Doing Business in Bangkok: A Quick Guide for Expats

Doing Business in Bangkok

Are you planning on working or doing business in Bangkok? Great plan it would be considering the fact that Bangkok is one of the most attractive cities for businessmen and entrepreneurs. Often dubbed as the “Big Manggo” of Thailand, this country’s capital have so many things to offer for you should you think of working, investing or even putting up a company of your own in Bangkok, Thailand. But for the security of your business interest, and avoid business problems in the future, it is best that you know some of the most important considerations to make should you decide of doing business in Bangkok.

Basically, starting a business in Thailand as a whole is not quite that easy according to economic surveys conducted. Out of 185 countries being surveyed as to the easiest economy for starting a business, Thailand placed roughly around 160th rank. That is why careful analyses, review, and in-depth planning should be made before deciding on doing business in Bangkok particularly.

Once you already have decided to push through with your plan and already have selected the feasible market location, you as a foreign investor must equip with information especially in the legal aspects such as acquiring construction permits, hiring personnel and staff, property registration, credit acquisition, investment protection, taxation, policies on trading across borders, and contract enforcements. Everything mentioned should be parallel with the existing laws and national policies of Thailand. This is most especially true if you are intending to establish a local headquarter.

Basically, doing business in Bangkok takes three forms. These include opening a representative office, establishing a regional representative office, and a foreign joint venture company. Should you only decide to sell services or products in the country without your presence, you may appoint a service agent or product distributor. But if you’re planning to establish a representative office, your legal presence is basically allowed. It’s a simpler and more cost effective way if your business purpose is mainly promotional in nature and not transactional with money involved.

For multinational companies doing business in Bangkok, setting up a regional representative office is usually the case. Such office can them employ at most two expats who are in-charge with the monitoring and management of regional business activities. For foreign joint venture companies, you can establish and own the company 100% but you must release some of the company shares to local investors in 15 years’ time.

In addition, you also have to take note when doing business in Bangkok that most of your investment projects are regulated and approved by SET or the Thailand Investment Coordinating Board. Hence, you must at least find yourself a good legal counsel who can help your projects be pushed through. For a better shield and support, might as well join expatriate business associations and get valuable information, backgrounds, and recommendations to reinforce your goal in doing business in Bangkok.

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