Thailand business licenses.

Setting up a business in Thailand may require acquiring a license or permit depending on your business activities. At Acclime, we can help you acquire the most common licenses for your business.

Business licenses

Licensing and compliance.

Setting up a business in Thailand may require a license or permit depending on the category of your business. If your business activity is regulated by a government body, the application may be complex and time consuming. It is suggested to seek advice and help from an experienced legal firm when applying for such permits. Some of the regulated activities which require specific licenses are tourism, school and childcare, liquor, medical, food and beverage industries.

A business license permits the company to conduct certain activities and is issued by the Thai government department or agency within. The licenses can be applied for once the company has been registered with the Ministry of Commerce. To provide you with a quick guideline on the types of licenses in Thailand, below are the most common forms of business registrations in Thailand and their related licenses:

At Acclime, we can help you with obtaining the following licenses:

  • Operating a restaurant and bar

    Starting a restaurant will require a food license from the nearest district office. The place where the food and drinks will be sold must be a fixed place of business before the application for the license can be submitted. There will be an inspection of the premises by the government authorities before the approval is granted. Serving liquor will require an additional permit called an “alcohol license” This permit is granted by the local Excise department. There are certain timings to be followed for the sale of liquor in Thailand. These licenses will be granted for a period of 1 year and must be renewed annually by the company.
  • Setting up a financial services business

    Providing financial services through a company in Thailand will require certain licensing from the Bank of Thailand. Financial services monitored by the Bank of Thailand includes commercial banks, finance companies, credit finance companies, asset management companies and e payment channel services. Specialized finance Institutions which provide services to assist in government policies to promote investment and economic development for Thailand will require additional permission from the Ministry of Finance.
  • Operating an import/export company

    A import/export company engaging in import and export activities will require certain business permits depending on the category of goods. If the goods imported are controlled, specific licenses from the Food and drugs administration of Thailand may be required. This includes importing food, medicines and cosmetic products into the Kingdom. Importing electronic devices such a mobile phones will require a permit from the National broadcasting department in Thailand. In normal circumstances, the company will need to apply for a customs paperless license from the customs department in Thailand to be able to import/export goods under the company’s name. It is advisable to appoint a local director to sign on these applications to simplify the application process and obtain the permits faster.
  • Operating an employment agency

    Employment centered businesses such as headhunting, staffing and search companies and employment agencies will require a recruitment license. This license is issued by Department of Employment. The company must meet specific requirements in terms of local directorship and shareholding and office space. An inspection of the office premise is mandatory for the approval of the license. The company is liable to report its recruitment activities to the Department of Employment after the license is approved.
  • Operating a travel agency

    Starting a travel agency will need to obtain a Tourism license from the Tourism Authority of Thailand before offering tour and travel packages to its customers. The company can only engage in tourism activities with this license. Organizing tours and packages, scheduling accommodations and tickets is strictly prohibited without this license. The license is categorized into inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. The company must have majority Thai ownership and a local director to sign for the tourism license. The signing authority of the local director can be restricted to matters related only for the tourism license.
  • Operating an education business

    Registering an education business in Thailand requires licensing and approval from the Ministry of education or the Department of Social welfare which depends on the category of education. Before setting up the business, there are key factors that you will need to look into concerning the business premises and legal structure for the company. The first step will be to incorporate the business and a Thai company structure is the most straightforward and quick option to get started.
Not sure where to begin?

Get a free 30-minute consultation on operating your company in Thailand.

Ashmin, Acclime business services coordinator

Questions? Speak to our experts.

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