10 steps on how to register a company in Thailand

Businesses planning to operate a business in Thailand should take time to get familiarized with Thai laws on registration of companies.

Companies in Thailand are classified under Thai laws as:

Sole proprietorship – this is similar to sole business ownership structure in the United States.
Partnership –  this is the same as a partnership company in other countries. There are two types of partnership: limited and ordinary.
Limited Company – this is the same as the limited liability company (LLC) structure in the United States. This is formed by dividing the capital into equal share. The shareholder’s liability is limited to the amount of shares held by the shareholder.

The most common business structure used in Thailand is the Limited Company. The following registration procedures are in accordance with what the Ministry of Commerce has stipulated.

Step 1. Select Promoters (Shareholders). A private limited company requires at least 3 promoters while a public limited company needs 15 promoters. Through a meeting (required by law), the promoters will decide upon a list of company names (at least 3 names) to check for availability.

Step 2. Submit the chosen company names for reservation. This process will check if there are other companies that have used your proposed company name. If a name is approved you can proceed with the next step. Otherwise, you will submit possible company names again until a name is cleared for your business.

Step 3. A statutory meeting with promoters as required by Thai law must be convened to:

  • approve a company name
  • determine official address
  • establish objectives of the company
  • set amount of share capital to be registered and how it is divided
  • make a list of promoters names, addresses, occupations, and number of shares each

Step 4. A ìMemorandum of Associationî (MOA) containing the information in Step 3, must be filed with the district office covering the official company address, within 30 days of approval of the company name. Fees have to be paid: 50 baht per 100,000 baht of registered capital, minimum 500 baht and maximum 25,000 baht.

Step 5. Prepare your company logo, create a company stamp with your logo.

Step 6. The company registration application must be submitted by the Directors within 3 months after the MOA has been filed. The following should be part of the submission:

  • cash payment for the registration fee (500 baht per 100,000 baht of registered capital, minimum 5,000 baht, maximum 250,000 baht)
  • completely filled out company documentation
  • the company stamp

Step 7. You will get your company papers back after a day or two or after the MOC has completed the registration of your company.

Step 8. After your company registration certificate is issued, you must go to the Revenue Department to get a company tax identity card. A laminated card will be issued together with your company tax ID number.

Step 9. Go to the bank with your ID card, company tax ID card and company documentation and set up a bank account.

Step 10. You are ready to operate your business.

Getting Married Legally in Thailand for Foreigners

Love transcends all language, distance, even age. Foreigners coming to Thailand and falling in love with a local Thai is not at all that uncommon. There are some legal things that expatriates need to bear in mind when they decide to tie the knot with a local. There could also be some practices that are dictated by local traditions that should also be kept into consideration.

Who’s Eligible for Marriage?
Local laws dictate the following requirements for being eligible to get married, for both parties:

  • They must be at least 17 years of age.
  • They must not have any blood relations or relationships through adoptive parents.
  • Both parties must not be in a married state.
  • For parties with deceased spouses, 310 days must have elapsed since the death of the previous wife or husband.
  • The same waiting period is applicable for parties who had previous marriages that had been terminated.
  • The waiting period can be shortened if there are no children born out of the previous marriage, or if the woman can prove that there was no pregnancy initiated before the termination of marriage or death of the husband.
  • If they wish to marry before the waiting period has lapsed, the woman has to obtain legal permission from the Court to marry.
  • If you meet all of those requirements above, then congratulations!. You and your fiancee can now be married in Thailand.

Documents Required

Before you can marry, you’ll have to accomplish several documentary requirements. Both of you need to affix copies of your identification cards, or a copy of the passport for the foreigner. The expatriate should also furnish an affidavit from his embassy that he has not been in a marriage before or, if such marriage exists, it has been duly terminated by a Court of law at home. These affidavits must be translated into Thai by accredited foreign language translators.

During the marriage ceremony, the couple must have at least two witnesses that will attest that you and your fiancee have professed marriage vows to one another before a duly authorized minister.

Registration

In order for the marriage to be valid and recognized under Thai law, the final step in getting married is to get it duly registered with the Register of Thailand. To do this, parties have to accomplish an application form and submit it together with several other documents to the any District Office or Minor District Office in the Kingdom.

Once the consent officer in the Register affixes his or her signature, the marriage is considered binding and legal under the Kingdomís laws.

Since marriage involves a change of name, married ladies should take the steps to change her family name to reflect the change in the marriage registration. She has 60 days to secure a new identification card to represent herself in her new civil status.

Marriage is but a beautiful thing. All the more reason that couples, both locals and Thais, should always take the steps to make their marriage legal, so they can both have full protection of the law.

