Open a Trading Company in Thailand

Updated on Tuesday 14th April 2020

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Thailand has a positive trade balance and exports a number of products both within the ASEAN Region and in the European Union and in other parts of the world. With a long history of trading, the country continues to focus on key sectors and industries that are of importance for trade. 
 
Many overseas businessmen choose to open trading companies in Thailand and benefit from the favorable import and export environment in the country. In order to open a company in Thailand and to import or export goods, it is necessary to register the business with the Trade Register in Thailand. Our experts in company formation in Thailand can provide you with the necessary information and assistance related to the company registration procedure.

Our agents invite you to watch the following video on opening this type of company:

 

Conditions to open a trading company in Thailand


Before it can start the trading activities, it is necessary to register your company and to activate your operations with the custom institutions in Thailand. Also, you will need to register for VAT and to open a bank account in Thailand. The next step is to apply for a permit that allows you to import and export goods using the air and sea transportation. The Foreign Business Act, the most important document for regulating foreign investments, allows foreign businessmen to open trading companies in Thailand without restrictions for many goods. The Department of Foreign Trade in Thailand is in charge of the necessary licenses for imported good like vehicles, printing machines or clothes.

The Food and the Drug Administration is the institution that deals with the export and import of pharmaceuticals and legal substances or drugs. The Ministry of Finance in Thailand is in charge of the import of gold. Before starting a trading company, investors should be well aware of the special permits and licenses that are required as well as the relevant Thai authorities that issue special regulations for the import or export of selected goods. This is why reaching out to our agents is recommended for all investors who are interested in starting a trading business.

In order to open a trading company in Thailand and to legally start your activities, it is mandatory to prepare the documents, to submit them to the Customs Department in Thailand, in order to receive the license card to import and export goods. The application form KSK1, details about the bank account, the seal registration, the affidavit, the VAT certificate and the power of attorney are a few of the needed documents necessary to open a trading company in Thailand. A special license will be necessary if you wish to import tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals.

Our company formation specialists in Thailand can assist you if you want to set up a trading company in Thailand. Company registration in Thailand is a simple process and can be done within a few days.
 
Below, we list the main steps that are required for opening a trading company in Thailand:
 
1. Reserve the company name: a company name should be unique and for this purpose, investors may perform a prior check.
2. Prepare the company Memorandum: this is the constitutive document of the company; the business name, and scope and the names of the founders are included in the Memorandum of Association.
3. Sign the articles: the Memorandum and the Articles of Association are to be signed by all of the company members.
4. Register the company: the next step, a mandatory one, is to register the business with the Company Registry.
5. Tax registration: the company is then registered for tax and VAT purposes within sixty days of the company registration. 
6. Obtain permits: as previously mentioned, import/export businesses will function based on several other special permits and licenses.
 
These are the general steps required to open a company in this business field. The same consultants can provide you with complete information about how to open a company in Thailand in other different business sectors.

Additional information about company incorporation in Thailand: investors are advised to choose more than one name, possibly three names when making the name reservation. The principles for corporate names do not allow the usage of a name that is similar or related to those of existing companies, neither names that use words related to monarchy nor names that are misleading.

When choosing the most suitable business form, investors will commonly choose one of the two limited company types, the private or the public companies. Private limited companies are similar to the private limited liability company or LLC in many other countries and the shareholders are only limited to the amount of their investment in the company’s capital. The value of each share cannot have a value below five THB and the company must have at least three shareholders at all time. 

According to the Foreign Business Act, foreigners are not allowed to trade antiques or artistic objects that are Thai handicrafts or artistic works.

Trading companies in Thailand will need to observe the tax, accounting, filing and auditing requirements. The corporate income tax is 20%, with the tax year being any accounting period of a maximum of 12 months. Certified public accountants must audit the financial statements of those legal entities for which this step is mandatory.

One of our agents who specialize in company formation in Thailand can give investors complete information about the regulations for companies and the applicable tax treaties and bilateral agreements with other countries with which the Thai company may be engaged in trading activities.
 

Trading in Thailand 


Thailand’s top exports include office machine parts, integrated circuits, vehicle parts, integrated circuits or crude petroleum. Among the country’s top exports we can mention refined petroleum, rubber, rice, raw sugar, and gold but also integrated circuits, vehicles (trucks) or jewelry. The top export destinations are the United States, China, Japan, Malaysia but also the European Union. The top countries from which Thailand originates its imports are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia. 

Companies that import or export to/from Thailand can specialize in one or more categories of products and they can cover several areas. For example, a company can import woven fabric, wool and other textiles and export different types of finished clothing items. Companies that are involved in the export of locally sourced and produces foodstuff can have a broad range of items for shipping to international destinations.

Global trading companies based in Thailand can adopt international quality standards adapted to the market in which they wish to sell their products. For example, when selling food on the EU market, the company will use the European quality management standard in order to deliver products that will be market compliant. Investors who wish to open a company in Thailand and export local products can focus on food and beverages, Thai clothing, Thai accessories such as jewelry.

Please feel free to get in touch with our company registration agents in Thailand, if you need additional information or recommendations about how to open a trading company in Thailand.