As per the Visa Exemption Rule, the Kingdom of Thailand allows foreigners from various nations to enter as well as stay here for a limited period of time. In other words, foreigners from countries that are covered in the exemption rule are allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of up to 30 days, for which there is no need for a visa application. Al though not a single visa can exceed a period of 30 days, the exemption rule permits foreign nationals to stay in the country for a period of maximum 90 days within a period of six months.
However, this rule is applicable only to foreigners coming here for tourism purposes. No matter you are a foreigner from a country not included in the exemption law or from one included in the exemption law, it is essential to apply for a visa if you want to stay in the country for a period exceeding 30 days.
Depending upon the changing requirements and purposes of people, there are different types of visas. A visa is simply a permit or consent issued by the Royal Thai Embassies or Royal Thai Consulate General to a foreigner who wishes to stay here for a particular period of time. The visa duration varies based on a number of factors, which may be up to three months, six months, or sometimes up to one year.
However, a visa is never issued for a period less than three months. Most popular among the visa issued by the Thai embassy is tourist visa, which is alternatively known as travel visa or visit visa. A tourist visa is usually granted for a period of up to 30 days or up to 60 days. Thailand issues a 60-day visa to nationals of almost 40 countries, and for nationals of about 19 countries, visa with a scheme, namely, visa on arrival, is issued. Even though the travel visa for Thailand is quite complex, its requirements are same for everyone. Among the requirements for applying for tourist visa is a valid passport from the home country, two passport size photos, and completed as well as signed application forms.
Business work visa is another popular type of visa issued in Thailand. It falls under the category of non immigrant visa group, and is also known as non-immigrant visa work or Business ‘B’ Visa. A business work visa is regarded as a first step to apply for a work permit in Thailand. When business work visa is issued for the first time, it is given for a period up to three months. But, you may get either double entry or sometimes even one year multiple entry visa when you apply it for second time.
However, you are required to leave the country every three months. But there is an exception and you may get a valid one year business visa, if you acquire work permit through an approved program of Board of Investment (BOI.) Likewise, in this case, you needn’t have to leave Thailand every three months. But, you have to comply with a lot of paper works provided you leave the country for holiday purposes. Nevertheless, this is not applicable for normal entry visa. Some of the requirements for obtaining a work visa are sponsorship of Thai company, VAT certificate, withholding tax, and letter of employment.
Different types of visas in Thailand also include Ed Visa (Education Visa), which is usually issued to students who are interested in studying in the country. An Ed Visa must be applied at least a month prior to the trip to Thailand. Of the requirements in order to get this visa are a valid passport and a letter from the admission department of college or university you are going to study. Transit visa, diplomatic visa, and courtesy visa are the other popular types of visas issued by the embassies.
Nowadays, a plethora of law firms, immigration agencies, and other service providers are in the scenario to render to a host of services in dealing with visa laws as well as requirements. With an expert team consisting of professional migration consultants, these service providers undertake a myriad of activities in connection with obtaining work permits as well as visas and visas for a number of destinations located worldwide.
Some of them even provide the services of expert immigration attorneys for scrutinizing the authenticity of documents. There are also certain service providers who assist you in securing an Australia visa, the US visa, and the UK visa, apart from visas for other countries such as New Zealand and South Africa.
In the Kingdom of Thailand, registration as well as conducting of business is governed by a number of laws. Some of the most popular forms of business set ups in Thailand are sole proprietorship, partnership business, joint ventures, branches of foreign companies, and limited companies including public limited companies and private limited companies.
A sole proprietorship is a kind of business set up that can be owned by only one person with unlimited liability. This type of set up is subject to certain kinds of legal actions. Unless included under the United States-Thailand Treaty on Amity and Economic Co-operation, a foreigner is not permitted to start a sole proprietorship business in Thailand.
When comes to partnership business, Thailand allows three types of business such as unregistered ordinary partnerships, registered ordinary partnerships, and limited partnerships. Since it is not promoted by the Board of Investment (BOI), partnership business is seldom operated by foreign investors.
A public limited company in Thailand offers shares for sale through the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET.) But, a host of legal requirements must be complied with the Public Limited Company Act for starting a public limited company. For instance, half of the promoters must be Thai nationals and there must be at least 15 promoters for the Memorandum of Association.
Private limited companies are the most popular type of business set ups in Thailand. A foreigner can easily set up a private limited company. However, according to the Foreign Business Act, there are certain businesses that cannot be started by a foreigner on a majority basis.
Laws pertaining to the establishment of a private company in Thailand are governed by the Civil and Commercial Code, the Revenue Code, and the Accounts Act. Private limited companies are akin to western corporations and are regarded as one of the most prominent vehicles to set up a permanent business in the country. Establishment and registration of a private limited company involve certain important steps.
Foremost is the reservation of corporate name for your company. However, the name you have chosen or reserved for your company should not be same or similar to the corporate name of other companies. According to the law, certain names are not allowed as the company name. One can lean guidelines provided by the Commercial Registration Department in the Ministry of Commerce for reserving a company name. Filing of Memorandum of Association with the Commercial Registration Department is the next step in the incorporation of a private company.
Memorandum of Association must include the company’s reserved name, location of the company, business goals, share capital amount as well as how it is divided, and names of seven promoters who sign this document. Once the Memorandum of Association is registered, a government fee of about 0.5% of the registered capital must be paid. Then, a statutory meeting of all shareholders must be convened, in which the bylaws as well as articles of incorporation are approved and the board of directors and auditors are selected.
After this, the directors must file their application for the establishment of the company, within 90 days from the date of the statutory meeting. When the application is filed, a government fee of Thai 5,000 baht, which may go up to a maximum of 250,000 baht, must be paid. It is mandatory that within 60 days of the incorporation of the company should register for income tax and receive a tax ID card and a number for the company from the Department of Revenue.
Above all, once the company is incorporated and has successfully started its operation, it is required to maintain accurate books of accounts as per the Accounts Act, the Civil and Commercial Code and the Revenue Code. Accounting documents can be prepared in any language, however with a Thai translation.
Company formation and registration in Thailand offer some obvious benefits. One of the prime advantages is that the law does not entail any minimum capital requirement for establishing a business set up. Another benefit is that the Board of Investment (BOI) of the country renders a multitude of incentives to promote and encourage company formation in Thailand. As it is a founder member of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the country provides access to a prospective ASEAN market.
A myriad of specialist consultancy firm coupled with the services of attorneys are in the scenario to help you with the processes involved in company incorporation and registration in Thailand. They help you deal with a number of activities pertaining to the registration of company such as selection of appropriate company name, financial consulting, legal consulting, drafting company by-laws and business objectives, preparation and filing of the Memorandum of Association, registering Corporate Tax and VAT, creating company logos and seals, and more.