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July 20, 2023

Limited Company Registration in Thailand

Thailand, with its emerging market and strategic location in Southeast Asia, has caught the attention of many international investors. If you are looking to venture into this promising economy, setting up a limited company is often the preferred legal entity for both local and foreign investors. This article will walk you through the key steps and requirements for registering a limited company in Thailand.

A limited company in Thailand is similar to the concept of a private limited company in other jurisdictions. The liability of the shareholders is limited to any amount left unpaid on their shares. The company is governed by Thailand's Civil and Commercial Code and the Foreign Business Act.

Prerequisites for Limited Company Registration

  1. Company Name Reservation: The first step involves reserving a unique name for your company with the Department of Business Development (DBD). This name cannot be identical or too similar to any existing company or trademark in Thailand.
  2. Shareholder Requirements: A minimum of three shareholders — individuals or juristic persons — is required. If foreign investors are involved, it's important to be aware that a company is considered Thai if 51% or more of its shares are held by Thai nationals.
  3. Capital Adequacy: No minimum capital requirement is officially specified, but the capital should be reasonable according to the business's nature and size. For foreign shareholders, a minimum capital of THB 2 million is generally required if the company plans to employ foreign staff.
  4. Director Appointment: Every limited company in Thailand must appoint at least one director. Directors can be of any nationality and are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.

Steps to Register a Limited Company

  1. Name Reservation: The selected company name should be submitted to the DBD for approval, a process that typically takes a few days.
  2. Filing the Memorandum of Association (MOA): After the company name is approved, you should file the MOA with the DBD. The MOA, signed by the company's promoters, includes essential information such as the company's name, intended operational province, business objectives, and the capital distribution among shareholders.
  3. Conducting the Statutory Meeting: Once the MOA is filed, a statutory meeting should be held. Here, the shareholders will approve the articles of association, ratify any contracts and expenses, and appoint the director(s).
  4. Company Registration: Following the statutory meeting, you should officially register the company with the DBD. This must be done within three months of the statutory meeting. The registration process involves presenting a list of shareholders and paying the government fee.
  5. Tax Registration: Upon successful company registration, you need to acquire a tax identification number from the Revenue Department within 60 days of incorporation or the start of business operations. If the company has one or more employees or the annual income exceeds THB 1.8 million, it will also need to register for VAT.
  6. Register for Social Security: If the company employs staff, it must register with the Social Security Office within 30 days of the first employee's start date.

While the process may seem straightforward, it's advisable to seek assistance from a local legal or consulting firm, especially for foreign investors, to navigate the legal requirements and administrative processes. It's also essential to keep abreast with the latest regulations and requirements as they can change over time.

With thorough understanding and careful planning, you can successfully register a limited company in Thailand and embark on an exciting business journey in this thriving Asian market.

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