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Business types in Thailand

There are always those who visit Thailand from Australia who decide that they wish to stay in Thailand.  Generating an income in Thailand can be very difficult if you have not spent much time in the country as you will not know much about how things get done. There are business registration to worry about as well a business taxes, licenses in Thailand as well as your work permit.

Thai Visa:

If you are married to a Thai national then you more likely than not have a Thai marriage visa. You can use this visa to apply for a work permit once you have your business registered as well as having setup shop. You will need to take legal advice on lease agreements as long term lease agreements need to be registered with the Land Office in Thailand as it is registered against the title deed in the event that the property gets sold and avoids it getting sold out from under you.

Business Registration & Licences:

You need to read the articles on business registration and business licenses in Thailand for a good overview of what is needed for your business. There are many expats in Thailand and the businesses range from restaurants to tour and travel agencies. Below is a brief break down.

Business Types:

There is an old saying in Pattaya, you don’t sell a bar it just changes ownership. This is true. Many bars do not make money and the likelihood of your getting a work permit for this is rare as it might fall under the prohibited occupations in Thailand unless you are the manager and all the paperwork is correct. Bars in Pattaya tend to be hobby-horses for those who have retired. They don’t work in the bar or manage it. They simply sit there and have a place to call their own. They tend to use their retirement money from back home to keep it going. There are some well-known bars that have been hobby-horses for years.

Restaurants are very difficult as the competition in Thailand is tough. Many again tend to simply setup shop for their Thai wife to make an extra income but very few actually make a living out of it. There are a few well-known restaurants in Bangkok and Pattaya that are foreign owned but you will have to invest heavily into its development. Just like any other business, what you put in is what you get out.

Nightclubs are extremely difficult for foreigners however there are again many are well-known jazz clubs in Thailand that are foreign owned and operated. There clubs tend to be your high-end clubs with huge investments made into the clubs.

Language schools over the years have faded and the brand name companies have dominated the market ever since. There was not much money to be made in them but you could pay your bills at the end of the month. These would normally be teachers who decided to become self-employed.

There are franchises available in Thailand such as 7-11 and others however you have to look at their agreements. Profits will depend on where the store is located and how well it is managed. Speak to a lawyer in Thailand about this as some expats have bought into them in their Thai wife’s name. They are not going to be working there but sit at home and make an income from the investment.

Like any foreign country you need someone to look out for what is best for you. Always seek legal advice before you open a business or decide to buy a business.

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