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Can a Foreigner Really Do Business in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

A question I often get from foreigners is "Can a foreigner really do business in Thailand?"  I hear this a lot you know.

People are aware and those who have been around Thailand a little bit might be aware that Thailand has some restrictions with respect to foreigners working and doing business here in the Kingdom. There are a variety of reasons for this and I am not going to go into that within the framework of this video; it is beyond the scope of this video if you will.  I can say as a foreigner who has done business here in the Kingdom “yes it certainly is possible”. We provide many Corporate Services for our clients here in Thailand who are oftentimes foreigners who are doing business here in the Kingdom quite successfully. The Thai legal system will allow foreigners to work, live and own their own business if they will or simply work in another company, whatever, here in the Kingdom. It is definitely possible.

Those who are a little bit cynical about this and I have heard many over the years who can be a bit cynical about the Thai legal system with respect to foreigners in the context of doing business or work permits. I think a lot of that is really unwarranted especially in light of recent changes with respect to work authorization here in the Kingdom and also with respect to some relaxation with respect to the rules under the Thai Foreign Business Act and also taking into account the various avenues under which a foreign company can obtain license to do business, for example a Foreign Business License or for example certification of an American Company pursuant to the provisions of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. For those who are unaware, an Amity Treaty Company is a company that is 100% or majority American-owned can obtain Treaty benefits wherein those companies can do business notwithstanding the provisions of the Foreign Business Act and such companies are provided what is called National treatment so they are treated the same as Thai companies doing the same type of business here in Thailand. 

Finally there is also the Thai BOI, that is the Board of Investment. The Board of Investment provides various benefits to foreign companies looking to do business here in the Kingdom. There may even be such benefits as like tax holidays as well as being able to obtain a Foreign Business Certification.

So the thing to take away from this video for those who are thinking about doing business here, it is good idea to contact a legal professional to go ahead and ascertain whether or not the type of business one wants to do is going to be something that is going to be substantially restricted and if it is determined that the type of business can be done I would say you know with reasonable due diligence it is a good idea to seriously consider Thailand as a destination to do business because in many ways it is an economy that is on the rise and there are a lot of benefit and many foreigners find a great deal of success in doing business here in the Kingdom.