Hello, I am looking at starting a travel company based in the United States and that brings tourist from the United States to Thailand on customized tours. I have a lot of questions about how to make this goal happen,but will hit on a few? Do I need to have any business licenses in Thailand if I am operating the business in the United States and not accepting money in Thailand? I have seen other start up companies around the United States operation in ten different countries and it just doesnt seem possible to have business licenses in each country. Where should I start if im interested in starting a company like this. I have owned several business and have been very successful but never in the travel industry. I dont see myself having a problem with obtaining clients in the United States. What I am concerned about is what kind of laws I need to abide by in Thailand.
Thanks - any information would help me out greatly.
#1 directimports3 has been a member since 21/12/2011. Posts: 1
#2 3raveler has been a member since 14/5/2011. Posts: 8
Don't have much of an answer, except that I know being a tour guide is one of the occupations that foreigners are barred from in Thailand. So, unless you're a Thai national you'd need to fly under the radar.
On the other hand, if you're planning to base the company in the US and pay Thai nationals to do the tour-guiding then the business / visas part of it would be pretty simple I think.
Again, this is not the advice of an expert on these issues by any means.
It is difficult for me to see how you can bring tourists to Thailand without having people employed in Thailand to plan and ensure arrangements are made and carried out.
The easy option, in fact probably the only option, would be to work with an already established Thai company who do all the local work and you just organise the international side of it.
If you chose to set up your own Thai company then you need to consult the professionals!. A travel web site is not going to provide you with the information you need to set up a legal Thai company.
As a guide you can only own 49% of a Thai company and you need Thai share holders who must put in 51% of the capital. As a foreigner is very hard to work in the Thai tourist industry and all but impossible to get work permits (exceptions are on a published list & include things like international chiefs & obscure languages like Finnish). You need a Thai work permit even if work is unpaid, so you cannot (legally) get around this issue by paying someone in the US if they actually do work in Thailand.
You need to do some homework!!!