1. Home
  2. /
  3. Business Blog
  4. /
  5. 2014
  6. /
  7. How to Start a Small Business in Thailand

How to Start a Small Business in Thailand

February 14, 2014 | Valerie Wong

The first thing you need to remember when starting a business and making money in Thailand is the importance of localization. Thailand is the type of country that encourages and fosters foreign relations and investments, so right off the bat foreigners who wish to begin their own business in the Asian nation have their foot in the proverbial door, so to speak. Travelers enamored by the Kingdom of Thailand's fair and prosperous lifestyle will probably wish to settle there and begin their own startup. Many tourists who wish to be permanent Thai residents even use the act of setting up a business as a means of staying in the Kingdom.

Things to Remember

In order to make a comfortable living in Thailand if you're an outsider, you probably need to either represent a company as an expatriate, or become a foreign entrepreneur yourself while abiding to the laws set forth by the Thai government. Regardless, there are a few caveats to keep in mind when establishing your own corporation or small business in this nation, particularly the fact that you're never allowed to fully own a company if you're a foreigner who isn't of U.S. citizenship. Only Americans under the U.S. Treaty of Amity can fully own their own company that they're setting up in Thailand.

All the rest of the countries in the world will have to settle for part ownership of a Thai-based startup that should be co-owned by a national. You should also research on how much overhead expenses are called for when setting up a business in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, or any of Thailand's idyllic beaches along its Eden-like coastline. What's more, an outsider looking to found his own Thai company should learn all the legal boundaries and cultural differences between setting up a business in Thailand and somewhere else. You can't just open shop willy-nilly. You should be fully prepared instead.

Common Thai Business Startups

The majority of long-term residents and frequent visitors aspire to open a Phuket bar, a Koh Chang bungalow resort, or a Bangkok coffee bar. Regardless of the type of business you've chosen to undertake, you should consider making a plan of action for it and an exit plan if it were to fail. That way, you can cover all bases. The exit plan is a particularly handy one because despite the many opportunities available in Thailand, foreigner-based businesses have a high failure rate of sorts thanks to their unpreparedness when it comes to financing such an endeavor. However, the rewards are tremendous if you do succeed.

Specifically, you should have some sort of Thai connection who knows the ins and outs of building businesses in Thailand, especially in light of the fact that most foreigners need part of their company belonging to a national in order for them to set up shop within the Kingdom. They're more likely to have lady luck smiling upon them with the assistance of a fellow Thailand entrepreneur who's actually a citizen of the country. Aside from that, they should have the usual necessities, such as an ample supply of funds and a strong business concept. A willingness to immerse yourself in Thai culture is also a must.

Do you wish to establish a business in Thailand? Servcorp can help you out with its virtual office and corporate registration services. The company is one of the most dependable firms out there in terms of Thai startups.