Many foreigners are so enchanted with Thailand that they decide to stay permanently and that means generating some form of income. Many expats marry a Thai citizen and together, they set up a private limited company (PLC) where their partner owns 51% and the foreigner holds 49%, which has all sorts of benefits for the foreigner, including a long-term working visa.
Choosing A Business
Popular choices for setting up a small business in Thailand include the following:
- E-commerce – Another popular option is to set up a shopping cart website where you can sell Thai textiles/garments. Make a deal with the factory and you can be their sole representative, selling their brand exclusively. If you are looking for affordable office space, ออฟฟิศให้เช่า รังสิต is available.
- Bar/restaurant/guesthouse – If you locate your business in the tourism sector, there will be sufficient custom for you to carve out a market share. Of course, you will have a lot of competition, so your service needs to be excellent if you are going to survive for the long term. Basically, you need to make enough money in the high season (November to February) to keep you for the rest of the year. The only customers you will have in low season are expat residents and in places like Hua Hin and Phuket, there are many expats who live year-round, which means you can make money all year if you create the right ambience.
- Farming – Some foreigners enter the fish farming sector, while others grow avocados or other fruits. If you would like to learn more about farming in Thailand, search Facebook for expat farming groups and you can talk to expats who are already farming; most are happy to advise others. Click here for what makes an entrepreneur successful.
Registering The Business
Source a reliable English-speaking Thai lawyer, who can help you apply for business registration via the Thai Board of Investment. You will have to prepare a lot of paperwork and with the lawyer’s help, you can obtain the licences you need to operate.
100% Foreign-Owned Business
Some industries allow for 100% foreign ownership (see Board of Investment website for a list of sectors) in the event you don’t wish to partner up with a Thai national. A Thai business lawyer can find reliable locals to partner up with you.
Write A Business Plan
As with a business in your home country, you need to write a business plan, which will be your guide; the plan should cover every aspect of the business and by playing devil’s advocate, you can forge a plan that will deliver the desired results.
It is important to learn the Thai language and there are many online language academies where you can enrol for lessons. Once you have a basic command of Thai, your day-to-day life will become much easier.