Foreign businesses have a choice of establishing their presence in Thailand via a regional office – a structure performing business on behalf of its parent company that is not a separate legal entity.
Regional offices in Thailand date back to 1992, when the then Prime Minister’s office sought promoting Thailand as the Southeast Asia’s commercial centre. Creation of such offices would enable trans-national corporations and companies to establish their presence in the Thai Kingdom, which would, in turn, strengthen the country’s position.
A regional office is able to co-ordinate and supervise the company’s branches and its affiliated companies in the region on behalf of the foreign head office. As such, it may provide respective branches/affiliated companies with the following services:
One of the main benefits of establishing a regional office in Thailand is the fact it is not obliged to be registered or incorporated as a juristic person and thus does not have to submit any financial statements to the government (the Department of Commercial Registration). Furthermore, the department will provide support to companies transferring their foreign staff to Thailand and also help with securing necessary visas and work permits.
While regional offices enjoy a number of benefits in the Kingdom, there are also some limitations they must respect. Regional offices must not:
A foreign company can apply for a permit to establish a regional office at the Alien Business Section of the Department of Commercial Registration at the Ministry of Commerce. The permit is valid for five years and is subject to the registration fee of 5 THB per every 1,000 THB of registered capital (maximum of 5,000 THB).
After a successful application, a newly established regional office may be subject to the following conditions:
Ashmin, Acclime business services coordinator
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