Thailand has strict requirements of who can own a business in Thailand, and many foreigners will find that a Thai-born person must own the majority of a company. Residents of the United States can own 100% of a company formed in Thailand in accordance with the Amity Treaty, which eliminates many of the ownership hassles for foreigners in Thailand.
You’ll still need to have the minimum capital of two million baht and all of the respective licenses even if you’re a US citizen.
A few business opportunities to consider, include:
1. Restaurant Industry
Thailand is a tourist hotspot, the restaurant industry is one of the most popular in the country and is sure to provide profitable returns when placed in the right destination. Bangkok and Pattaya are two of the most commonly visited areas, and catering to non-Thailand visitors may prove to be profitable.
2. Tourism Industry
Non-Thai nationals are not allowed to own tour companies, but you can still cater to tourists in other ways. Hotels and B&Bs are a smart option as well as equipment rentals, which all lure in millions of people every year.
3. Web Design
The web design industry is starting to become popular in Thailand. Mobile advancements have caused many companies in Thailand to seek out talented web design firms to design and maintain their online destinations.
You can even become a freelancer in the country, allowing you to pursue contracts outside of the country while enjoying Thailand’s lower operation costs.
Thailand’s automobile industry is growing, and many big companies, such as Toyota, are ramping up operations in the country. There is a need for foreigners to offer auto services, repair and maintenance.
The allure is that foreigners will be better suited to meet the needs of consumers that do not speak Thai.
5. Real Estate
Thailand has strict rules when it comes to land ownership, and foreign owned entities are very unlikely to be able to purchase land in the kingdom. With that said, it’s still a popular choice for investors.
You can offer realtor services or help foreigners navigate the legal obstacles of land ownership.
And if you want to invest in land but not own it, there are many profitable REITs in the country that will meet your needs perfectly.
The country’s technology sector has been sluggish, but there are millions of Thais that need technology services. With everything from app development to computer repair and big data, technology services are a very profitable sector in 2016.
Thailand’s mobile industry is lagging behind the rest of the world, but it’s starting to pick up steam especially after the recent bandwidth auctions to bring 4G to all corners of Thailand. Mobile apps, development and even consulting companies are going to be in high demand in Thailand, and are seen as a ripe opportunity for foreign investors.
Thailand provides ample opportunities for foreign investors. And the above business opportunities are all great choices for anyone trying to invest in one of Asean’s growing forces.