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 Memorandum of Association (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 MOA 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.