Creative Thai business practices, legal knowledge for foreignersIf you want to own a company or operate a business in Thailand, it is smart business to first read-up on the legal requirements and Thai business laws.
For foreigners a work permit is the key to working legally in Thailand.
Foreigners who intend to work in Thailand are subject to the Alien Employment Act. Under the provisions of this Act a foreigner cannot perform any work or service unless a work permit has been issued by the Alien Employment Division of the Labour Department and Social Welfare Ministry, UNLESS the individual or the work performed falls within an exception to the Act (e.g. volunteer work, movie extras).
To apply for a work permit the applicant must be in the possession of a valid "Non-Immigrant" visa at the time they process the work permit application, however you can start the work permit application for the purpose of obtaining a Non-Immigrant B visa (i.e. some embassies require a valid work permit or a work permit application form WP 2 as one of the conditions for issuing a Non-Immigrant B visa).
There are a number of grounds upon which a work permit can be granted (this is on a discretionary basis and will take into account usual considerations such as suitability and qualifications of the foreigner for the position):
The Labour Department may also issue or renew work permits regardless of the above criteria when the foreign individual falls into one of the following categories:
-employed as an international trade representative inspecting product quality, purchases or conducting market surveys
-employed as an investment or management technology adviser or internal auditor
-a tour representative bringing foreign tourists into Thailand
-employed in an international financial institute endorsed by the Bank of Thailand
-employed a non-profit organization on a temporary basis
-employed as a contractor on projects for state agencies or public enterprises
-employed in a business that mainly required the use of local raw materials
-employed in the Thai export sector
-employed in a business introducing and transferring technologies to Thailand
-employed in a sector where qualified Thai employees cannot be found
-married the cohabiting with a Thai national and has an honest employment.
In order to apply for one standard foreign employee's work permit in a limited company the employer/ foreigner is required to submit the documents as listed below:
Documents numbered 1 – 7 must be signed by the authorized Director of the company and the company’s seal must be affixed. Document number 8 must be signed by the employee (every page) to certify that it is a true copy. Document number 9 must be an original health certificate and test result as issued by qualified and certified Thai doctor within Thailand. Most general hospitals issue these a document.
Laws and regulations change on a regularly basis and the above information should not be as a substitute for specific legal advice individual cases/ requirement for work permit applications in individual cases.
Practical advice from real lawyers on most common legal issues for expats in Thailand. Samuiforsale provides general Thai legal information and law resources in English over the Internet. The information in Samuiforsale should be used as general Thai legal information but should not be treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations.