Setting up a Representative Office in Thailand

One of the benefits of the representative office is that it is not subject to the work permit ratio of one foreign employee for every four Thai employees. Depending on the nature and scale of activities being undertaken, representative offices may support upto 5 work permits. A representative office that has sourced more than THB 100 million from Thailand during the preceding year may be eligible for even more work permits.

Types of business activities that are eligible to setup a 100% foreign owned Representative Office in Thailand

A representative office renders non-revenue generating services to a foreign-domiciled head office through engaging in a limited range of activities, such as:

Sourcing of local goods or services in Thailand

Inspecting and controlling quality and volume of goods which the head office purchases in Thailand

Disseminating information about new products and services of the head office

Reporting to the head office on local business development and activities

Providing advice in various fields relating to goods distributed by the head office to the distributors or consumers

Can only sign contracts that are essential for its operations, eg lease of the premises

Exporting products which are ordered by its head office or its affiliated companies

Setting Up a Representative Office in Thailand

Capital Requirements:

Minimum THB3,000,000 paid up capital or 25% of its estimated expenses for the first three years, whichever is greater.

This capitalization MUST be brought/transferred into Thailand from overseas.

#1st trench

25% of the required registered capital is to be paid up within the first 3 months of operation.

#2nd trench

Second 25% to be paid within the first year of operation.

#3rd trench

Third 25% to be paid up within the second year of operation.

#4th trench

Final 25% is to be paid up within the third year of operation.

Required Documents from Mother Company (Foreign)

  • #1

    Foreign head office: an official document showing the name, capital, objects, place of business, list of directors and authorised signatories, as well as the financial statements of the past three years.

  • #2

    The total amount of shareholders, as well as an overview of their nationalities and the number of shares that they hold

  • #3

    Office address in Thailand and map, including proof of ownership or possession of the office space of the representative office (eg lease agreement).

  • #4

    Number, names and salaries of the employees

  • #5

    Reason why the representative office is necessary (eg to support well-known projects or clients in Thailand).

  • #6

    Business Plan covering the following topics:

    • A business forecast for the following three years
    • The type, size and intended period of the business
    • The stages of operations
    • The used machinery and/or office equipment
    • The impact on the Thai economy
    • As estimation of the spending on fixed assets and operational expenses in Thailand for the first three years, as well as an estimation of the benefits of the Thai economy
    • A plan for the import and transfer of foreign technology, and for research and development (if any)

    Note: Business Plan must be submitted in Thai and certified by the applicant and translator. Official Mother Company documents must be notarized / attested by the Thai Embassy in the country where the mother company is registered at.

  • #7

    Declaration that the applicant, directors, managers or appointed representative satisfy the qualifications and do not possess a prohibited characteristic under section 16 of the Foreign Business Act.

  • #8

    With regard to the representative that has to be appointed by the authorised signatory in charge of the business operations in Thailand: proof of his/her appointment, copy of the appointed representative’s passport and proof of his/her address in Thailand (or evidence of permission to enter Thailand).

  • #9

    If applicable, a power of attorney to the person representing the applicant during the process (including a copy of his/her passport). If this power of attorney was signed outside of Thailand, it should be notarised or certified by the embassy.

Overview of the process

Prepare application

to establish a Representative Office

Submit application

along with all the above documents to DBD

Approval process

within 3 week to 6 weeks

Total Fees for setting up a Representative Office in Thailand

THB145,000 and document preparation and submission for each Non-B Visa and Work Permit is THB73,500

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