10 Things about the Business Etiquette in Thailand

Updated on Friday 17th March 2017

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The business etiquette in Thailand refers to a particular code of behavior regarding all the commercial relations you might want to initiate. We have gathered ten important aspects that you should consider when starting a business in Thailand. Our specialists in company formation in Thailand are here to guide you in this matter and can offer assistance and recommendations for your future business plans.

1. The first contact has a major impact in Thailand

Thailand has a different set of values that could be interpreted in many ways by foreign investors. It is recommended to be properly introduced by a person who already knows your future partner or collaborator and to whom he already mentioned you. Higher ranking persons are treated with full respect, and the status in society is quite important before making any move. Thai people do respect their principles and it is recommended to have some research before, in order to be properly prepared when making the first contact with a potential partner in Thailand.

2. Safety measures and contracts in Thailand are also based on mutual trust

Thai people usually prefer to sign contracts with not too many clauses, because they have the possibility to add changes later on. It is good to know that too many clauses might be a sign of mistrust, therefore, you can do business in Thailand by mutual trust and you can close a deal with a simple shake of hands. As a conclusion on this matter, you should remember that Thai businessmen can adjust their contracts as soon as they’ve signed it.

3. Dress code in Thailand is very important

If you want to make a great impression in front of Thai people, you should definitely check your appearance, because they might judge you according to what you wear. Cars, jewelries, watches, expensive mobile phones and many other important items that complete a business appearance are quite important for Thai businessmen, therefore, make sure to put the accent on your attendance. We remind that if you want to open a company in Thailand you can ask for help and guidance from our representatives.

4. Greetings in Thailand

The Thai traditional greeting is Wai and if you see them frequently in prayer with clutched hands, you will notice that is a hello and farewell sign. This gesture also shows respect to older and wealthier people. As a reminder, you can solicit help and guidance from our specialists in company formation in Thailand, if you wish to open a business in the country.

5. Take into consideration the business gifts in Thailand

You won’t leave empty-handed from a business meeting in Thailand. The people of this country prefer beautiful flower arrangements like yellow or purple orchids, instead of simple business cards. 

6. The negotiation process is significant in Thailand

This important part starts with a friendly chat and then the main issues are put on the debate, taking into account that emotions need to be avoided, and a gentle and welcoming approach should be adopted. When addressing in a meeting or in a negotiation process you can use the term Khun, which refers to Mr. or Ms., and then add the first name. It is quite important to be calm and avoid critiques in situations with inappropriate suggestions or proposals. You may see that Thais say YES or KHRAP to everything you say, but that doesn’t mean they also agree with you. It means they understand what you say. It is recommended to ask questions if you observe particular aspects that might not be in the right order. This way, you will politely offer to your Thai interlocutor the possibility to express his views and visions.

7. Cultural etiquettes in Thailand

The national religion in Thailand in Buddhism and more than 95% of the people embrace it, therefore, the statues or the artifacts are sacred for them. The Thai Royal family is much respected and are not accepted any jokes or bad behaviors in this direction. When sitting in a business meeting, make sure to not point someone with your feet because is considered quite rude. If you are dealing with a Thai woman you are not allowed to shake hands or to touch her shoulders in a friendly manner, but you can smile instead. Thai people do avoid violence, hostilities or conflicts because losing patience means disrespect for them.

8. Thai people properly speak English

Thailand is a great destination for foreign investments, therefore, English is used as a working language. If you want to make a good impression in front of your business associate, you can try to learn some common words in the Thai language. The company registration in Thailand is an easy process which can be entirely supervised by our representatives.

9. Thai people are interested in making conversation

When attending a business meeting prepare to have lots of conversation, even if it has nothing to do with your purposes there. To establish a great connection with the person you are doing business with, it is recommended to speak and to listen carefully because it can frequently pay with better terms once the agreement is complete.

10. Schedule the meeting in advance

As we all know, it is something normal to plan a visit with a future business partner with days or even weeks before. You cannot just call one day and the next one to show up at a meeting because it might be interpreted as a rude manner.

If you have decided to open a company in Thailand, you are invited to ask for help and guidance from our specialists in company registration in Thailand, so please feel free to contact us.