Three Things to Watch Out for When Starting a Business in Thailand


Starting a business overseas is an extremely exciting venture. The landscape in a foreign country is different from what you have at home. The costs of living are lower as well particularly in Southeast Asia, and specifically in Thailand. It’s practically a whole new world out there for you as a businessman!

Of course, as a businessman, you also have to make sure that there’s no hitch or problems encountered. Business, after all, involves your hard-earned money so you have to exert each ounce of effort to make sure the venture sails smoothly.

Here are three things to keep in mind when you’ve finally decided  you want to invest in Thai economy.

Brush Up on Thai Law

You don’t have to be very well-versed about it. You just need to know the basics, so that you’ll find out early on if the business you’re being proposed with is legal and does not contradict with Thai law. Ignorance of the law, after all, is an excuse, wherever you may be in the globe. You don’t want to cross the authorities, especially since you’re trying to establish a livelihood.

To further your knowledge and your awareness of Thai law, it is also highly recommended that you retain a legal advisor. This legal advisor should be able to communicate with you as well as your local Thai partners, and Thai authorities. This means that he or she should be fluent in both English and the Thai language.

Make Sure You Know Your Partners

Thai law dictates that, for a business to be considered legal in Thailand, a certain percentage of the board membership must be made up of local Thais. These are the people that you’ll be leaving most of the management of the company to, so make sure that you know these people and you are aware of their qualifications and skills. It might even do you good to do a background check, although it could be expensive.

Get a Business Visa

Most foreigners tend to go the tourist route when visiting Thailand even for business purposes. It’s easy but also expensive in the long run. If you expect to frequently visit the Kingdom, especially at the beginning of your venture, then getting the appropriate visa for businessmen is the way for you to go. It’s also worth noting that visa runs usually associated with tourists have come under fire for being abused, and the Thai government has begun implementing more stringent measures beginning March.

If you can get a multiple entry visa, you don’t have to frequently apply for a visa every time you enter Thailand’s borders. There’s an appropriate visa for all intentions and purposes for visiting Thailand.

As a businessman, it’s in your best interest to be armed with knowledge and loaded with preparation before you begin the actual venture. Hopefully, these three tips have provided you with a bit of knowledge as to what you need to watch out for when starting a business venture in Thailand.

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Photo credit : Conselho Nacional de Justiça – CNJ

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