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Foreigner Registering a Company in Thailand

Jan 20

For foreigners wishing to set up a business in Thailand, the process of registering a company can be a bit overwhelming. There are a number of factors to take into account, from the requirements of the company to the specifics of the Thai Treaty of Amity with the United States. It is worth taking the time to understand what is involved.

Company Registration Process

If you are a foreign investor looking to set up shop in Thailand, you have many options. The government has liberalized the business environment, making it easier to start and run a company.

One of the most important steps is to open a corporate bank account. While this is not mandatory, it can help to make the registration process a little smoother. It costs between THB 5,000 and 10,000, and is often included in the price of a company registration package.

Other key steps include naming your company and signing the documents to register it. You can name your company a million different ways, but the best way is to find a name that is short, easy to pronounce, and represents your business.

Thai Limited Company

The easiest way to register a Thai Limited Company is to start with a reputable professional firm that will handle the whole process. Using a professional firm can save you a lot of headaches, and ensure that your company is properly registered.

While registering a company in Thailand might seem easy, there are many steps that must be taken before it is finalized. In addition, the steps involved may vary depending on the type of business you plan to establish. It is important to research all available options before making a decision.

First, you must select a catchy name for your new company. Besides being attractive, it should also be able to convey the purpose of your organization.

Second, you will need to find a bank to open a corporate account. Many banks in Thailand offer only savings accounts, so you will need to choose a digital one.

US-Thai Treaty of Amity

The US-Thai Treaty of Amity allows US citizens to own majority shares in foreign companies in Thailand. This gives Americans the opportunity to invest in and manage Thai companies. However, investors must know that this treaty does not apply to all types of business activities.

To qualify for the treaty, a company must meet specific requirements. For example, it must have at least 51 percent ownership and half of the board must be American. If the business is not restricted by the Foreign Business Act, the registered capital must be at least THB 2 million.

A sole proprietorship is also protected under the Treaty of Amity. To obtain this type of registration, an applicant must submit notarized copies of his or her passport and birth certificate. In addition, he or she must send the application form to the Commercial Service office of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

Thailand Board of Investment

The main government organization responsible for promoting investment in Thailand by providing incentives to qualified businesses is the BOI Thailand (Board of Investment Thailand). 

By providing alluring tax incentive packages, relaxing foreign equity limitations on manufacturing and service businesses, and lifting limits on foreign organizations' ownership of land, the BOI seeks to increase competitiveness and encourage investments.

Granting both tax benefits and non-tax incentives, BOI Thailand encourages investments in particular activities and investment zones, including:

  • Permission to operate under 100% foreign ownership
  • Permission for foreign investors to own land
  • Exemption of import duty on machinery
  • Exemption from work permit and visa rules
  • Deduction of Transportation, Electricity, and Water Costs
  • Corporate income tax exemption for up to 8 years
  • Deduction of Project’s Infrastructure Installation
  • Permission for foreign technicians, experts, and their spouses or dependents to work and stay in Thailand
  • For a period of five years, exemption of import duty on raw or materials used in the manufacturing of export products

Thai Work Permit

When a foreigner wants to operate a business in Thailand, he or she must obtain a Thai Work Permit. This is required by the Foreign Employment Law, which prohibits a foreigner from performing any work in Thailand unless he or she has a work permit.

If a foreigner is planning to start a new company in Thailand, the first step is to register the business with the Department of Business Development (DBD). Once the company is registered, it can apply for VAT registration and open a corporate bank account. In addition, the company must prepare a list of shareholders.

After the company has been registered, the foreigner can begin applying for a work permit. Each work permit requires a minimum of 2 million baht in registered capital.