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Once the company is registered in Thailand with the Ministry of Commerce, then the company should apply for an import license (paperless) with the Thai Customs Department in order to conduct a business activity related with import products. Certain types of products may require for an additional license, as per example the FDA license.

The import business activity is not restricted for foreigners in Thailand by the Foreign Business Act of 1999. 

Our legal advisor shall further advice you about the requirements to apply import license for your company depending of the products to be imported to Thailand.


The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  from the Ministry of Public Health, is responsible for the protection of the consumer’s health and is the department in charge to approve the importation into Thailand of the following kind of products:

  • Food

  • Drugs 

  • Cosmetics

  • Health products

  • Medical devices

  • Hazardous substances

The FDA’s approval is based upon five different sorts of control:

  • Pre-marketing control of the factory, product, and advertising

  • Post-marketing control. This includes regular checks of the previously controlled facilities and products

  • Surveillance program for consumers’ safety once the product has been launched (e.g. verify whether or not there are any adverse effects of the said product)

  • Consumer Education: It is the information or awareness given to the consumer. The FDA checks whether or not the information is sufficient and accurate.

  • Technical support and cooperation with other agencies (e.g. seminars organized or attended to by the FDA)

Our legal advisor will advice you about the requirements according with the kind of products to be imported.




According with the  Thai Factory Act, the Ministry of Industry is responsible for regulating the construction, operations, expansions, issuance of licenses, and overseeing of all related matters such as pollution and safety in relation with factories in Thailand.

The manufacturing license will be issued by the Ministry of Industry taking into consideration the following items: 

  • Size and type of factory

  • Probability of causing pollution

  • Environmental protection methods

  • Type, quality, source of origin, and ratio of raw materials to be used

  • Type of energy to be used or produced in a factory

  • Nature, type and quality of the products manufactured in the factory and so forth

The control from the government authority is mainly based upon the probability of pollution and the required protection of the environment. The requirements concerning the factory license depends are as follows, but not limited:

  • Factories that use machinery equivalent to 5-20 horsepower and/or that employ 7-20 people for manufacturing do not require a license. However, the manufacturer has to follow the ministerial regulations

  • Factories that use machinery equivalent to more than 20 horsepower but less than 50 and/or that employ more than 20 but less than 50 people for manufacturing: the manufacturer has to inform the officer before starting business and, of course, has to be compliant with ministerial regulations

  • Factories that pollute and that use machinery equivalent to more than 50 horsepower and/or that employ more than 50 people for manufacturing have to receive a license from the officer before the start of the operations

  • The issuance of the factory license is subject to the Ministry’s discretion. Since, in most cases, the start-up is time sensitive, one may be granted a certificate allowing them to already start building parts of the factory.

Once the application is submitted, a government agent will have to perform an investigation of the site of the factory as well as all of its structures, components, and pollution control systems. The government agent must then prepare a report and submit it to an official within 30 days after receiving the factory license application. The official must then either grant approval or reject the application within 50 days of receiving the report.

According to ministerial regulations, the aforementioned 30-day or 50-day period does include any time period in which the applicant must amend the application, modify their factory plans or respond to any other order of the government official.



The operation of a restaurant requires an specific license, which consist of a permission issued by the Thai government to sell food at your establishment.

The restaurants having an area exceeding 200 square meters have to apply for a restaurant license from the local government.

However, the establishments with an area smaller than 200 square meters are only required to notify their presence to the local authority, and in consequence the relevant authority shall issue a certificate of notification.

The application for the license to sell food in a restaurant is to be submitted at the district office responsible for the area in which the restaurant is located.

Our legal advisor shall further advice if your bar meets the requirements for obtaining a restaurant license according with the local regulations.



Alcohol license is a permit that allows an establishment to legally sell alcohol. This license should be applied at the District Office or Local Excise Department according with the area where the restaurant is located.

Moreover, concerning the location of the bar, it should be noted that it is prohibited to sell alcohol in close proximity to schools or religious areas. 

Our legal advisor shall further advice if your bar meets the requirements for obtaining an alcohol license according with the local regulations.



It's required to obtain a Tourism License (TAT) with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in order to operate a tourism business in Thailand. A tourism business is referred to a business which provides services for tourists such as sightseeing tours and tourist guide services. However, it does not include vehicle leasing, transportation of passengers, hotel or restaurant reservations or arranging field trips.

In order to be eligible for obtaining a tourism license, the applicant needs to meet the following requirements including but not limited to: 

  • The business must be registered in Thailand, with a majority of Thai shareholding (individuals) and majority of Thai directors on the board.

  • The Thai managing director must be at least 20 years of age, residing in Thailand, credit-worthy, not incapacitated, should never have been imprisoned unless for a negligent or minor offence. 

  • The applicant should prepare a business plan, to include information about how frequently the company will organise tours. 

  • The applicant should arrange an insurance plan for tourists and tour guides. A copy of the insurance policy will be required for submission during the application for the tourism license.



According with Thai laws, a hotel is considered as an establishment to provide temporary accommodation for commercial purposes.

Concerning the location of the hotel, it is important to ensure that the construction permit of the building its acceptable to conduct a hotel business under the requirements of the Building Control Act.

Any hotel that has more than 4 rooms or may accommodate more than 20 guests must obtain a license to operate a hotel business from the Department of Provincial Administration for hotels located in Bangkok, or from the Provincial Governor’s Office for other areas.

Moreover, hotels that provide catering or restaurant services must obtain the correspondent license for Selling Food, Liquors and Cigarettes.



Construction in Thailand is mainly regulated by the Building Control Act and the Town and City Planning Act. The restrictions under the Town and City Planning Act differ from town to town and city to city. Their purpose is to formulate, execute, and enforce comprehensive city plans that promote sanitation, convenience, orderliness, utilization of property, public safety, etc.

The National Environmental Quality Act and its accompanying ministerial regulations are the specific sources of laws governing environmental quality and environmental impact assessments. Consequently, it is also necessary for those laws to be considered by developers and contractors before planning the development of a project.


A construction permit or license will be required in the following cases but not limited to:

  • Constructing a new building

  • Adding or modifying the existing building 

  • Destructing or moving a building

  • Using differently or changing the usage of a building

  • Modifying or using the parking, u-turn, car entrance and/or exit for another purpose.

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