Start a Laundry Business in Thailand

Updated on Friday 22nd March 2019

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Numerous expats in Thailand choose to work in different domains and many others decide to open a company in Thailand. A laundry business in Thailand can be a fruitful opportunity for a small entrepreneur from abroad who wants to make suitable profits. If you want to start a laundry business in Thailand, we recommend you to solicit help and guidance from our Thai company formation specialists.


How to set up a laundry business in Thailand

Going to work or managing a business in Thailand means that many people, expats included, have no additional time for daily home activities, like cleaning, cooking or doing the laundry. Foreign and local entrepreneurs have analyzed the possibilities and the requirements on the market and this is why many laundry businesses appeared. The main types of laundry businesses available in Thailand are the coin-operated and the self-operated ones, which can be in different locations, usually in crowded neighborhoods. When the business is a coin-operated one, the business owner can come and collect the coins once or twice a day. Typically, coin-operated laundries will not require non-stop presence from the business owner or other staff, however, in practice, it may be useful for clients to have a staff member who can help them or to whom they can report if something breaks down. If the laundry business is one where a staff member is always present, the business owners may think of hiring staff, particularly English-speaking Thai employees. 

It is good to know that the Thai company formation is an easy process which requires the same legal steps as for any company registration in Thailand. Make sure to buy or rent a suitable place with enough space to install the laundromats and the dryers. As for the documents and additional requirements, we remind that these are the following:
  1. reserve a name for your laundry business: this needs to be an original name and it can be verified beforehand. 
  2. open a bank account: this will be the corporate bank account for the business, opened with a Thai bank. 
  3. prepare the company documents: these are the constitutive documents, the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  4. register the business: the new company needs to be registered with the Department of Business Development, the DBD.
  5. register for VAT: once the company undergoes the commercial registration, it also needs to register for VAT purposes.

According to the Thai Foreign Business Act, any overseas entrepreneur who wants to open a company in Thailand must apply for a license with the Foreign Licensing Department, including the ones who want to set up a laundry business in the city-state. You must obtain permits from the water pollution and health departments in Thailand.

The steps listed above are just the general ones that can apply to the private and the public limited companies. Other business forms that can be used for opening a laundry business are the partnerships that may be easier to set up, especially because of the lower incorporation costs in most cases. However, it is important to remember that partnerships do not offer the same protection against liability as corporations. Investors who open a company in Thailand will often choose to incorporate a private limited liability company because the founders are only liable to the extent of the invested capital.

The startup costs for the laundry business in Thailand

Investors who wish to start a laundry business in Thailand should consider the usual startup costs for this type of business. The most extensive items will usually be those associated with the equipment itself if the entrepreneurs are not also involved in completely remodeling or constructing new premises for the business.
Below, our team of Thai company formation agents highlights the main startup costs associated with opening this type of business:
  • the  premises: these are the costs for renting, buying and remodeling the space where the laundromat will function; this category is the most significant when investors build a new location for the laundry.  
  • the equipment: these are the washing machines and driers as well as any additional accessories and the monthly supplies for the business.
  • the plumbing costs: some plumbing work is likely to be required, such as the sewer connection.
  • the licenses: the fees for applying for the aforementioned permits and licenses should also be included.
  • employees: a laundromat is a business that can be run with a minimal number of employees; hiring staff may not be needed, however, as the business expands this may become necessary. 

The washing machines, the laundry carts, the vending machines, the coin machines, and the dryers are part of the needed equipment for your laundry business in Thailand. These items can be acquired as brand-new appliances or as already used but functionally equipment. The next step is to sign contracts with the electricity and water suppliers in the chosen city in Thailand, in order to start your laundry business. And if you want to generate money as soon as possible, it is recommended to advertise your new business, by offering special coupons or creating ads on different social networks. The amount of income that this type of business is able to generate varies according to the business size and number of washing machines. This is largely a client-oriented business and entrepreneurs can make up for the small size of the laundromat by maintaining an attractive environment.  Being polite and welcoming to the clients, quickly repairing any equipment that breaks down, maintaining a clean and energy-efficient system as well as providing all of the needed supplies for the clients are important for generating profit. The strategy is thus one of the key elements when starting a small business in Thailand. One advantage of starting a laundry business is that once it is established and it has a client base, it has the potential to generate steady income. 

Investors who wish to open a laundry business in Thailand are not required to have previous experience. Most laundromat owners start this type of company because of the relatively low startup costs and the potential to generate income in a steady flow once the business is established. However, our specialists in company registration in Thailand recommend that entrepreneurs learn the basics of business management and requirements in this field. Running a business in Thailand is not as complicated for foreign investors, however, they may need to open the company in collaboration with a Thai national or hire Thai staff, as required by law in some cases for foreign-owned companies. One of our specialists can give you more details on these requirements and can also help with the communication between business partners who are foreign and Thai nationals. Foreign investors may find that some external help is useful at the beginning of the business and our team can provide complete services for the formation of a company, including small businesses.  

You are invited to get in touch with our team of company formation representatives in Thailand if you want to know more details about how to start a laundry business in Thailand.