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How to Start a Business in Thailand



Thailand’s 13th national social and economic development plan (2021-25) has a clear goal to increase the contribution of small and medium-sized companies towards the country’s GDP. By the end of the current, 12th plan (2016-2020), the contribution of small and medium-sized businesses is expected to reach 45% of the GDP.

To reach those goals, Thailand is stimulating startups through 1% interest loans, dedicated to support the digital transformation of these businesses. But to get such a loan, you first need to start a business.

The environment for startups in Thailand is quite beneficial. But how exactly does one start a business in Thailand? Can foreigners do it? Many questions arise, so let’s try to tackle the most important ones.

How to Set Up Company in Thailand

  1. A Freelancing Business Is Easy to Start

Thailand is a highly popular destination for freelancers from all around the world. The living costs are low, and the climate is wonderful all year long.

But how does freelancing work here?

If you want to set up an essay writers service for students, it will be treated as a Thai Limited Company. This is a type of business that requires a minimum of seven stakeholders, and can be entirely owned by foreigners.

For an individual freelancer, things are easier. To work legally in the country, you can team up with a local company that would sponsor your work permit and business visa. Iglu, an outsourcing and relocation agency, is dedicated to help freelancers to work legally in Thailand. Taxes, social security, and invoicing are carried out through the company.

  1. Understand the Types of Business You Can Start

What if you’re not a freelancer and you still want to start a company in Thailand?

There are three types of business entities you can start here:

  • Partnership
  • Limited Company
  • Joint Venture

First, get informed about your options and figure out what category your business would fall under. If you want to start a restaurant, you can do it as a joint venture or a partnership. But if you’re a foreigner and you want to start a restaurant chain, you’ll need to register it as a limited company.

  1. Prepare for the Registration Process

It will take around a week for you to register a private company in Thailand. For public companies, the registration process is longer and more complicated.

  • First, you’ll reserve the name of your business.
  • You’ll collect all needed documents, including:
    • Application form
    • Business name reservation
    • Memorandum and articles of association
    • For for declaration of business operation
    • Director form
    • Information for the company’s branches and offices
    • Proof of a corporate bank account that holds at least 25% of the initial investment capital

To get all information you need, visit the site of Thailand Board of Investment.

  1. Know the Laws!

All companies have to pay tax. Once you register your company, you will have a period of 60 days to get a business tax ID from the revenue department. For these matters, it’s best consult a Thai accountant.

As an employer, you’ll also need to respect the labor regulations in the country.

Starting a Business in Thailand Is Not Hard, But You Need a Plan

Thailand holds a lot of potential for small and medium-sized businesses to thrive. But to start a business and make it successful, you first need a viable idea and a strong business plan. Since Thai banks give beneficial loans only to businesses that already exist, you also need to get your starting funds through another method.

If you’re a foreigner who sees business opportunities in Thailand after a brief and casual visit, it’s best to spend some more time in the country. You need to understand how the business environment works and what the interest for your idea is. That’s a great opportunity to enjoy life in Thailand for a little longer before you get all serious about it.

By Nicholas Walker

Nicholas Walker is a freelance writer who travels the world and makes a living in the meantime. He loves exploring new countries and cultures. So far, Thailand has been the most amazing experience, ever.

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