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What are the Pros and Cons of Running a business in Thailand

October 16, 2013 | Valerie Wong

Are you thinking of starting a business in Thailand? You will be happy to hear that it has gotten much easier for foreigners to register and operate a company in the country. Many entrepreneurs have set-up successful companies in Thailand in the last few years. However, this doesn't mean that everything is perfect. There are some unique advantages and disadvantages to conducting business operations in Thailand. Here is a quick overview of them, which will help you decide on whether Thailand may be the right location for you:

Pros 

-Thailand has signed a treaty with the United States that allows American citizens or companies registered in the United States to own 100% of a Thai company and operate it in the same way that a national of Thailand would. For citizens of other countries, it is also possible to practically own a company with 100% foreign ownership, except in certain industries that would be restricted to Thai nationals. 

-Doing business in Thailand has gotten a lot easier. The World Bank's 2012 Doing Business Survey has compared some factors, such as the bureaucratic procedures involved in registering a company, the time it takes for the applications to be processed and the monetary costs involved. Thailand is now the 17th easiest place to do business in the entire world.

-Thailand is a popular country among Westerners. The country has a thriving tourism industry and also has a very large expatriate community. As so many foreign tourists choose Thailand as their destination, you can profit from the country's tourism economy if you set up the right type of business.

-A skilled and well-educated workforce. A growing number of Thai citizens have completed post-secondary education. Those who can afford it will often seek to pursue additional education abroad, in countries such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Therefore, if you need to hire some local staff, you will have no difficulty finding competent and qualified people in the country. The majority of university educated locals will be able to communicate in English, with a large number being perfectly fluent.

Cons

-Registering a private limited company requires at least three shareholders. 

-Corporate taxes are higher than in some other countries in the region. Currently, there is a 30% tax on net profits by Thai companies. Every company registered in Thailand is required to submit audited financial statements and to file a tax return annually with the Thai Revenue Department. Getting professional assistance to meet all tax requirements may be a necessity if you're doing business in Thailand. 

If you're interested in doing business in Thailand, Servcorp can help. They offer full business registration services which will help your company get up and running in the country. Getting help from professionals that have experience in the field of company formation in Thailand is recommended, as you will get assistance with filing all the necessary legal paperwork that has to be submitted to the Thai government before your company can begin its operations. To find out more about Servcorp's business registration services in Thailand, click here