How to set up restaurant business in Thailand? This question it may in your mind.
Don’t worry! The answer is in this content and you can start your restaurant business in next few day.
As this content is long process, we suggest you to press share on above for you safe keep when come back to read again.
Completed guideline how to set up the restaurant business in Thailand.
This content is written by a corporate lawyer who is always dealing with set up restaurant business in Thailand and also for coffee shop and bar business in Thailand. (But for the bar business, you need to apply further for Alcohol and Cigarette license).
You will have clearer picture of what are the requirements and procedure on this content.
We would like you to have a clear understanding, if you would like to begin a business which caters food and beverage, then you must obtain for Licensed distribution or storage of food. (to make it easy, we will call it as “Food Business License” on this article).
As you know, Thailand is a huge food market that has a lot of varieties and places to go food adventure with street food, Thai restaurant, fine dining, bar, coffee shop etc.
And Thailand also opened its doors in accepting international investors which would like to engage in selling or vending of international food in the Kingdom.
Moreover, Thailand also has many tourisms attraction that a lot of tourist around the world are willing to visit. And most of the tourism area has a lot of restaurants selling food for the tourist.
If you are looking forward to setting up your own business or you need to set up restaurant business, coffee shop or bar, here is a valued information that can guide you on how to open and run this business legally.
Table of Content:
- Checklist of requirements for set up restaurant business in Thailand.
- The actual process for set up restaurant business in Thailand.
- Activity you must compile during the operation of the business.
1. Requirements for set up restaurant business in Thailand.
Here is the checklist of requirements that you need to prepare before you can set up restaurant business in Thailand.
The company name: We suggest you to use your company name the same as the name of your restaurant.
Because when the government officer comes to inspect your business, they will not get confused and you will have a smooth sailing in terms of verification and inspection purposes. And it’s better when the you do marketing for your business as well.
The company address: Again, we also suggest you that the company address should be the same as your restaurant location. Because it will be relevant to the tax & vat issue.
However, if you don’t have the exact location for your restaurant yet or
you need to set up company first and need to use the incorporation documents to engage for Lease Agreement with the landlord,
you can use the address of law firm who will assist you at this state.
And then you can change to the exact address of restaurant afterwards (but before starting the operation)
The company director: For the formation of company in Thailand, the company requires to have at least one director.
This director can be only foreigner or Thai.
Or can be director together.
However, for the restaurant business, the company must have a Thai Director at the beginning of the set up.
Because at the step of set up, the foreign director does not have a Work Permit yet. (and it cannot be applied immediately after set up)
So, you need the Thai Director to sign all applications after set up the company such as VAT, social security, food business license and other.
And this Thai director can resign and/or change after the completion of set up.
The company shareholder: For set up company in Thailand, you must have at least 3 shareholders (can be more than 3).
You must have a Thai shareholder to hold at least 51% of the total shares (or can be more).
(If you don’t have, you need to look for the Thai trustee)
Registered Capital: You must keep in your mind that if you need to hire one foreign worker/director, the company is required to have 2 million That Baht paid up capital.
The person/staff who has the license to perform cooking: This license is accredited by the Department of Health.
This license belongs to the individual person. It is does not belong to the company
And it is not the Food Business License. But you need this person when you apply for it.
However, you can also set up company without this person first. And you can find this person after the set-up company is complete. (but before obtaining the Food Business License)
See how it look like according to photo below.
Company Logo (option): This is an option if you need to put the logo into the company seal, you can provide as well.
Please note that it is just for putting in the company seal for registration.
It is not about Trademark Registration. If you need to register Trademark, please read this content: Trademark Registration in Thailand
Ok, the abovementioned are the requirements that you need to prepare before starting the business.
Let’s take off to grow your business.
2. Process for set up restaurant business in Thailand.
Just to inform you that these steps are the actual steps that we followed in order to set up restaurant businesses and coffee shops in Thailand for our clients along Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok.
Someone else may have difference process from us and we acknowledge that.
Here’s our steps.
Step1: Set up the company in Thailand.
You can provide all the above requirements to the lawyer who assist you to set up restaurant business in Thailand.
Then the lawyer will prepare all paper works for set up company in Thailand.
After that, the director and shareholder must come to see the lawyer to sign all paper work in order to start the formation of the company in Thailand.
Once again, you must set up with at least one Thai Director.
At this state, you can use the office of the lawyer as virtual office just for registration purposes for the company.
