Establishing a Branch Office in Thailand

Business Services

What is a Branch Office in Thailand?

Before initiating the establishment of a trading branch office in Thailand, foreign businesses must thoroughly understand and adhere to Thai regulations governing permissible activities. The FBA categorizes business activities into restricted and permissible ones for foreign entities. Furthermore, careful consideration of income and corporate income tax implications is paramount. Corporate Income Tax (CIT) applies to juristic entities engaging in Thai business activities or deriving specified income from Thailand, following the principles laid down in the Revenue Code of Thailand.

The approval process for foreign business operations under the FBA involves evaluating their impact on various factors, including national security, economic and social development, public order, environmental conservation, consumer protection, and enterprise scale.

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Key things to consider

Navigating the complexities of setting up a branch office in Thailand demands meticulous planning, strict adherence to legal requirements, and thorough financial scrutiny to ensure seamless integration into the Thai business landscape. HLG Thailand can provide expert guidance and support throughout this process, assisting you every step of the way to ensure a successful establishment of your branch office in Thailand.

Additional Information:

Characteristics of Branch Offices:

  1. Branch offices function similarly to limited companies, engaging in trading activities and generating income within Thailand.
  2. Unlike Representative or Regional Offices, Branch Offices are not confined to non-trading activities and can actively generate revenue.
  3. It’s crucial to consider the legal and financial implications, as liabilities may extend beyond Thailand to their overseas head offices.
  4. Establishment Requirements:
  5. Setting up a branch office in Thailand entails significant time and financial investment due to the intricate regulatory procedures and associated establishment costs.
  6. Foreign companies must secure an FBL before commencing operations, necessitating the submission of an application reviewed by the Foreign Business Committee and Board.


Criteria for FBL Approval:

  1. Individuals seeking FBLs must fulfill specific criteria outlined in Section 16 of the FBA, including age, residence status, legal history, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  2. Juristic persons must ensure their foreign directors and managers also meet these criteria.


Capitalization Requirements:

  1. Upon FBL approval, the branch office’s capitalization must meet specified requirements, comprising at least 25% of average estimated expenses for the first three years, but not less than 3 million baht.
  2. After establishment, branch offices operate in Thailand for up to five years, with the possibility of extension upon meeting capitalization requirements.

FAQ

Is it possible for foreign entities to establish a branch office in Thailand?

Absolutely, foreign companies have the opportunity to establish an official branch presence in Thailand. This branch office operates as an extension of the parent company and is bound by Thai laws and regulations.

The necessary documentation may vary based on specific circumstances. Typically, you’ll need certified copies of the parent company’s incorporation documents and financial statements. Additionally, a letter of appointment for the branch office’s authorized director(s) and a power of attorney empowering them to act on behalf of the parent company are essential.

Certainly, a branch office in Thailand is subject to Thai corporate income tax on its net profits, with the prevailing rate currently set at 20%. Moreover, the branch office may also incur other taxes, including value-added tax (VAT) and withholding tax, depending on its operational activities.

Yes, a branch office is permitted to conduct business activities within Thailand, albeit within the confines of the parent company’s business scope. These activities must align with and support the parent company’s operations.

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