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Documents needed for Acquiring Land in Thailand

Thai law has a few exceptions that can allow a foreign national to purchase a piece of land in the country. One of these exceptions is when a person has infused an investment of THB40 million, at the least, into the country’s economy by, among other ways, investing in a business in the Kingdom.

Let us say that somebody, maybe a friend of yours or a business associate, has met the qualifications under Thai law that will allow him or her to purchase land legally under his or her name in Thailand. How does that qualified individual go about legally acquiring real estate in the Kingdom? What does he or she need to prepare?

Requisite Documents to Apply for Land Acquisition as a Foreign National

In order to receive permission from the appropriate government agency, a qualified foreign national will have to prepare the following documents:

  • Documents for identification including, but not limited to, the foreignerís passport, an alien identification card issued by local police agencies, or a certificate of residency if the foreigner is a permanent resident of Thailand.
  • A duly-filled Alien 4 form
  • Documents that attest to the foreignerís investment in the country, including certificates of stock, bonds, or mutual funds.
  • Letters of confirmation from the Ministry of Defense and the Provincial Officer as to the status of the real estate that the foreigner is interested in acquiring.
  • These documents must then be submitted for the application process to commence. The applicant will then receive ample notification from the government should the application be approved.
  • Limitations Imposed on Foreigners Who Own Land in Thailand
  • Once a foreigner receives government approval to acquire real estate in Thailand, he or she must put the property to use right away.

Thai law requires these individuals to be able to utilize their new property in a residential capacity within the next two years immediately after the approval and registration of the acquisition. Apparently, these foreigners are disallowed from using the land in a commercial application.

They also need to continue their investment within the next five years. This rule is to prevent people from putting in the requisite amount as an investment in Thai financial instruments just to gain approval for land acquisition, and then withdrawing it afterwards. Should a withdrawal be imminent, investors are required to notify the government within the next 60 days after pulling back on the investment.

Thai law is very clear and specific about what it expects from foreign investors, and what perks they can give to those that make a significant investment in the local economy. However, youíd still need the help of a qualified legal advisor to save you from possible legal hurdles when it comes to investing in Thailand. For instance, the legal advisor should be fluent both in English and Thai to make sure that there are no misunderstandings along the way.

Feel free to contact HWAL if you have any inquiries about investing, property management and real estate acquisition in Thailand.

How To Acquire residency in Thailand thru Employment

Aside from marriage to a Thai national, employment in Thailand is likely to be the most common grounds for a foreigner to be granted permanent resident status. Therefore, this subject is worth addressing in some detail. As with all permanent residency applicants, a person applying on the grounds of employment must satisfy the generally applicable requirements which were discussed in an earlier article (ìThailand Permanent Residency: An Overview). The legal minimum salary required for eligibility is 50,000 baht. However, there are two separate standards applied to applicants who make a minimum of 50,000 baht per month and applicants who make at least 80,000 baht per month. The requirements for an applicant who makes at least 50,000 baht per month, but not more than 80,000 baht, is as follows:

  1. The company that employs the applicant must have a registered capital of at least 10 million baht.
  2. The applicant must have been registered as a company director with signing authority for at least one year prior to the submission of the permanent residency application.
  3. The applicant must earn a salary of at least 50,000 baht per month for at least two consecutive years prior to the submission of the application and must present evidence of proper tax filings.
  4. The business of the applicantís company must be one of the following types:
  5. A company engaged in international commerce which has earned at least an average of 20,000,000 baht in foreign currency during the past three years from export sales. Evidence of this must be presented in the form of a letter issued by a commercial bank.
  6. A company which provides loans to domestic manufacturing companies and which has brought in at least 100,000,000 baht in foreign currency into the country within the past three years.
  7. A tourism company which has brought in at least 5,000 tourists on average. A certified letter from the relevant
  8. Thai governmental authority must provided as evidence.
  9. Any other type of business in which the applicant is a shareholder of at least 5,000,000 baht worth of shares fully paid-in. The applicant must have held those shares for at least two years prior to the date of submission. As it can be seen, the aforementioned requirements are particularly stringent.

However, the standard applied to foreigners who make at least 80,000 baht is quite easier and this may be a more realistic option. The requirements are as follows:

  • The applicant must have held a Thai Work Permit for at least three consecutive years prior to the submission of the application.
  • The applicant must have been employed at his or her current company for at least one year prior to the submission of the application.
  • The applicant must have earned at least 80,000 baht per month for at least two years prior to the submission of the application or must have paid at least 100,000 baht in personal income taxes within two years prior to the date of submission.

The application for permanent residency status can be a daunting task and involves a complex government bureaucracy. Therefore, it is advisable that all interested persons retain the services of an experienced lawyer like HWAL when applying for permanent residency.

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