How To Find Advice On Running A Business In Thailand
by Arnab Dey Business Development 15 March 2023
It is a common dream to own a business, and many people take the opportunity that redundancy, or a windfall, can bring to do just that.
There are around 582 million individuals across the world who have taken the step and now own a business.
Creating a new business anywhere takes a lot of hard work but it can be much tougher when you have to learn foreign laws and business customs too.
Thailand for instance is one place where many foreigners head to start a new life or retire. Many of these people choose to open restaurants, or bars, or start an online business. But, running a business in Thailand means understanding taxes and accounting and local labor laws, and much more.
Why run a business in Thailand in 2023?
There was a huge impact on tourism and travel after 2019, but finally, this year looks like a return to normal. People are traveling once more, and hotels in Thailand are filling up.
For some people, 2023 is the year that they will finally put into place plans that were made during or before Covid became a reality. 2023, therefore, represents opportunity once more in Thailand, especially as many businesses closed during the pandemic and there may be bargains to be had.
Beaches, good weather, cheap living compared to many of the countries in the west, and access to other Southeastern nations for holidays are just some of the appeals. From a business point of view, you might see lower overheads and have the potential to maximize profits compared with opening a business in your home country.
And with a large expat community, there is also local support to help people integrate, and gain business advice.
How many expats are in Thailand now?
Statista reports, the number of foreigners in Thailand in 2017 was nearly 3.6 million. But, the 2019 Thailand Migration Report put expat figures at just 150,707 while some reports put this number at closer to 1 million.
Statistics are hampered due to people overstaying their visas, entering the country illegally from neighbors such as Cambodia and Laos to find work and other factors.
What is clear though is that Thailand is a popular destination to lay down roots and start a business, find work, or just retire. With Phuket receiving up to 11 hours of sunshine a day, and Bangkok enjoying 273 hours of sun a month at its peak, it is clear why the country might appeal to someone living in rainy England, or the cold of Alaska.
How can you find solid advice on running a business in Thailand?
There is a strong expat community in Thailand, and message boards and forums are commonly used to ask questions and receive advice from experienced members.
Similarly, there are platforms to help newcomers and experienced business owners come together, share their knowledge, and help one another. A typical online business community may involve people in marketing or accounting.
What areas could you expect to find business advice in?
You will need an understanding of employment laws and Thai business regulations should you wish to create a new enterprise in the country.
In Thailand, there will be not just differences in legalities from your own country but in local customs too.
Business is conducted differently in Thailand than it is, say, in the US, and it pays to understand the proper etiquette as well as how to file your taxes.
A business platform with a members-only community will be able to offer all manner of advice including tips on starting an ecommerce. You could expect the following areas to be covered.
You can arrive on a visa exemption, but there are requirements for work and business visas if you plan to open a company of any kind.
2. Labor laws
You’ll have to understand what the current Thai minimum wage is, and what hours you can expect employees to work.
3. Terminating employment
There may be a time that you have to fire an employee. Therefore, you need to understand the law regarding firing employees.
4. Accounts and taxes
You will find professionals in online business communities that can give advice or offer their services for accounting and tax reporting.
No doubt, at the start of your Thai business venture you will have plenty of questions and need some help.
The other people using business platforms will have had the same questions and can help you understand how to find a coworking space in Thailand, understand how marketing should be used in the country, and recommend where to get good legal advice from.
Sorting the wheat from the chaff can be time-consuming, but a business community made up of expats in Thailand who have professional experience will help you to get started.
Even though there is a language barrier, and foreign laws can be complex, there is help. And this year might be the one you’ve been waiting for to start a business in Thailand.