If you are looking to engage in tourism related business, you should apply for a tourism license. This license can be obtained from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (‘TAT’). Since tourism business is restricted to foreigners under the Foreign Business Act, a foreigner may only engage or invest in such business through a Thai limited company.
The applicant should meet the following requirements:
- The business must be registered in Thailand, with a majority of Thai shareholding (individuals) and majority of Thai directors on the board. Only a Thai director is permitted to sign in binding the company for matters concerning tourism business, whereby the representative powers of such director can be limited to everything that concerns the tourism business.
- The business must have an office in Thailand which is clearly separated from other offices, and have a clear signboard with the full company name and TAT license number at the entrance. Sufficient documents should be provided by the legal owner of the property including a consent letter to evidence permission to use the address for recruitment business. Do note, virtual or serviced offices are usually not considered sufficient to operate a tourism business. A lease agreement of not less than two years should be provided.
- 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 license.
- The applicant will be required to deposit a security fee in cash, cashier cheque or bank guarantee of (1) 200,000 THB in case of outbound tourism; (2) 100,000 THB in case of inbound tourism; (3) 50,000 THB for domestic tourism activities; or (4) 10,000 THB if the tourism activities will only be organised in a specific area.