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Work Permits in Thailand: Do I Need a Company?

Transcript of the above video:

Ask the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Work Permits, specifically Thai Work Permits and maintenance of Work Permits here in the Kingdom. We are specifically discussing it in the context of Company ownership.

I hear a lot of people ask "okay I would like to get a Work Permit in Thailand." and my immediate response to that is, "well Work Permits are often misunderstood by the general public, especially those who haven't been in Thailand very long."

Work permits, work authorization although it does pertain to the individual seeking the Permit, at the same time the entity that obtains the Permit is actually a Thai Company, generally speaking. It could theoretically be another type of entity, a partnership for example, that type of thing but it generally needs to be some type of entity.  A person is not granted a Work Permit without a sponsor; specifically a business sponsor, usually a corporate sponsor.  So as a practical matter, "yes a Company is necessary".  Now, does that necessarily mean the individual for whom the work permit is issued needs to own the Company?  Not necessarily. Those who work for a Company here in Thailand can't obtain a Work Permit; the company will obtain it on their behalf. 

If one wishes to be self-employed in Thailand and maintain their work authorization correctly pursuant to the law, then "yes a company is generally going to be needed in order to maintain one's status pursuant to the relevant laws of the Kingdom of Thailand. So you are going to need to go ahead and set up some kind of a corporate structure and then that corporate structure is going to need to go ahead and sponsor that individual for a Work Permit. It should also be noted that a Thai Business Visa is generally going to be needed in order to come into the Kingdom in proper lawful status and that status needs to provide a platform for Work Permit application. A Business Visa can do that.  In certain circumstances an O Visa especially an O Visa issued for a relationship with a Thai National most notably marriage, may be possible to act as a platform for a Work Permit. Then after one has their necessary visa, they come into Thailand and go ahead and get their Work Permit issued and that corporate sponsor may be virtually wholly owned by the individual that is obtaining the work permit. That corporate sponsor, that corporation still is the one that is acting as the sponsor for the permit itself. So while it is not necessary per se in order to get a work permit there needs to be some sort of corporate entity around in the background to go ahead and provide sponsorship for the Permit to be issued in order for a foreign National to receive work authorization in the Kingdom of a Thailand.