February 14, 2024

Set Up a Representative Office in Thailand

Representative offices manage service businesses in Thailand on behalf of their head office or a group company. They are not permitted to sale or negotiate business with natural or legal persons or derive income from such services.

They must register with the Department of Business Development and maintain accounting records. They must also submit audit-confirmed reports. They are exempt from corporate income taxes but still subject to withholding taxes and other obligations.


A representative office in Thailand is a cost-effective solution for foreign companies that are interested in testing the local business environment before establishing a permanent establishment. It is not a legal entity and does not generate revenue, but it can provide important support services to the parent company in another country. In addition, it can conduct market research without generating revenue or collecting money from invoices and bills.

The biggest advantage of a representative office is that it is not subject to Thai corporate income tax, as it does not generate revenue. It also does not need to follow the standard ratio of hiring four Thai employees for every foreign employee.

Moreover, a representative office can obtain a work permit for its employees in a short time. However, it must comply with all labor laws and submit annual reports to the government. It must also adhere to rules and regulations for company registration, reporting, and corporate compliance.


Setting up a representative office in Thailand is one way for foreign companies to establish a presence in the country without having to register a business. This type of office cannot earn revenue but can provide important support to the head office by reporting on business movements in Thailand and carrying out orders from the headquarters.

Additionally, a representative office can facilitate market research and help companies build relationships with key stakeholders in the country. This can be especially helpful when it comes to navigating the country’s legal and regulatory frameworks.

Representative offices can be 100% foreign owned and do not pay corporate income tax in Thailand. However, they must be careful not to engage in any activities outside of their scope of work as this could result in the suspension or revocation of their license. Moreover, they must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This can be challenging for companies who are new to the country.


A Representative Office is the perfect option for foreign companies who want to study the Thai market or ensure product quality. It can be 100 percent foreign owned and can hire up to two foreign staff. However, it is still required to submit income tax returns and audited financial statements to the Thai government. It is also subject to the same labor laws as any other company in Thailand. In addition, all employees, whether local or foreign, must have taxpayer cards and comply with all social security contributions.

In addition, a Representative Office is not subject to corporate income tax because it does not generate revenue. It is also not required to meet the quota of 4 Thai employees per foreign employee that is required for a limited company in Thailand. This can significantly shorten the timeline for establishing a business in Thailand. It is also less expensive than a branch or subsidiary. The process of setting up a Representative Office takes only about a week.

Inventory management

The Representative Office is the perfect solution for a foreign business exploring the market in Thailand without the cost of registering as a company. This non-profit entity can conduct research, collect data and report to the parent company. However, it cannot generate income or engage in business negotiations. It must also be fully financed by its parent company and submit annual audited financial statements.

It can perform inspections on goods manufactured by its head office or imported from Thailand. This helps companies save on overhead expenses while ensuring quality and quantity. It can also provide information on the local market’s response to products and services.

Setting up a Rep Office is a simple process that can take as little as 60 days. The company must appoint a manager and formally register them with the ministry of commerce. It must also have a minimum capital of 3 million baht. 25% of this is required within the first year, 25% in the second year and 25% in the third year.

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