Foreigners in Thailand can take advantage of four different types of bank accounts:
Thai Baht Savings Account
This is the most common type of account for nonresidents. In some cases it is possible to open this type of account without a work permit, however it is necessary to provide a valid passport. Some banks are more open to this than others and it is often best to simply go ahead and obtain a work permit. With a valid work permit, you will be able to get internet, a savings account, and an ATM card, among others.
There is a minimum deposit amount required for most accounts in Thailand. Though this varies some from one bank to another, the amount may be as low as THB 500. Once your account is open, you will be able to withdraw and deposit funds at local ATM machines. Some types of accounts also have a bank credit card available, but this usually requires proper visa documentation, a valid work permit, and a history of income.
This type of bank account involves issuing a check book. A passport and a work permit are necessary to open the current account. You will need a larger opening deposit to open the current account, that in the case of savings account, but you will be able to enjoy greater convenience, flexibility and safety, and you will be able to make payments via internationally accredited cheques. Most banks allow current account holders to use local ATM machines, but there is usually a service fee involved.
Foreign Currency Deposit Account
This type of bank account is best for those who will be dealing in different currencies. A minimum deposit is required, along with a passport and proper documentation. Many banks require a letter of recommendation from your Embassy, loan documents, pay slips, and/or a bank statement from your home country.
Business Bank Account
The business bank account requires all company documents, along with a valid visa, work permit, and passport. Many financial experts recommend having a local accountant prepare all the required paperwork before visiting a local bank branch office. In most cases a check book is issued, as well as an ATM card and some banks also offer the convenience of Internet banking.
Tips for Success
Foreign investors who are interested in doing business in Thailand should consider opening a corporate bank account as a major priority. Though each region of Thailand can vary in their requirements, some are more stringent in their requirements than others. If you desire to set up a bank account in Thailand, but have had problems in the past, try hiring an accountant to assist you in preparing the right paperwork.
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