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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Tax LawRestaurant Ownership in Thailand: Payroll Issues for Foreigners

Restaurant Ownership in Thailand: Payroll Issues for Foreigners

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing running a restaurant here in the Kingdom. 

I made this video because I see a large number of foreigners being in the restaurant business here in Thailand. They enjoy the restaurant business and quite frankly as foreign nationals bring in cuisine of their own nationality; it is often quite a nice fit for those expats who are looking to run a business here. Some other businesses in Thailand are rather difficult to get off the ground. Restaurants, although I wouldn't say are not difficult, restaurants may be feasible for many foreign nationals simply by dint of the fact that they are offering something new on the market. They are bringing in a cuisine that might not otherwise be in Bangkok although I must admit Bangkok is quite Cosmopolitan with respect to the different restaurants and cuisine that are on offer here.  But that being said, everyone can provide a different twist even on cuisine that has been in Thailand for a relatively long period of time. For example, there are a number of Italian restaurants and Indian restaurants in Thailand and notwithstanding that, many of them remain successful to this day because they provide a different twist on those various types of cuisine. 

That is really not the purpose of this video though. The purpose of this video is to discuss payroll issues associated with restaurants and I bring this up because although payroll seems like something that is just kind of a no-brainer, first of all for a foreigner looking to get into business, especially the restaurant business in Thailand, it should be noted the payroll documentation is primarily going to be in the Thai language. The other thing to keep note of is payroll can have a tremendous impact and tremendous ramifications for a foreigner as payroll issues can affect a work permit for a foreign national. What do I mean? What am I talking about? Well under Thai Law, generally speaking you need to have 4 Thai employees to every one foreign employee in a given business Enterprise in order to maintain a work permit.  Those are the various labour regulations as well as Immigration regulations associated with maintenance of both a Thai work permit and a Thai B Visa. 

Now the thing to take away from this video is the fact that those Labour regulations hinge on whether or not the payroll is met according to certain parameters especially with respect to Social Security filings and contributions made with respect to Thai employees. Failure to adhere to the given guidelines with respect to not only the ratio of Thai employees but the minimum wages and the minimum contributions associated with those Thai employees, can result in a Work Permit or a visa application being denied for renewal or being revoked; I have actually seen that happen before too.

So the thing to take away from this video is payroll in and of itself is important but for a foreigner running a restaurant here in Thailand, it is very important because it has ramifications for that foreigner's work permit or multiple foreigners' work permits and Business Visa or Visas.