Opening an Office in Thailand
Thailand benefits from a free enterprise economy and well developed infrastructure along with pro-investment policies, making it an inviting option for companies looking to open new offices. Bangkok is the financial center of Thailand as well as the principal port.
Laws and Regulations on Setting up a business in Thailand
There are three types of businesses in Thailand, Sole Partnerships, Partnerships and Limited Companies (both private and public). The majority of foreign investors form private limited companies.
The Foreign Business Act (FBA) regulates the types of businesses and conditions that are permitted to foreigners. In Thailand certain business rights are reserved only for citizens of the country.
According to Thailand Foreign Business Act, there are three types of business activities:
- Business Not Permitted to Foreigners
- Business Permitted to Foreigners under Conditions
- Business Not Yet Permitted to Foreigners
Foreigners who wish to engage in businesses covered under 2 or 3 will need to apply for a Foreign Business Licence.
Foreign employees will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa along with a work permit. Documentation will be required from the company who is offering employment along with business registration certificates, tax and legal documents.
The Labor Protection Act is in place to protect workers in Thailand and includes work hours and holiday allowances, sick leave, severance pay and termination of employment conditions.
Courtesy and respect is extremely important when conversing in Thailand. A Thai person may often find it very difficult to say no outright so body language needs to be taken into account. In Thailand, business relationships develop slowly, you cannot expect to conclude business in one meeting. It may take a number of meetings for a relationship to succeed.