Why Set Up a Representative Office in Thailand?

A Representative Office in Thailand is a great way to test the market without incurring high costs or legal complexities. It also provides a local liaison between your company and Thai business partners, government agencies, and consumers.

Representative offices are permitted to engage in non-revenue generating activities and must transfer at least 2 million baht into Thailand for operating expenses. They must also comply with reporting obligations.


Setting up a representative office in Thailand is cost-effective for companies looking to access the local market or ensure product quality control. This allows a company to save on taxes and labor costs while expanding its presence in the country. Representative offices can also conduct market research and provide insights into the local business climate.

The setup process for a Thai representative office can be fast and inexpensive if the company follows legal requirements. It is important to consult with legal and professional advisors who are familiar with Thai business regulations to ensure compliance with all applicable rules.

Representative offices must submit a copy of the parent company’s incorporation declaration, a notarized power of attorney from the agent or principal manager, and evidence that the office has been established in Thailand. Additionally, the office must abide by tax reporting and withholding necessities. Lastly, the office must pay the initial registration fee and report annual income.

Access to the Thai market

Establishing a representative office is a great way to gain a foothold in the Thai market, especially for businesses that are new to the region. It provides a number of advantages, including boosting brand visibility and establishing long-term business relationships. Additionally, it can help you tap into government incentives and boost your competitive edge.

However, a representative office is limited in its activities. It cannot accept purchase orders, offer sales, or engage in business negotiations. In addition, it must report its business movements to the parent company’s headquarters. It must also have at least 2 million baht in capital and comply with foreign exchange regulations.

Furthermore, representatives must submit annual audited financial statements and report to the Ministry of Commerce and Revenue Department. They must also abide by labor protection and payroll laws. Onsite staff must obtain work permits and comply with immigration requirements. Additionally, they must file corporate income tax and withholding taxes. In some cases, the representative office may also be subject to the one foreign worker for every four local employees work permit ratio.

Reporting on business movements

Many foreign companies looking to explore the Thai market choose to set up a Representative Office. This legal entity manages service businesses on behalf of the head office or affiliated companies in other countries. It can perform research, product promotion, sourcing and quality control, and report to the headquarters on business movements in Thailand. It also facilitates imports and exports of goods. Representative offices are 100% foreign owned and do not pay corporate taxes.

To start a representative office, assemble the required documents, such as a certificate of incorporation and financial statements from the parent company, a letter of recommendation, and notarized power of attorney for the manager. Then, register with the Department of Business Development. Once approved, open a bank account to manage expenses and hire staff that comply with local labor laws.

Sourcing goods

A representative office is a foreign company incorporated according to Thailand’s foreign business laws. It can offer services, purchase goods and negotiate business with natural or legal persons but cannot derive income from any of its activities. It is not subject to corporate income tax, but it must report all of its expenses and pay deposit interest on remitted funds from the head office.

A company that wishes to set up a representative office must submit an application to the Ministry of Commerce. The application must include a company affidavit that includes the company name, registration number and date of registration. It should also include the name of the manager and address.

The representative office can hire up to two foreign employees. However, the company must be 100 percent foreign-owned and can only perform non-revenue-generating activities. Moreover, it can only operate in Thailand on behalf of its head office or an affiliated company. The representative office can also perform quality and quantity control for any unaffiliated companies based in Thailand.

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