To Work in Thailand
To work as a diving instructor, in a bar or restaurant, as a web designer, salesman, in telemarketing or as an IT consultant etc. can be attractive to many foreigners in Thailand, due to the pleasant climate and the friendly people, but there are also some regulations and laws that we recommend you to notice.
Do You Have What It Takes?
If you answer yes to at least eight of these questions, we believe that you can be successful as a self-employed in Thailand:
1. Do you have a solid knowledge of your business and the industry before moving to Thailand?
2. Do you have great patience and do you love to win?
3. Can you spare time for all initial paperwork and accept some setbacks in the process?
4. Can you imagine working a lot, maybe sixty-hour weeks at times?
5. Are you really enjoying to be self-employed and not just accept it as a "necessary evil" just to be able to stay in Thailand?
6. Can you tolerate that the bureaucracy sometimes puts obstacles in your path?
7. Is it okay to work in a country where daytime average temperature is between 30-35 degrees? (if indoors; air-conditioning malfunction, blackouts etc)
8. Are you willing to learn some Thai customs, to be polite to the locals and at least learn the basics of the language?
9. Do you have initial capital which is also sufficient to support yourself if your business is not profitable from the start?
10. Can you handle being away from relatives and friends (who do not live in Thailand) for quite some time?
AT A SKY TRAIN STATION AFTER WORK - Photo by Jens W, Yenit.com
SECOND HAND SHOP IN KOH PHANGAN - Photo by Jens W, Yenit.com
JACK, WORKING AT A LAW FIRM - Photo by Jens W, Yenit.com
Work or Setting up a Company
As a non Thai citizen there are the same basic regulations if you are becomes an employee or if you set up your own company.
1. You will need a Non Immigrant Visa to be able to obtain a work permit in Thailand. You will have to apply for this visa on an embassy outside Thailand. The first time that you apply you will only be able to get a three month visa, but after this you will be able to apply for a one year Non Immigrant B visa. Anyhow you will have to leave Thailand and pass the border every third month or visit the Immigration Authorities.
To apply for a Non-Immigrant B visa you will need to have a letter of employment from the company or from a lawyer etc. If you are setting up your own company. With a tourist visa you are NOT allowed to work in Thailand.
2. When you have a Non Immigrant B visa, you will be able to apply for a work permit in Thailand. You will also need to provide a CV, a recently issued Thai health certificate and three passport photos.
3. To set up your own company in Thailand (Thai Private Company Limited or Thai Co., Ltd) you will need seven shareholders, of which Thais has to own at least 51%, except if you are an American citizen. The company also need a minimum capital of THB 2,000,000.
4. You can of course do all the paperwork by yourself when you are setting up a Thai Co., Ltd, but you then will need someone with good skills in the Thai language to complete all necessary forms. Then you will have to contact the authorities by yourself to hand over these applications. The total cost, if you'll do this all by yourself is just over 15.000 Baht.
5. To be able to register VAT you will need a number of documents, for example from the landlord of where your office is located. You can get further details information from the tax authorities in Thailand (Revenue Department) or a lawyer.
To turn to an expert (lawyer etc.) to set up your company normally costs about the double; 30-70,000 Baht including fees to the authorities. To set up a company in Thailand is normally a process of 30-40 days.
The Income Tax
Thailand uses a progressive (graduated) income tax scale. The tax is calculated upon a sliding scale from 5-37%. All non-Thai citizens working in Thailand, has to pay an income tax based on a predetermined minimum income. Europeans, Japanese, Americans, Canadians and Australians has to tax, based a minimum income of 50,000 THB, or more. Other salary requirements applies to citizens from other countries.
YENIT'S OFFICE IN NORTH LAMAI - Photo by Jens W, Yenit.com
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