Internet can be used as a means to run a business by selling products and/or services on the worldwide web. Such is also referred to as “e-commerce.” E-commerce encompasses a wide range of activity, such as Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C) or Business-to-government (B2G). E-commerce is suitable for those that want to limit their initial investments and want to keep their cost structure limited. After all, the only need in setting up an e-commerce business is a company and a working internet page. With the emergence of the internet as part of our daily lives, it is no wonder that the number of e-commerce businesses is growing rapidly. The license can be obtained quite rapidly but requires the website to be final. Thus, the payment process needs to be ready for sale, and all products need to be clearly detailed on the website. From the day that business starts, the establisher has duty to submit the application within 30 days at the district office of company address or city hall (Bangkok) and the local administration office (outside Bangkok). There is no need to renew the license.
The Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) regulates the civil and commercial electronic transactions in Thailand. Its purpose is to facilitate the use of electronic technology by reducing uncertainty regarding the legal effect of electronic information and to confirm that certain paper-based legal requirements could be met by using electronic technology. The ETA starts from the idea that data messages are of the same value as other written documents if certain requirements are met. For clarity sake, data messages contain all information generated, sent, received, stored, or processed electronically. It concerns for example e-mail, telegrams, telex, or facsimile.
The first item that is tackled by the ETA is the question of whether or not an electronic document can be considered as ‘legally signed’. The ETA states that this is the case if the originator can be identified and if it is absolutely clear that the originator approved and confirmed the content of the document, taking all the other circumstances (e.g. previous agreements between the originator and the addressee) into account.
An electronic signature will thus be considered reliable if:
Another confirmation that can be found in the ETA: electronic documents may be presented or retained as originals if a reliable method is used to assure the integrity of the information.
Apart from the above, the ETA establishes licensing and registration requirements for electronic transaction and provides a general framework for electronic transactions involving the public sector. The Electronic Transactions Commission promotes and develops electronic transactions and monitors the operations of businesses providing services related to electronic transactions. These services require a preceding notification and registration in order to receive the required license.