Thailand’s economic reforms, favorable business policies and available workforce makes it a competitive investment haven for local and foreign business entities. Even if many types of business in the Kingdom are restricted for Thai businesses only, foreign companies can still gain access to these activities by way of obtaining a Foreign Business License, promotion from the Board of Investment or through the Thailand-United States Treaty of Amity for American-owned company.
Apart from these, incentives in the form of reduced tax rates for the company and or a guarantee from the government that it will not nationalize the business activity of the promoted company makes Thailand an even more attractive site to conduct business.
Company Registration Process
The process in registering a company can be briefly described into five different steps and even though the company would be established with the assistance of a corporate lawyer, it would still be helpful if the proponents of the company have an idea on the whole process.
Step 1. Name Reservation
The company should prepare at least three company names with one of those as the primary name. The other two company names would serve as alternative names in case the primary name would not be accepted by the Business Development Office of the Ministry of Commerce.
The company names should comply with the ministerial regulations otherwise these would be rejected.
Step 2. Filing of Memorandum of Association
The MOA should then be submitted to the Business Development Office. The said document must contain the reserved company name, the capital to be registered, names of the shareholders, its corporate objectives and location of the company among others.
Step 3. Statutory Meeting
A statutory meeting should be convened after the MOA has been filed. It is during this meeting when the company directors and auditor would be appointed as well as the company Articles of Association, the amount of compensation to the promoters and amount of preferred shares would be determined.
Step 4. Company Registration
During this step, it would be directors who would register the company and they should do so within three months after the statutory meeting.
Step 5. Tax Registration
If the company is liable for income tax, it needs to be registered and obtain a tax I.D. card and number as well as VAT if it is qualified.
Should a corporate lawyer be enlisted?
Enlisting the services of a reputable corporate lawyer is highly recommended considering the complicated nature of the process involved. Apart from that, foreign business entities may find it hard to fully understand the applicable Thai laws. And lastly, what adds to the burden is also the fact that all Thai legal documents are issued using Thai language so an accurate translation of these is needed. Another thing is that, if the foreign company thinks about importing foreign labor then it has to apply for a specific visa and work permit for those individual(s).
A corporate lawyer can become really handy as it can translate the Thai documents into English with great degree of accuracy. Furthermore, setting up a company presence in Thailand requires a lot of legalities to be covered and a registered Thai corporate lawyer is the perfect fit for these.