Business Visa Requirements

What are the requirements for starting a business in Thailand and getting a Visa? There really aren't any - anyone can do it. You need to know what kind of business you're going to start, what are going to be the products or services you'll offer and in this blog, we'll tell you what its going to take to get up and running in Thailand.

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Your business idea

You won't get too far without a solid business idea. We recommend spending a few nights putting down on paper what your business is going to do, how much will your prices be and if you have the capital to start it.

Finding a Thai partner

The first step, is to find a Thai partner, since for most private limited companies, they'll own 51% of the company. You can find more than one partner for this. We recommend a trusted friend first, a Thai relative next and finally, a wife or girlfriend. If you do not have a partner, we can assist you in finding some individuals that we know and trust, then you have to vet them yourself. Remember that this is your business and your life, so always think carefully about your business partner, which brings us to the next point.

Preparing a partnership agreement

Our lawyer can help you draw up a partnership/shareholder agreement that determines the powers, duties and responsibilities of the partner and what happens if the company has to be closed. Or what happens to your shares if you die (generally you want to pass this on to your family). A lot of people forget this step, but we recommend that you should always do it.

Registering the company

As part of registering the company you have to chose a name, but also chose 3 alternate names, just in case the name you want is already taken. Our team will check the Thailand DBD system to see if your name is available before doing the registration. 
You can do a name search here.

You'll also need to choose the types of business you will be doing. If you can speak Thai and understand all the document requirements, you are actually able to register the company yourself.
Register your company here

Setting up a Registered Office

Unlike some other countries, you do need a public place to have your business. It is possible to have it in a home, but you do need to have a sign outside near your gate that is visible to the public. This rules out almost all condos.

You are use one of many virtual office services that allow this. Or if you have a townhome, a house or other dwelling that you can hang a small sign to the front of, that is enough too. Be sure to inquire with your landlord to get permission to do this before you go ahead.

Employees

As a foreigner you do need to hire at least 4 Thai employees. At a minimum you should be paying their social security payments and any other taxes each month. Employees can be part time or full time. But this step you have to do.

We can help you find the staff for your business and help with teh Social Security registration for these staff members.

V.A.T. - Value Added Tax

Your business also needs to sign up for the Thailand Value Added Tax, although you do not need to start charging and paying it until you've reached a certain minimum revenue threshold. But you do need to be registered.

Your Visa

The next step is to get an "B" (Business) visa which lasts for 3 months or 1 year. You can apply for this visa inside or outside of Thailand (depending on your nationality).  There is quite a long list of documents associated with getting this visa (including your work permit) and this is where whatever you pay your visa consultant is worth every penny.

Our lawyer can do this step quickly and efficiently for you. Please contact us on the forms on this page to get started.

Up and Running

If there are no complications or problems (and with a good visa agent - there usually will not be), then your company should be registered and you will have your Business Visa and Work Permit in your hands.

Please make copies of these important documents as you will need to show them or send them by email from time to time.

Opening a Business Account

The next immediate step is to open one or more bank accounts for your business. We recommend two accounts. One to keep all you V.A.T. and other taxes and another one for normal business operations. You will need to show your business registration certificate, passport with business visa and work permit. We recommend visiting a bank of your choice first, since requirements and document will vary depending on the bank.

Opening Personal Accounts

Because you now have a work permit, you can walk into any bank and open an account on your own. This is one of the great advantages of having a work permit. It just makes financial life in Thailand so much easier.

Buying Land

Another great advantage of having a Thailand private Limited Liability Company with a Thai partner, is that you can also buy assets such as land, houses, etc in the Kingdom. You cannot do this with most other types of companies. Just as in other countries, a company has many of the rights of a Thai citizen/person.

Hiring an Accountant

Your most important hire will be an accountant who can do your taxes and file all the necessary paperwork to keep your company compliant. You also have to pay yourself and your staff and pay any taxes for these as well.

Summary

Starting a business in Thailand is not that difficult on your part. A good lawyer will do most of the work and all you have to do is pay whatever fees are required.

If your business is making money in Thailand, enough to pay you and your staff and your taxes, then you are well on teh way to becoming a permanent resident in a few years and even a citizen.

Let's get real, this is hands down, the best way to become a part of Thailand. Believe it or not, being married, or having a retirement visa will never confer the rights and privileges that owning a business in Thailand will.

If you need a consultation, please let us know and we will be very happy to get you started.

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