Doing business and setting up a company in Thailand by foreigners

Thai lawyers got an inquiry from a foreigner about doing business and setting up a company in Thailand.

Question: I am German and have a Thai wife living in Thailand. I wish to do a business in Thailand soon. If I want to register a Thai limited company with my wife being majority owner, what shall I do and how can I set up a Thai limited company in Thailand?

Answer: In this instance, your company will be considered a Thai company because the number of shares owned by Thai shareholders is more than that of foreign shareholders (Thai majority ownership). That means you can do almost any kind of legal business without the need to get a Foreign Business License to operate your business in Thailand. One very important thing to know is if you will be one of the authorized directors to sign for the company, your Thai shareholders need to provide the document issued from the bank showing the source of the money in order to prove that they have enough money to buy the shares in this new Thai limited company.

Furthermore, a Thai limited company must have at least 3 persons acting as promoters in setting up a company (who become the initial shareholders of the company). One of the promoters has to reserve the name of the new company. Once the name is approved which takes about 2 days, the new company must be registered within 30 days.

For the next step, the promoters shall prepare a Memorandum of Associations and arrange for all the company’s shares to be reserved and purchased. When all the shares are reserved, the promoters must hold a meeting of share subscribers which is called the statutory meeting. Those shares have to be paid up at least 25% of the shares’ value. Please note that if you want to have a work permit with the company, the registered and paid up capital has to be at least Baht 2 Million per work permit.

Finally, you will receive the company’s registration papers after you submit the company’s registration forms and all required documents including the government fees with the competent officer at the Department of Business Development. It needs only one day to register the company, but normally it takes some time for you and your other shareholders to prepare the required papers for the Thai company registration.

Contact ThaiLawyers to help you register a Thai limited company for doing business in Thailand.