Start Up in Thailand Guide

Doing Business in Thailand

Ease of Doing Business in Thailand is further Improving According to the World Bank Group

The ease of doing business in Thailand appears to be much better than many people think.

The World Bank Group attested Thailand in its 2017 report to be moving up the doing business ranks and placed it 26th out of 190 economies to do business for small and medium enterprises around the world.

And due to ongoing reforms, Thailand has climbed to place 21 in the ease of doing business index in 2020.

So, the kingdom performs respectably in research assessing how well a country is suited for efficient economic activity.

Here are Thailand’s rankings on the various doing business topics from the 2020 report.

Doing business in Thailand Worldbank rankings 2020
Source: The World Bank

Business Reforms in Thailand that made doing business easier over the last few years include:

Dealing with Construction Permits: Thailand made dealing with construction permits easier by introducing legislation requiring phased inspections during construction.

Starting a Business: Thailand made starting a business less costly by introducing fixed registration fees.

Getting Electricity: Thailand increased the transparency of electricity tariff changes. Thailand also made getting electricity easier by streamlining the number of procedures needed to obtain a new connection.

Paying Taxes: Thailand made paying taxes easier by enhancing its online platform for calculating and filing corporate income tax.

Trading across Borders: Thailand made trading across borders faster by introducing the E-Matching system for electronic cargo control, thereby reducing the time for border compliance.

Applying the same methodology, as little far back as in 2016 Thailand scored the  48th place. Hence the World Bank report recognizes Thailand as one of the top 10 economies in the world that have improved most in the ease of doing business over the last years.

However, as a foreigner in Thailand, things might look a little different for you when doing business in Thailand. As an ‘alien’,  as you are called under Thai law, you are subject to the Foreign Business Act.  And with that come several restrictions and bureaucratic requirements that will create significant overhead for your company.

The best way to ease the pains for aliens under the Foreign Business Act is to apply for a Board of Investment License (BOI).

A BOI license grants significant privileges to business owners that make running your business in Thailand a lot simpler.

Learn how to do a start-up in Thailand. Understanding the Thai legal framework is indispensable. And acquaintance with the Thai cultural context will undoubtedly smooth things over.

Joe Miller
the authorJoe Miller
I have been living in Thailand for over 20 years and witnessed the many changes the country has undergone since the Asian Financial Crisis. I have spent time in Phuket, Samui, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai, but I gravitate back to Bangkok when all is said and done. It is here that I spent years running a software development company and teaching at universities. These days I live on the Internet with Bangkok as my base. I never stopped believing in the enormous potential of Thailand's kingdom, which is why I joined the ThaiVest Team.