Let’s say you have an interesting concept for a business and you are looking for an ideal location for launching it. You prefer Thailand since you’ve visited Thailand before and you enjoy the climate, lifestyle, food, and people in general. However, you’re pondering whether starting a business in Thailand makes a sound decision.
There’re two different views to look at this. The first is to think through how good a location is for offering an environment for allowing you to do your work and develop the product for bringing it to the end market. The second thing worth considering is how encouraging is the country’s taxation and legal framework are for you to base your business’s entity there. Read more about Legal assistance in Thailand.
Cost of Living
It makes absolute sense in selecting a location that would offer a longer runway while creating the product. In case you have USD $10,000 left in your kitty, you can easily survive for 6 to 12 months in a country like Thailand. Whereas in case you’re based in San Francisco or New York you should be extremely lucky to have something left by the end of the first 3 months.
The cost of living mustn’t be your only concern, however. Syria, Damascus might currently be the cheapest cities to live in the world, it isn’t recommended to move to a war-torn country in lieu of saving a few bucks. Besides personal safety and political stability, you also need to consider the quality of infrastructure in your chosen location. Whether the location is prone to frequent power outages? How reliable and fast is the internet connectivity? In case you would be doing most of the work online, it’s something you should really think through. Getting visas is also an important issue. Is it easy to get a visa for staying longer in the country? Learn more about Visas & Work Permits in Thailand and consult a startup specialist to help you with a FREE Online Consultation here if you are thinking of starting a business in Thailand.
Apart from these considerations, some other important things which you need to get familiar with are the corporate income tax rate, company registration fee, indirect taxes, foreign ownership of companies, and laws regarding employment of foreigners. There are specialist firms like Startup in Thailand that can provide various options for you to set up your business in Thailand.
Thailand as compared to the rest of the world
The government of Singapore is trying actively for stimulating startups in the country. Taxes are relatively low, the cost to register a company is only $1, and Singapore also offers special visa for entrepreneurs called EntrePass.
The downside for startups in Singapore is the high cost of living. You might need to spend approximately double as you would in Thailand to enjoy a similar quality of life. Most of the entrepreneurs chose Singapore for incorporating their business but operate out of a cost-effective location such as Thailand or Malaysia.
At large the cost of living is around 20 percent higher in Beijing as compared to that in Bangkok. Housing in specific is costlier around 60 percent more for rental of similar apartments. The vast pool of skilled labor locally available is one of the pluses for setting up a business in China.
Malaysia is quite friendly towards entrepreneurs looking to establish their own business in the country. Malaysia offers a 1-year business visa for those looking to launch a new business in the country. The cost of living is about at par with Bangkok.
India is quite appealing to entrepreneurs who wish to keep the costs to a bare minimum while bootstrapping their business idea or extending their runway. India offers an abundant supply of developers prepared to work for low pay. Hiring the cheapest available workforce may not provide you best results, however, there’re also plenty of highly-skilled and competent workers available at very affordable prices. The key downsides to India are the slower internet, frequent power blackouts, and high levels of pollution.
Berlin is among the most cost-effective cities in western Europe. Overall, the cost of living is about 20 percent more compared to Bangkok. It’s a good place to live like a digital nomad, however, not the simplest to incorporate a new startup. Being a foreigner, you would be required to prove that the business you’re planning would produce at least 5 new jobs in the country and that you’ve access to a minimum of €500,000 in form of investment funds. In case you’ve graduated recently from any university in the country, however, you’re exempt from such requirements.
Why Thailand is a better choice
There’s a buzz in Thailand which wasn’t there a few years ago. This kind of buzz is emerging from a completely new environment that is set to explode. With the arrival of the information age which is taking over right now, then stir in Thailand is driven by a huge Startup Asia revolution and it appears that Thai startup migration isn’t a force to be reckoned with. Never ever before it’s been that easy to live in a country while operating for businesses across the globe. And Thailand is just bringing this perfect opportunity for millions of people for doing just that.
The business community in Thailand is very welcoming to foreign companies and investments looking for expansion in Thailand. The Thai government has been focused on the growth of ready-made infrastructure for supporting exponential growth, together with advancements in technology.
Recent Growth and Development
The number of entrepreneurs starting a business in Thailand is bursting. Thailand performed well in the startup scene over the last few years with a phenomenal growth between 2014 and 2015 wherein new company registrations jumped from 300 to 2500 with the major growth markets being primarily tech-based, along with travel & finance, logistics, and real estate. Open data shows that in 2019, the total value of investment amounted to US$97.55 million from 32 deals. Even though the figure is not a new high, it is still clearly more than 2018 (In 2018, there were 35 deals made that amounted to US$61.25 million.).
There’s always a pleasant climate which environs the expedition of such radical growth. Various factors working together as was the scene in the cities like San Francisco, Palo Alto, and New York. Thailand rests strategically in the heart of Southeast Asia, is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, and has a rich store of natural resources.
Ease of Connectivity
There’re 11 international airports in the country and with traveling via air becoming more accessible and most of the top airlines now regularly flying into Bangkok, the connection to key global consumer markets for product-based startups has become extremely simple and has enabled cheap transportation solutions.
Conducted by social media management platform Hootsuite and global agency WeAreSocial, the Global Digital Report 2019 found there are 49 million mobile social media users in Thailand, or 71% penetration of mobile users, and 51 million active internet social media users.
There are 92 million mobile subscribers, 133% penetration, and 55 million active mobile internet users which makes it an easy and hot destination for startups.
Affordable Living and Working
Bootstrapping startups have found the working and living costs in Thailand enormously beneficial helping them to launch and develop. For a startup based in Thailand, it provides the best cost of development/ life ratio as compared to most of the countries world over.
Renting office space to scale a startup is as affordable as the housing rentals. For startups still in the incubation stage, cafes and co-working spaces with fast and reliable internet have enabled cheap and easy alternatives for working, communicating, and networking with the rest of the world. Scaling could also be done much faster, and the test products have a large audience in such an inquisitive and open nation with a huge population.
The flow of Venture Capitalists and skilled Professionals
While Thailand provides affordable working, and living conditions for bootstrapping startups, overseas funding is driving the impetus of startup culture in Thailand.
Thailand offers a steadily rising flow of highly qualified professionals and digital nomads flowing through Thailand at a consistent pace. Today, business travelers and digital nomads have brought an extensive variety of business ideas and skills into Thailand which is set for massive growth.
The momentum doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime in the near future with the co-working spaces being established all across the country, conferences on tech startup aiming to educate startup enthusiasts, together with several government-led educational programs.
Transitioning to Thailand
There are several startup consulting firms in Thailand, that helps in facilitating the transition easily to work and live in the country. These startup consultants in Thailand offer assistance with the development and transition of startups in the country, employing professionals to help with documentation and relocation, allowing new entrants to focus on their startup and business development and help them settle into a new life. The startup Thailand setting is alive and provides an explosive blend of new ideas and professional skillets.
Finding the right talent has been one of the key challenges for growing a startup quickly in the country. However, with the advancement of several recruitment agencies in Thailand, a vast network of capable professionals is available with these HR consulting firms which would help you in finding the right people for opening a business in Thailand.
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A startup ecosystem that is thriving comes from an exclusive blend of welcoming and open community, creative collaboration, progressive and focused governmental facilitation programs, evolving and ready-made infrastructure, and advanced communication systems. With all this in place, it appears that Thailand has all the right constituents to be recognized among the next big startup capitals in the world.