Starting and Registering a Business in Thailand: Ultimate Guide

Thailand’s 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 business in Thailand and 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.

Remember- a registered name is only valid for thirty days and can’t be extended unless you reapply. As a result, you must complete step 2 within 30 days of the name registration approval.

2. File 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.

The application for filing the MOA is required to be submitted to the Department of Business Developement (DBD), with a stamp duty of THB200.

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 next 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Registration a Thai Company

1.Can Foreigners set up and register a company in Thailand?

Yes, foreigners can register and start a company in Thailand. However, there are a few restrictions and regulations that you should be aware of. For instance, Thai law requires a minimum of 51% of the shares of a Thai company to be held by Thai nationals. 

There are, however, exceptions. For instance, the Board of Investment (BOI Promotion) allows for 100% foreign ownership for specific business activities. For details, please refer to the Board of Investment Website. 

2. How much does it cost to register a company in Thailand?

It depends on the nature of the company, as well as the needs for additional professional services. However, there are some basic government fees that you should take into account. For example, the Thai government charges a fee based on the company’s registered capital of the Branch Office and is caluclated at THB 5 per THB 1,000 of the registered capital of the overseas corporation. The fee lies between THB 20,000 – THB 250,000). 

3. Can a foreigner be a director of a Thai company?

The answer is yes. However, foreign directors are required to apply for a work permit if they were to be actively engaging in the company’s operation and management, and will be residing in Thailand for more than 15 days. 

Leverage Link’s PEO/EoR Service to Fast-Track 

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!

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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.