establish branches and conduct business in Thailand.

You’ll also need to appoint at least one director who will act on behalf of the company, like signing official documents. As a foreigner, it is advisable to choose a Thai national to serve as director to avoid unnecessary investigation of your application. You can then change the directorship once the company is fully set up.

Pick your company name

You’ll need to choose three possible names in order of preference. Avoid names that are quite similar to existing businesses, misleading, salacious, overly political, or that use monarchy-related words. Such names risk being rejected.

That’s why you need two backup names in case the first choice is rejected. After picking your names, you should register them with the Department of Business Registration. If everything is in order, your business name should be approved within three days.

Rent an office or business premises

A company must have a physical address. Before your company is approved, authorities may want to see if you have sufficient workspace for your registered staff. It is advisable to find a place that has previously been used as an office or business premises.

This step is necessary because there is documentation required from the landlord, and some landlords may be unwilling to provide it. If the place you’re renting hasn’t been used as a business premise before, you should make sure that your prospective landlord will be able to provide any required documents. Otherwise, you should look for another place.

Arrange required permits and licenses

There are various licenses that you’ll need to obtain, depending on your business objectives. These may include:

  •  E-Commerce License
  •  Food License
  •  Cigarette License
  •  Factory License
  •  Entertainment License
  •  Import License
  •  Import-Export Card

As a foreigner, you must obtain a work permit and a tax ID to be able to work in Thailand. Once you set up your company, you can have your company apply for a work permit on your behalf. 

Summing up, opening a company, and conducting business in Thailand is quite a simple process. Just follow the above five steps, and you’ll be well on your way to running a successful business in the country.

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