One of the ways for foreign companies to establish their presence in Thailand is by setting up a branch office in the country wherein the foreign company is able to accomplish certain business opportunities locally without the need to set up or invest in a full corporate entity.
How to Establish and Register Branch Office in Thailand
Foreign companies consider registering a branch office in Thailand as an effective way of pursuing low-cost projects. But like the other forms of businesses being registered in Thailand, a branch office setup will still have to meet and comply with certain requirements imposed by Thai laws. But all things considered, it is still easier to establish a branch office than to register a new business in Thailand, following Thai laws.
For a foreign company to register a branch office in Thailand, the following documents need to be submitted:
All of the required documents should be notarized and certified by the local Thai Embassy or Consulate prior to submission to the Registrar of the Ministry of Commerce. For easier preparation of the documents and easier facilitation of the submission of such documents to the Thai authorities and offices, foreign investors are advised to work with a local law firm with expertise in business registration.
After submitting the required documents, the foreign company must register its business with the Revenue Department for tax purposes.
A branch office is considered a permanent establishment of the foreign corporation and as such must appoint a resident representative that will handle tax matters with the local tax authorities. The foreign company is also required to bring to Thailand a minimum working capital of Baht 5 million before it can be allowed to establish a branch. Not less than 25% of the minimum capital amount must be remitted by the foreign company within the first three months with the remaining 75%of the capital amount to be remitted every year for four years.
The initial operation permitted to a branch office is five (5) years but it can be extended for as long as the required minimum capital is complied with.
There are other types of business in which foreign companies find it attractive to invest in the Thailand. Here are the general requirements in registering a foreign business in Thailand with the aid of Phuket lawyers who are well versed in both English and Thai.