Starting a Business in Thailand: Ultimate Guide

Post-pandemic, Thailand sees a resurgent in consumption and strong tourism driving its GDP with a projected growth of 3%-3.5% in 2023. Its strategic trade location, diverse manufacturing sector and thriving economy have made it a hot spot for business expansion or starting a business there. Getting accurate information about professional company registration in Thailand is the key to making the process seamless.

This ultimate guide provides you with an overview of the process for registering a Thai company, getting your company into the Thailand company registry – from selecting a corporate structure to submitting the required paperwork!

Steps to register a Thai company:

1. Choose and register a company name

The first step in registering a Thai company is to choose a company name. The company name must be in Thai and must include the word “Thai” or “PLC” (Public Limited Company).

You can reserve your company name online at the Department of Business Development (DBD) site. It is important to note that the company name will be registered in Thai, even if your company name is in English. Normally you will get approval within one to three days.

All shareholders of the company are required to sign an MOA (Memorandum of Association) after approval of the company name. The following details must be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce along with the MOA:

  • Names of shareholders
  • The registered capital
  • The company’s address, and
  • The scope of activities you intend to carry out in the first year.

2. Filling the MOA

The Memorandum of Association is an agreement made by the founders of the company. This document must be submitted to the DBD once ready.

The MOA must include your company name, business objectives, province of the registered office, declaration that liability of shareholders is limited, amount of share capitals, details and signature of each founder, and number of shares carried by each shareholder.

3. Choose a company type

The next step is to choose the company type. There are three types of companies in Thailand:

1. Private limited company

2. Public limited company

3. Limited partnership

A Thai Limited Company is one of the most common legal forms required to operate any type of business in the country. As per the law, Thai Limited Companies should have at least three shareholders, and a Thai legal entity (individual or a company) must hold the majority (51%) of the company’s shares.

The company should hold a statutory meeting where the articles of incorporation and by-laws are drafted and the auditor and board of directors are appointed.

4. Register the company

The next step is to register the company with the Ministry of Commerce within 90 days of holding the statutory meeting. This can be done online or through a registered agent.

You will need to provide the following information in your registration application:

  • The number of shares allotted or subscribed
  • The amount paid on each share
  • The names, addresses, and occupations of the directors 
  • The address of the company’s principal office and branches

5. Register with the Revenue Department

Once registered, you will be issued a company registration certificate and an income tax number. After receiving the registration, you need to apply to the Revenue Department for a Tax ID number and VAT (value-added tax) if the annual turnover is above THB 1.8 million.

6. Apply for an Alien Business License

The fourth step is to apply for an Alien Business License if you are not a Thai citizen. This is necessary if your business will have a physical presence in Thailand.

7. Work permit and social fund registration

Apart from obtaining work permits, you will need to ensure your Thai employees are registered in the Thai Social Fund system.

A complicated and time-consuming process at most times, the whole process of starting a company in Thailand can take up to two months. However, there is a faster way to help you save both cost and time! It’s best to start planning your expansion well in advance.

By leveraging Link’s PEO/EoR services you can fast-track your business expansion process in Thailand. Links’ Asia-Pacific team ensures businesses are compliant with local regulations and our in-country team will be able to help you deal with any issues quickly. Using PEO services can save you up to 10X the costs compared to setting up a local entity and businesses can also onboard someone in as little as 48 hours!

To learn why best in class businesses are choosing to use PEO/EoR services, contact our team now!

Don’t Miss Our Upcoming Complimentary Thailand Labour Law & Compliance Webinar!

Good news! Keeping up with legal changes isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, however it’s still a requirement that you’ll need to follow. To learn the A to Z of labour law and compliance in Thailand, come join our FREE webinar taking place on 29th March 2023 from 11AM to 12PM HKT. This session will be hosted by Lynette Liew, Regional Business Development Manager and Phawina Abudoem, Payroll Manager in Thailand.

Lynette is responsible for driving solution-based sales in the SEA Markets. Leveraging on the ecosystem in these markets, Lynette builds extensive business partnerships in the Human Resources (HR) function. With her broad understanding of HR Shared Services, HR Business Partnering and CX (Customer Experience), Lynette helps customers identify the best solution possible. Phawina is responsible for managing Links HR in the Thailand team. She has over 3 years’ experience in in-house HR function and over 6 years’ experience in the Payroll & HR field – working closely with multinational companies.

Grab this opportunity while you can sign up here to book your spot TODAY!

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The above information is for reference purposes only. For updated and latest information, please refer to Thailand’s Department of Business Development website.

Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationPEO/EOR Secondmentoutplacementrecruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.