Immigrants including expats in Thailand as well as foreigners from abroad have an opportunity to start a business in the country if they so desire. Having a business can be an additional source of income or a major source of income if you are able to grow it well moving forward.
The first most important factor you have to consider is your budget. It’s very important that you’re financially capable because setting up requires a good capital and if you’re renting space, that’s another factor to take into account.
Next step is to decide on the type of business to start. With the many business opportunities available in Thailand, you need to choose which segment you want to get into and determine your target market in advance.
Restaurants and bars are popular there as well as clothing and accessories shops. With restaurants and bars, your customers will be visitors who are food lovers while for shops selling clothes and accessories, your primary customers would be the fashionable teens and adults, both males and females.
Location is also a key consideration. Be sure to set up shop in strategic places where people often go to. If you’re into selling clothes and accessories, for example, you might want to do business at the night markets to gain more customers.
Perhaps a very important step is to learn the local language. As a great number of Thais do not speak English, you need to take it upon yourself to study Thai early on. This will help you in communicating with the local residents and other professionals you might be meeting along the way.
Once you’re ready with those primary considerations, you need to find a Thai partner. This won’t be much of a problem if you’ve established yourself in the country and have become friends with professionals or business owners who are citizens of the country. You can offer to partner with them or seek their assistance if you prefer to launch a separate business.
Foreigners are not allowed to get involved in the daily business operation hence, a Thai partner is necessary. Another option is to create a limited company. In this set-up, a foreigner is allowed a 49 percent share only and a minimum number of Thai staff is required for each foreign employee.
You might also want to consult with a lawyer to learn about the legal documents needed to obtain a work permit, register and set up the business. Generally, one can start a business in Thailand in a month’s time.
About the guest author:
Greg is a business owner in Singapore about to start a bar business in Bangkok with a Thai friend. He’s now planning to study Thai for faster communication with the locals.
Image source jpbangkok.blogspot.com