Acclime helps you set up, manage & advance your business in Thailand and beyond.
This is a step-by-step guide to setting up your company in Thailand.
A private limited company is the most common business structure foreign investors choose to establish their presence in the country. However, you must complete several steps and requirements before setting up the local entity in Thailand.
The process is intricate and best done by a service provider such as Acclime. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of registering a Thai company, outlining the details you need to consider in order to get your company registered the way you want it.
Step 1: Reserve a company name
The company registration process starts with reserving your company name with the Department of Business Development (DBD).
The name you can choose for your company does have some restrictions. For example, it must not be identical to or resemble the name of a pre-existing registered partnership or company, either in English or Thai. The company name will be registered in both languages. Sometimes foreign investors check that the name they want is available in English only, and then when the check is run on the Thai transliteration, the DBD will reject it for being too close to an existing Thai company name.
Certain terms are also prohibited from being used in company names and if ‘Thailand’ is included, it must be in brackets at the end of the name. It is recommended to suggest three names ranked by priority to maximise the chances of your success.
The trading name of your business can be different from the company name. You can also use the same name for several companies provided that you accompany the name with a different figurative word (for example, ABC Trading Ltd, ABC Holdings Ltd or ABC Capital Ltd). Once the name is approved, the name will be valid for 30 days, and no extension is permitted. Within this period of time, step two must be completed.
Step 2: Prepare and sign documents
We will collect essential information about your new company, prepare the paperwork, collect your signature and submit the documents to the DBD. In order to prepare the Statutory Meeting for the adoption of the MOA and draft the registration application documents, we will require you to provide the following details:
- The name of the proposed company
- The province of the Kingdom where the registered office of the company will be situated
- The objectives of the company
- The amount of share capital that the company proposes to be registered
- The names, addresses, occupations and signatures of the promoters (at least two individuals – not corporate entities)
- The value and number of shares subscribed to by each of the promoters, whether they are paid up or not and whether they are ordinary or preference shares.
- The name and address of the registered director or directors (if more than one, do the directors sign on behalf of the company separately or conjointly?)
- The address of the registered office, and any branch offices
- Personal details of the ultimate shareholders or company registration details in the case of a corporate shareholder
Step 3: Register the company
The processing time will depend on the specifics of your business. Once completed, you will receive the registration documents along with a company/tax ID.
The registration fee for a private limited company is THB 5,500 per THB 1 million of the registered capital.
Step 4: Open a company bank account
Simply tell us what bank and branch, what type of account you require, and who will sign.
Step 5: Register for corporate income tax and VAT
Once your company has been registered and within 60 days of incorporation or the commencement of operations, you will need to apply for and obtain a company corporate tax ID card from the Revenue Department.
The need to register for VAT arises from employing foreigners and exceeding a yearly revenue of 1.8M THB. We will need documents from the owner of your business premises and a copy of the lease agreement.
Step 6: Social fund registration
Your employees (both Thai and foreign) need to be registered with Social Security Fund (SSF). We will need copies of their ID cards, photos at their workplace, salary and position details. This is required for the visa extension (step 9).
A company that has one or more employees must register at the Social Security Office within 30 days of hiring its first employee. Foreigners who are legally working in Thailand must also register and are entitled to the same benefits as Thai employees. There are stiff penalties for failing to register staff within the timeframe. Our guide on Social Security explains the contribution rates.
Step 7: Visa application
We can help secure relevant visa for a foreign director and staff so that they can stay and work legally in Thailand. Once incorporated and tax registered the company can be in a position to become the sponsor for a Non-Immigrant ‘B’ visa.
Step 8: Work permit application
In the case where a work permit is required, we can assist with preparing the WP3 letter for obtaining the correct visa at a Royal Thai embassy or consulate overseas, prior to entering Thailand to apply for the work permit.
We will need your photos, medical certificate (from a Thai doctor), copies of your education certificates, and details of your salary and position.
Step 9: Visa extension
Your initial visa was for 90 days, but following your work permit application, this can be now extended. This requires various documents from your company, including the details of the VAT and SSF registration of all your staff.
Foreign investors have several business structures they can choose if interested in setting up a business in Thailand. Contact Acclime to guide you through the steps of registering a company in Thailand hassle-free.
Acclime is Asia’s premier tech-enabled professional services firm. We provide formation, accounting, tax, HR and advisory services, focusing on delivering high-quality outsourcing and consulting services to our local and international clients in Thailand and beyond.