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Can I Run a Business as a Retiree in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing “Can a retiree run a business in Thailand?” Let's go ahead and deal with some definitions of terms. First of all Retiree. We are going to presume this is someone who is here on a Thai Retirement Visa, either an O-A Retirement Visa or an O Retirement Visa. Next "run a business". What does that mean precisely? Does that mean someone who is simply investing in a business and is just kind of sitting around Thailand watching his business operate or someone who is actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the business? The reason for the question is Thai Retirement Visas are not work authorized. I repeat this, Thai Retirement Visas are not work authorized. You cannot get a Work Permit in Thailand on a Retirement Visa. It is designed for retirement only. Folks who come to Thailand and basically just spend their time retired essentially, whatever that means; leisure activities etc. 

Now running a business, owning a business, this can become kind of a fine point. I have known and dealt with as clients, a number of clients and just individuals over the years that I have met who are retired and they may own an interest in an ongoing enterprise but they don't actively involve themselves in it. There are varying degrees of this. Some folks kind of take it to the line and some folks are very completely passive investors in an ongoing operation. Again you have to remember, Retirement Visas are not work authorized. 

Now there has been some talk, we have discussed that there may be some upcoming sort of VIP Retiree Visas becoming available which may allow certain folks to have some work authorization associated with their retirement in Thailand. We have yet to see any regulatory structure promulgated to that effect and we have yet to see any actual visas actually come about as a result of those proposals which were only approved in principle. Again we haven't seen any actual functional visas or any rules to that effect.

For now as the time of the making of this video, running a business day-to-day operation that can be construed as work, probably not. Owning a business, again as a passive owner might be possible. Again everything is going to depend on the underlying circumstances in the case. For those who are kind of worried they may be on the line, it may not be a terrible idea to contact a legal professional, gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.