Then the lawyer will be filling for registration for the company in Thailand with the Department of Business Development or we what call “DBD”.
Finally, you will get the incorporation documents.
You can see the examples of company document below (the original is Thai language, this is translation for your understanding)
This step will take about one week to accomplish.
Step 2: Drafting or Review of the Lease Agreement for restaurant business in Thailand.
After you are done with set up the company and you now possess the company incorporation documents.
The company document will contain the important information such as name of company, name of the authorized director, name of shareholder, address, business objective etc.
You can use this entity to engage into the Contract or Lease agreement for restaurant business in Thailand.
So, the Lease Agreement will show the company name as the “Lessee”. Not your personal name.
It will be good. Because you will use this agreement for other thing like registering VAT, Social Security, and many more.
The lawyer must review the Lease Agreement for you in order to secure your benefits and adjust unfair conditions.
The Lease Agreement should be prepared both in Thai and in English version.
Finally, you as one of directors can sign the Lease Agreement with the landlord.
Now, you have space for building up your restaurant.
This step will take about 1 week or more as it may vary on terms of negotiation.
Tip: During the lawyer working on next step below, you can start decorating your shop to be ready for your business.
Step 3: Changing company address in the registration paper to the actual address.
Yes, we must change the company address in the registration document from lawyer’s office to the actual address.
Because the other registration will show the actual address like VAT registration, Social Security etc.
Don’t worry. This step only takes around 1-2 days.
Step 4: Register the VAT.
In order to do business in Thailand properly, the company must register the VAT.
Here is the form of VAT registration, we call PP.01.
After that, the Revenue Department will send the official certificate to the company address. It is called PP.20
Here is how PP.20 look like.
Step 5: Opening the Company Bank Account, Internet Banking, Credit card machine, QR code payment.
You cannot run business without bank account.
We will prepare all documents that is needed for opening the bank account.
Besides that, you should apply some of the banking instrument from the bank to help you run business such as follows:
- Internet banking
- Payroll system
- Credit card machine
- QR code for payment
Tip: You can join promotion with the bank like discount for customers if they pay by credit card etc.
And we recommend Kbank as it friendly for SMEs business.
Step 6: Apply for Licensed distribution or storage of food.
Please take note that this process is the last step. Because your restaurant or shop decoration must be finished 100% first.
Then we can submit application to apply for this license.
After that, the Officer will come to inspect your restaurant that it complied with the law and regulation that is specified in that area or not.
Once they agreed, they will be issuing the license within 15 days.
Here is how the license look like.
Requirement for applying Licensed distribution or storage of food (Food Business License).
- Thai ID card and house registration of the director.
- House registration of the business place.
- Company Incorporation document.
- Consent letter and Lease Agreement from the area’s owner.
- Power of Attorney.
- Certified Food Handler Card.
- Medical Certificate of the Food Handler.
- Certificate that passed training from the Department of Health.
Please highlight note that the company must have the person who passed the training from the Department of Health for supporting the application.
If you don’t have this person, you can ask our firm to assist you.
Please find the example of the license of the person who passed the training below.
3. Other activities after you are done with set up restaurant business in Thailand.
After you set up the company, you will have the duty and responsibility as listed below.
- Register the Social Security and put your staff into the list of Social Security.
- Submit withholding tax report and pay to the Revenue Department within the date 7th of each month.
- Submit VAT report and pay to Revenue Department within the date 15th of each month.
- Submit Social Security report and pay to the Social Security within the date 15th of each month.
- Pay salary to your staff (and yourself as the director).
- Keep your restaurant in good standard to comply with the Municipality’s rule.
Many investors and/or business owner wish to set up the restaurant in Thailand that also includes bar business and coffee shop business.
Because this kind of business has a lot of potential as Thailand always welcome for visitors and is one of the ASEAN country which has a growing tourism industry.
However, as you are a foreigner, you must set up the business in Thailand properly and follow the rules and regulation.
You must put in mind that if you are selling food or something else that is consumed by people, you must obtain the Licensed distribution or storage of food.
You can observe from the above content that all procedure is not easy and you cannot definitely do it by yourself as all application form is in Thai language. So, you need to look for someone who is familiar with the process to accompany you.
We can be a candidate of your choices as our firm have always done this kind of business for our foreign clients and we also serve for franchise business for many years and counting.
Choose us and let us grow together!