Thailand Expansion Guide
Global Upside helps companies set up, hire, and operate in Thailand. Set up a legal entity quickly and easily with our solutions for branch, subsidiary, and rep office. Looking for an alternative to permanent establishment? Hire and pay employees in Thailand without a legal entity by using our PEO & employer of record services. Once your business is set up, our teams can support with recruitment and staffing, human resources, employee benefits, payroll, accounting, and tax.
Located at the center of Southeast Asia, Thailand is bordered by Laos and Cambodia to the east, Myanmar to the northwest, and Malaysia to the south. These countries make up a huge part of the Indochinese Peninsula.
- Thailand is the 23rd largest economy in the world
- Thailand ranks as one of the top economies in Southeast Asia
- Thailand is the 8th business-friendly nation in the world
- Thailand is the largest producer of rubber in the world
- Thailand one of the chief producers and exporters of rice
Limited Liability Company (LLC) is administered by the CCC, it requires at least 3 shareholders and 1 director. It is conceivable to have a solely foreign-owned business and a minimum of 25% of capital investment need to be paid at the time of registration.
Limited Partnership (LP) needs at least 1 limited and 1 general partner in order to register the establishment. In case more than 50% of the investors are foreign nationals, the establishment is deemed foreign.
Branch Office (BO) can be 100% owned by foreign nationals and can be opened by companies who have a project that can be completed in a maximum of 5 years. After 5 years, the foreign business license needs to be renewed. The branch manager in this form of an establishment has to be a Thai resident.
Representative Office (RO) can be 100% owned by foreign nationals, however, they cannot make direct sales in the nation. This form of an establishment can only engage themselves in market research, promotion of the parent company’s business, finding sources to purchase services and products and also to look after the quality and quantity of products that have been either manufactured or purchased in Thailand.
It takes a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks to incorporate a legal establishment in Thailand.
The primary sources of employment law in Thailand are the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) and the Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 1998 (LPA). The CCC and LPA state the below details must be mentioned in all employment agreements:
- Employment conditions
- Working days and hours
- Leaves and benefits
- Termination and notice periods
Thai GAAP has been published by the Federation of Accounting Professions. The Thai GAAP is established on IFRS. Numerous Thai GAAPs have been reviewed recently to line up with the current IFRS. There are 12 updated guidelines and a new standard has been given with effect in 2007 and 2008.
The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) was approved and endorsed, in Thailand, by the National Legislative Assembly on 28 February 2019.
Under the PDPA, different people reserve the privilege to control how their own information is gathered, stored, circulated, and secured to ensure their protection and administer personal data gathered by associations and firms. Compliance is one of the key highlights for information sharing, while individuals reserve the option to know which associations have their information and also how it is utilized and shared.
Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law
The Penal Code of Thailand and New Anti-Corruption Law generally criminalizes bribe giving and receiving by legal entities. This includes when bribes are given to state officials of Thailand, foreign state officials and, officers with intergovernmental organizations. Furthermore, when bribes are offered by any associated person which includes the joint venture partners, employees, and agents.
Punishments vary on the conditions whether the individual carrying out the offense is a private party offering bribe to a public official or a public official taking bribe under the Penal Code (Titles II and III) or other applicable enactments.
1. Bribery of public officials:
For individuals: bribe giving
i) Imprisonment for a minimum of 5 years up to 7 years.
ii) A fine of minimum THB 10,000 up to THB 14,000.
For legal entities:
i) A fine of minimum THB 10,000 up to THB 14,000.
2. Bribery of public officials – For individuals – bribe receiving
i) Imprisonment for 5 to 20 years or a lifetime.
ii) A fine of minimum THB 2,000 up to THB 40,000.
Laws for bribery do not usually encompass gifts or promises mentioned or acknowledged and offered or made among people in the private sector.
In contrast to the case of public officials, there is no definite law that governs private bribery executed by non-administrative entities or people. Nevertheless, commercial bribery, as one form of a corporate con, might be viewed as a crime under the Penal Code of Thailand.
Punishments for private bribery vary depending on the kind of the crime and the type of legal association for which the culprit works.
3. Bribery of private officials – For individuals
i) Imprisonment for a minimum of 3 years.
ii) A fine of minimum THB 6,000.