Setting up a company in Thailand
If you are thinking of starting your own Thai company in Bangkok and are having trouble with the registration process, don’t worry! ACCThai offers a one-stop solution to all your business needs. Our licensed lawyers and consultants have helped in setting up many companies for foreigners in Bangkok and Thailand over the years and can help you navigate through setting up a company, obtaining a visa, and getting a work permit along with the other many other business needs you may have.
The Thai government has increased the ease of doing business and reduced the number of steps required to register a business in the past year and this has seen a jump in new business registrations from foreigners.
The country is strategically located in South East Asia with access to an abundance of cheap labor and expert employees along with a great lifestyle for people making the country their new home. Bangkok is one of the top destinations in the world and with an expanding mass transit system and an increasingly cosmopolitan scene, is a great place to live and run your business.
What is the process to start a new business and how can ACCThai help?
When starting up a company you must register the company first. The registration process is complex for those who don’t know the laws of the Thailand. But don’t worry this is why we are here. With the help of our lawyer’s extensive knowledge and expertise, the registration process will be very easy. Our representatives speak both Thai and English and will help you through the registration process.
ACCThai’s lawyers can make sure you understand all the ins and outs of setting up a business and the options available to you and ensure that you don’t violate the conditions of the Foreign Business Act which sets up some restrictions on business ownership for foreigners.
While Thailand does have an extensive range of business options such as a sole proprietorship, an ordinary or limited partnership, a representative, regional or a branch office, a joint venture, a limited company or even a foreign company, not all of these are available to foreign business owners.
What are my options as a foreigner for registering a company in Thailand?
If you are looking to own your business outright, with 100% ownership of shares there are a few options;
Board of Investment Company
A BOI promoted Thai company can be owned fully by a foreigner, it also offers special government concessions, tax incentives, and additional work permits. There are some restrictions on what can be a BOI promoted company so be sure and check with one of our representatives to see if you qualify.
Foreign Business License
A company in Thailand may apply for 100% foreign ownership by offering benefits to the country under the Foreign Business License. This can either be through technical or knowledge transfer, employment or investment factors.
US Treaty of Amity Company Registration
Citizens of the United States of America can own a company fully under the Treaty of Amity agreement. This option is only open to citizens of the U.S. however.
A company that will only be exporting is eligible for 100% foreign ownership, all revenues must be realized from outside Thailand.
A company that manufactures goods in Thailand and exports is eligible for 100% foreign ownership if all revenues are generated from outside Thailand.
Hotel Management Company
A company registered as Hotel Management can apply for 100% foreign ownership.
Representative office, Regional Operating Headquarters & Branch Office
Foreign registered companies can register a Representative Office, Regional Operating Headquarters or Branch Office, each carry specific restrictions on operations and profit generations.
Another option is to set up a Thai Limited Company.
A Thai Limited company, which acts like an LLC , has limited liability, and is the most preferred option for people setting up companies in Thailand.
All limited companies have directors (executive & non-executive), shareholders (both Thai and foreign), promoters and limited liability. Limited liability means that the shareholders of the Thai company can only lose the capital they have invested and will not be required to pay the liabilities if the company defaults.
One of the benefits of setting up a Limited Company in Thailand is that the rights and obligations of all parties are set down in writing ensuring top performance while making the duties clear to all the stakeholders. With a Thai limited company, all legal entitlements and responsibilities are clearly stated and available for reference when required.
How do you set up a Thai company?
The Thai government has worked to make setting up a Thai Limited Company easier and now it takes just one day to register a company compared to the six weeks it took a few years ago. A minimum of three shareholders are required and if the majority shares are owned by a foreigner then the company will need to obtain a Foreign Business License. However, if the majority of shares are owned by a Thai national then the Foreign Business License is not required; this is why many people prefer to form a company with Thai nationals.
To start a Thai Limited Company two main documents are required and must be registered with the Thai Ministry of Commerce. Sunbelt Asia’s lawyers will assist you in drafting these two documents; the Articles of Association and the Memorandum of Association. The Articles of Association can be tailored to suit the specific needs of a company, as long as the original shareholders agree to the terms in writing. In some cases, the Prospectus (another important document) is required but not always.
What other services are necessary to run a company in Thailand?
ACCThai Legal Advisors can help you with all aspects of setting up and maintaining a company in Thailand. Depending on what business you go into you may need certain licenses and approval, such as the Food and Drug Administration, BOI, Food and Beverage licenses or licensing by the Education Ministry. Sunbelt Asia’s lawyers can advise you as to the required licenses and will assist you in obtaining all necessary licenses.
ACCThai Legal Advisors also offers secretarial services, accounting and tax services, office space in a central Bangkok location, and assistance in any documentation that may be required to keep your company fully legal with the Thai authorities.
ACCThai’s lawyers specialize in setting up safe and secure company structures for foreigners in Bangkok and Thailand – providing you with the secure environment you need for making an investment.