A Guide to Setting Up a Business in Thailand

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If you are one of the many expats that is enchanted with living in Thailand and would like to start a business in the Land of Smiles, you’ve come to the right place, as this article offers you step-by-step information on the best way to set up a company in Bangkok. A private limited company is by far the best option for an expat who wishes to register a business in Thailand, with perhaps a partnership with a Thai national, which is required by Thai law, unless the foreigner obtains a special foreign business licence.

Choosing a Company Name

You are advised to choose three separate names, in order of preference when submitting your legal request to register the business in the name of a limited company, and try to keep the name short and clearly readable in English (it will be translated into Thai). There are certain words that cannot be used in a company name and when looking for company registration in Bangkok, you are advised to enlist the help of a local agency that specialises in such ventures.

Memorandum of Association

This document must contain information about the company as follows:

  • Name of proposed company.
  • Full address of the company offices.
  • Company objectives.
  • Declaration of limited association.
  • Amount of registered capital.
  • The amount of division between partners or shareholders.

This must be signed by all concerned parties and two copies of the original must be made and certified by two witnesses.

The Statutory Meeting

The reasons for holding a statutory meeting are:

  • Record the rules of the company.
  • Decide the amount to be paid to the investors.
  • To appoint directors and auditors.
  • To decide the number of shares to be issued.

Registering the company

This can be done on the same day that the memorandum is created, and it must be lodged at the Thai Ministry of Commerce, after the statutory meeting has taken place. The details of the registration application would include:

  • The total number of shares (if any).
  • The names and addresses of directors, plus their respective powers.
  • The duration the company will be in operation (if a term has been fixed).

At this time, Thai investors would have to disclose the sources of their investment capital, and should the company acquire property, there must be approval of the Land Department. There must also be recorded details of all investment, made by whom, along with all share information.

Specialist Assistance

Of course, all this is quite complex, and for a foreigner, the best solution is to engage the services of a firm that handles Thai company registration, who could advise them accordingly and handle the process on their behalf. It is important that all requirements are met, following the correct protocol, which is why you need the help of a third party who is experienced in such matters.

Your lawyer would be able to liaise and keep you informed, and once the company is registered, you can begin trading.