Representative Office in Thailand

Business Services

What is a Representative Office in Thailand?

A representative office in Thailand is a crucial asset for multinational corporations aiming to establish a presence and gather business intelligence without engaging in revenue-generating activities. These offices act as channels for transmitting market insights, economic trends, and other relevant information back to their headquarters overseas.

To set up a representative office in Thailand, you need to meet specific capitalization requirements. You must transfer either THB 3,000,000 per business activity or 25% of the estimated expenses for the first three years, whichever amount is higher, to Thailand within a set timeframe.

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Key Things to Consider:

A representative office in Thailand functions solely as a service entity, representing its head office or affiliated companies abroad. It engages exclusively in non-revenue-generating activities, such as collecting business intelligence and conducting market research. However, it is prohibited from conducting trading activities, accepting purchasing orders, making sales offers, negotiating business deals, or generating income within Thailand.

Additional Information:

Here are the benefits of a representative office:

  1. Full Foreign Ownership: Representative offices allow for 100% foreign ownership.
  2. Tax Exemption: They are exempt from corporate taxes in Thailand.
  3. No Setup Fees: There are no government fees for the setup of representative offices.
  4. Work Permit Flexibility: Representative offices enjoy exemption from the standard work permit ratio requirement for Thai employees.

The Registration Process Requires These Information:

  1. Application: The application must be signed by the representative.
  2. Company Affidavit: A detailed affidavit outlining the head office’s name, capital, objectives, location, directors, and representatives.
  3. Power of Attorney: A power of attorney for the representative of the representative office in Thailand.
  4. Representative’s Passport: A copy of the representative’s passport, along with the non-immigrant visa or entry visa stamp. All documents must be notarized and certified by a local Thai embassy or consulate and should not be more than six months old during the time of registration.
  5. Issuance of Certificate/Registration Number: The Department of Business Development (DBD) typically issues a certificate or registration number within 2 to 4 weeks of submitting the complete set of documents, allowing the representative office to commence operations.
  6. Application Approval Timeline:  The timeframe for application approval can vary from 2 weeks to 1 month, subject to Ministerial discretion and thorough review by DBD officers.

FAQ

What is the Process for Setting Up a Representative Office?

To set up a Representative Office in Thailand, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Submit an application to the Ministry of Commerce in Thailand.
  2. Provide necessary supporting documents, such as the company’s certificate of incorporation, financial statements, and a letter of intent.
  3. If approved, register with relevant government agencies, including the Revenue Department and the Department of Business Development.

No, a Representative Office cannot generate direct revenue in Thailand. Its activities must remain non-profitable and should solely support the operations of the parent company.

Yes, a Representative Office in Thailand is restricted to employing only foreign nationals and cannot hire local Thai employees. The number of foreign staff members allowed may vary depending on the size of the parent company and the scope of activities conducted by the office.

Representative Offices must submit annual reports to the Ministry of Commerce. These reports should detail the office’s activities, financial position, and any changes to the office’s structure.

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