Women standing in front of her sole proprietorship holding a welcome sign

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

This type of business is owned and registered under the name of a single individual, who also acts as the operator. This option is generally not available in most countries, but under the US-Thai Amity Treaty, US citizens can register a Sole Proprietorship Business in Thailand. Additionally, foreigners married to Thai citizens can register a sole proprietorship under their spouse’s name.

Setting up a Sole Proprietorship is straightforward, requiring minimal legal documentation. The sole proprietor assumes personal liability for the business, unlike a limited company. Operating costs are kept low as the proprietor can use their residence instead of renting office space. Taxation is simpler too, with no corporate tax; instead, profits are taxed as personal income.

man running a sole proprietorship business in thailand

Starting a Sole Proprietorship

To set up a sole proprietorship in Thailand you will need the following:

  • A signed copy of the house registration book of the business address (This can be the sole proprietor’s residence address). If the business address is not the owners then a letter of consent signed by the owner of the building is valid too.
  • Passport or ID
  • A map of the business address
  • Taxpayer number
  • VAT certificate
  • Application Form

To start, register your company name at the DBD office, which typically takes a few days. Provide at least three names to avoid conflicts with existing registrations, which could delay your application.

Next, upload your documents on the DBD e-registration portal to obtain a Certificate of Incorporation. Initially, there’s no need to register for VAT unless your business exceeds 1.8 million in annual revenue.

Foreigners operating sole proprietorships must also secure a valid visa and work permit.

Ensure your business obtains any required licenses and consult a lawyer to confirm full compliance with regulations.

Person working alone on her sole proprietorship, surrounded by books, papers and computer screen