Setting up a company in Thailand could be a challenging task, especially if you are new to the country and are not sure where to start.
However, if done correctly could lead to an exceptionally rewarding and profitable future for your business.
The following is a thorough guide targeted mostly at foreigners on how to set up a company in Thailand, for those who are thinking of starting up their company here to entrepreneurs looking to expand their already existing business in a new environment.
What does Thailand have to offer?
If you are interested but unsure about the prospect of setting up a company in Thailand, we’ll give a brief introduction to the country itself and the main factors that make Thailand a compelling choice for the location of your startup or expanding business.
One of the main reasons that Thailand has become a target for businesses is due to its convenient and strategic location which allows it to serve as a gateway into Asia.
Trading between Thailand and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries such as China and India has become very convenient.
Over the years Thailand has greatly developed as an economy to the point where it is the country with the second-highest GDP in South East Asia according to the IMF, only behind Indonesia.
Thailand had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 543.65 billion US dollars in 2019, according to official data from the World Bank.
The growth of Thailand’s economy is steady and consistent thanks to many factors such as the availability of natural resources, demand for exports, a bustling consumer market as well as a skilled, cost-efficient workforce are some of the many points that attract investors into the country.
Economic development has led to a diversification in new as well as previously established industries here in Thailand.
The tech industry specifically is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years due to increased interest in the Country from investors, entrepreneurs as well as large corporations.
Excellent Education and Healthcare services
Education in Thailand maintains a high-class standard through many international schools, colleges, and universities.
Most universities offer Business English which makes it relatively easy to find Thai employees with communication skills and knowledge in the business field.
In addition to education, Thailand’s healthcare also displays a parallel standard with modern medical facilities and equipment as well as highly skilled doctors and medical staff.
Living In Thailand: A Guide To Moving To Thailand As An Expat :
Are you thinking of living in Thailand? With around 3.6 million migrants living in Thailand as of 2022, making up 5.2% of the total population, moving to Thailand is becoming increasingly popular among expatriates.
If you too are asking yourself the question, ‘should I move to Thailand?’ perhaps this guide will help you to decide. Here we’ll cover how to find a job, a place to live and explain some of the ins-and-outs of daily life in Thailand as an expat.
What to expect from living in Thailand as an expat
Thailand is a newly-industrialised country with an incredible history. In the commercial centre and capital city Bangkok, workers will find an industrial and service economy that has cemented the city as the one of economic centres of South East Asia.
Bangkok is very modern, and so you can expect good telecommunications systems, high-quality architecture, public transportation networks and a generally metropolitan culture, with plenty of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. There are over 10 million people living in Bangkok, and the population is growing.
Outside the capital, Thailand’s diverse landscape is less modernised and predominantly agricultural. The mountainous north is littered with temples known as ‘wats’, which are popular with backpackers and tourists, and which reflect the country’s strong association with Buddhism. Along the Malay Peninsula and throughout the Gulf of Thailand in the south, one will find long stretches of tropical beaches and islands, including the popular destination of Koh Samui.
Being close to the equator, Thailand is hot all year round, with a monsoon season lasting most of the summer. For this reason, air conditioning is essential for people living in Thailand.
What language is spoken in Thailand and do people in Thailand speak English?
Thai, also known as Siamese, is the national language of Thailand. It is a tonal language with dozens of regional variations and uses an Indic script.
English is not widely spoken in Thailand at the moment, however, schools are increasingly adding English to the curriculum. People living in Thailand will therefore find good opportunities for teaching English, if they choose.
How can I find accommodation when moving to Thailand?
Buying property in Thailand is notoriously difficult for foreigners, so if this is your first time moving to Thailand you’re better off renting before looking to buy.
Fortunately, Thailand has a robust rental market and there are many websites to help people who want to live in Thailand. A few you might want to try include:
Before moving to Thailand, make sure you do plenty of research about the area where you intend to live. It’s a good idea to visit and walk around the area, or you can try asking on the many online forums dedicated to expat life in Thailand, such as Thaiger.
As an expat in Thailand, you will find that your money goes much further, as the cost of living in Thailand is significantly lower than in western nations. Therefore, it’s more likely that you will be able to afford to live in affluent and middle-class areas. Coastal areas can be more expensive, especially if you want to have a sea view. The three most popular areas in Thailand for expats are Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and, of course, Bangkok.
If you are moving to Bangkok, some of the most popular areas for expats include:
- Thong Lo
- Victory Monument
There is no regulation for who can become a real estate in Thailand, so if you are thinking of working with an agent, be sure to vet them first. Make sure they have good credentials and testimonials, and try asking their previous clients how they found the experience, if you can.
If you intend to work in Thailand, you should agree a contract on a place to live before starting your work permit application, as you will need to submit proof of a permanent address during your work permit application.
Top expat tips for living in Thailand
- • Ensure you have all essential documents and visas in place before departure
- • If you move with your kids, early application for school places is advisable
- • Have up to three months’ rent available upfront to secure a rental property
- • Look at life insurance and health cover that reflect your location needs. We have been supporting expats with international insurance for almost 30 years now
- • Stay healthy and immerse yourself in the culture.
Jobs, visas and working in Thailand
You must have a work permit if you intend to legally work in Thailand. You are not permitted to work unless you have a work permit and a Non-Immigrant B Visa.
To secure a work permit, you must first apply for an initial visa before entering Thailand. A non-immigrant (visitor’s) visa is not sufficient. You can apply for your B Visa and work permit when you’re already in Thailand, at the immigration department.
The best way to go about getting a work permit is to apply through your employer. You will also need to supply:
- A passport photo
- Medical certificate
- Letter of employment
- Proof of degrees
- Your address in Thailand
Your employer will then provide documentation proving your employment.
While living in Thailand, you’ll only be permitted to perform the job listed on your work permit. There are certain types of jobs that foreigners are allowed to do, and everything else is excluded (see the list of prohibited work). Foreigners are not allowed to engage in exports or wholesale trading. If you intend to change jobs or address, you will need to apply for a new work permit.
A Thai work permit is valid for 12 months and costs up to 3,000 Thai Baht (US$90/£70). You will need to extend your visa every year, which you can do so long as you remain in employment. You are required to check-in at the Thai Immigration Department every 90 days for the whole duration of your stay in Thailand, no matter how long you live there, which you can do online.