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Get a Work Permit and Work in Thailand: Basic principles

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Regarding the quality of life the country has to offer and opportunities arising, it’s a common thing that foreigners want to live, work and develop Business in Thailand.


In order for a foreigner to legallywork in Thailand, a Work permit must be obtained. This Work permit can be provided by the company which recruits the foreigner, or he could set himself a business entity. This leads to the following two main development, how to set a company in Thailand and obtain a work Permit?


Get a Work Permit


The first point would be to obtain the right visa which will allow the foreigner to work in Thailand: mainly it will be the Visa Non-Immigrant Business (Non-B Visa), valid for 3 months, then after obtaining the work permit, it will be extended for one year, renewable. Your company will assist you regarding the process as you will need company’s documents to present your demand first for your Non- B visa (letter of invitation) and then for your Work Permit.


Documents requested to obtained a Work permit (hereby just as an informative note):

· From The company

- Organizational chart

- Map showing the localization of the company

- Affidavit, Shareholder list (Bor.Or.Jor. 5)

- Balance Sheet (profit and loss) (Phor. Ngor. Dor. 50)

- Vat registration, certificate and amendment (Phor. Pro 01, Phor. Por. 20, Phor. Por. 09)

- Financial statement (Phor. Por. 30)

- 2 million THB capital register/ work permit

- Social security payment for Thai employee (4 Thai national employee per 1 foreigner employee)

- List of employee’s names, with a copy of their ID and work permit (if foreigner)

- If required, Business License

· From the applicant

- 3 photos

- Copy of passport (every page)

- Copy of Degree, translated in Thai

- Letter from previous employer

- Medical certificate

- If requested: tax return form (Phor. Ngor. Dor. 90)


Set up a company


As a foreigner you can set up a Thai Limited company, which require:

- 1 Thai director

- 3 shareholders (2 Thai national and 1 foreigner)

- An accounting firm to declare tax and follow up the accounting of the company

- If you need a work permit, you need to have also 4 Thai national employee and 2 million THB in capital (for one work Permit). The same scheme will have to be follow for the second, third etc foreign employee.

- An official address for your company

- 1 Thai auditor.


Once you are ready to start here are the primarily steps to follow:

- Submit 3 possible names to DBD office (Department of Business Development)

- A Memorandums of association between 3 shareholders

- Hold a statutory meeting between 3 shareholders

- Register your company to the ministry of commerce

- Obtain a tax ID from the revenue department


This is the basic way to work in Thailand. However, 100% owned foreign company can be register in Thailand, with a Business Foreign License.


Furthermore, the Thai government implemented incentives to attract investors with the BOI (Board of investment) and the Smart visa.


The Board of Investment (BOI), provide interesting incentives for targeted industries. It is free to fill an application. However, it requires a lot of documents and a long process before the final decision, you might need assistance for this purpose.


Smart Visa, valid 4 years, targets Start-up Entrepreneurs, talents and investor, a minimum income or investment is however required but Allows you to work in Thailand without Work permit.


What about Digital Nomadism? Chiang Mai among other place has become increasingly popular among digital nomad to live and work. However, Thailand hasn’t made a legislation for this type of worker. For now, there is no legal status for digital workers. Anyhow, you can protect your idea by using copyright & Trademark registration.


This article shall be read for informative purpose only and is a simple introduction to the process and documents required.