Success tips when doing business in Thailand in 2023
- It is important that our Client prepares a comprehensive business plan detailing i) study of the Thai market ii) an evaluation of competitors and iii) a feasibility study of the venture;
- The Client must perform a detailed study of the sector where they are planning to setup the business. This will optimize our Client’s work productivity;
- The Client should try and learn Thai as English is not commonly used by locals and many official documents need to be translated to Thai. However corporate Clients and business partners will be reasonably fluent in English;
- We advise our Clients to have their company website in both English and Thai, as it will serve as an excellent marketing tool;
- Our Client must have a proper exit strategy in order to map out potential accomplishments for the future. This will help the firm manage its finances efficiently;
- Government agencies play an important role in Thailand and businesses have to regularly deal with government agencies. Foreign entrepreneurs who want to incorporate in Thailand should exercise restraint and be patient, as authorities will always have the final say in the matter;
- The Thai Royal family is highly revered in the country. Negative comments about them are never appreciated, and may even lead to arrest or deportation. We advise our Clients to display a portrait of His Highness Bhumibol Adulyadej in the work premises;
- It is important to be on time, or even early for business meetings as a sign of respect to your Thai business partner;
- Business attire in Thailand is quite conservative;
- It is common to be invited for lunch, dinner or a round of golf after a successful business meeting;
- We suggest our Clients to build a spirit house in the office premises as every business in Thailand has one.
Interesting facts about Thailand
- Thailand shares a border with four countries: Myanmar to the north and west, Laos to the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Malaysia to the south;
- Thailand’s main exports are computer hardware, motor vehicles and auto parts, jewellery and electrical circuits. Thailand’s top three imports include crude oil, machinery and parts, and alloy steel and steel products;
- Thai petroleum companies suffer corporation tax of 55%;
- Thailand is one of Asia’s top tourist destinations. In 2013, more than 26 million foreign tourists visited the country;
- Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel;
- The Thai national anthem is played every day at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.;
- Buddhism is Thailand’s largest religion with approximately 94.6% of the population practicing the religion. Muslims make up 4.6%, Christians 0.7%, and other religions 0.1%;
- The longest place name in the world is the full name of Bangkok: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. It means “City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s Behest”;
- Songkran Festival, also known as the Thailand Water Festival, is the most important festival for Thai people. Celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year, Thai people sprinkle water on elders in show of respect and pay respect to Buddha;
- Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932 although there have been numerous army coups since then;
- People dress up in yellow attire on the King’s birthday;
- People often represent their political preference during protests by wearing either a red shirt (Thaksin supporters) or a yellow shirt (against Thaksin).
Frequently asked questions
What are Thailand's corporate tax rates?Under Thailand business formation law, the corporation tax rate is 20%. However, some types of Thai company are entitled to a rate reduction. Foreign companies pay 20% tax rate for profit sourced from within Thailand.
Does Thailand have a good network of double tax treaties?The country has signed agreements with almost 56 countries. To see a list of these countries, please follow this link.
What are the reporting requirements for a Thai company?All Thai companies are obliged to submit annual tax returns and audited financial statements.
How private is a Thai company?The Thai Civil and Commercial Code states that all companies must keep a shareholders register, although this is not available for public viewing.
What incentives are available for those planning to invest in Thailand?Thailand’s Board of Investment offers both tax related and non-tax related incentives. Tax incentives include exemption or reduction of import duties on machinery and raw materials and corporate income tax relief and exemptions. Non-tax incentives include no foreign equity restrictions in the manufacturing sector, no local content requirements, permission to own land, and ability to repatriate foreign currency from Thailand.
What are the minimum capital requirements to set up a Thai company?There are no minimum capital requirements. However, a foreign company is required to pay capital that is seen as adequate for the type of company.
How many shareholders are required to form a Thai company?A Thai private limited company must have at least three shareholders, none of whom can be corporations.
What are the implications of the recent coup in Thailand in terms of setting up a business in the country?Thailand’s military government has proposed changes to the country’s Foreign Business Act to restrict foreign ownership of Thai companies.