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MILT

E- Commerce Business In Thailand

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I was curious if anyone on TV would know about the details of doing business of this type in Thailand.

Does a Thai person have to create company name and all that goes into that process or can that person do business of this type

as a individual and pay the required taxes through direct deposits.

Would appreciate any factual feedback

Thanks

Milt

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Perhaps the moderators could move this to the "Visa" forum because that's probably the biggest issue faced by a foreigner who wants to do e-commerce in Thailand. It's really not a question specific to Chiang Mai.

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A foreigner working needs a work permit which only a registered company can provide.

Working online makes no difference.

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Has anyone ever been busted for it? What if the servers were in a different country, all things drop shipped, and you used an encrypted tunnel to an anonymizing proxy on the way to do your biz?

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Has anyone ever been busted for it? What if the servers were in a different country, all things drop shipped, and you used an encrypted tunnel to an anonymizing proxy on the way to do your biz?

Can't answer that. But I did hear a while back that they were going to start cracking down on e business.

Of course they are always going to start doing some thing rite and that is about as far as they go.

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Moving to Business forum as you are asking about e-commerce licenses and companies.

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A foreigner working needs a work permit which only a registered company can provide.

Working online makes no difference.

Does that include folks buying personal stocks and shares from the comfort of their notebook computers? And if so, what about all those travellers at the airport doing the same thing during transit? I really think this 'cannot work in any way shape of form without a permit' is sometimes taken a little too seriously, though I might be wrong.

Working for a company, owning a company, employing local people and or services to operate that company, is perfectly understandable, but tapping a few keys moving a few stocks and shares around is perhaps a bit nit-picky. eBay might a little different though, but if it's a sideline using only dropshippers, I doubt anyone would really care one way of the other. Would they?

Stubby

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A foreigner working needs a work permit which only a registered company can provide.

Working online makes no difference.

Does that include folks buying personal stocks and shares from the comfort of their notebook computers? And if so, what about all those travellers at the airport doing the same thing during transit? I really think this 'cannot work in any way shape of form without a permit' is sometimes taken a little too seriously, though I might be wrong.

Working for a company, owning a company, employing local people and or services to operate that company, is perfectly understandable, but tapping a few keys moving a few stocks and shares around is perhaps a bit nit-picky. eBay might a little different though, but if it's a sideline using only dropshippers, I doubt anyone would really care one way of the other. Would they?

Stubby

Under Thai law, yes it does.

The definition of work under Thai law is "Exerting effort or using knowledge", so simply thinking to check for traffic before picking something you dropped in the road is a double count of work, which should be done only by a Thai or someone with a workpermit.

Legally there are no exceptions, though like most things in Thailand rules are subject to the officials current mood.

Different person, different day (different bribe), different rule.

There are certainly thousands of foreigners working in Thailand without work permits, many actively working, many online or technically working for an overseas company, all of which illegal.

Lots get away with it.

Lots of people working online from home have been deported.

Bar owners have been deported for not lifting a finger, but simply talking to customers without a permit.

Signs were up after the Tsunami stating for all cleanup volunteers to make sure they had their work permit or they would be deported (not heard of it actually happening, but makes the law very clear)

To summarise:

I really think this 'cannot work in any way shape of form without a permit' is sometimes taken a little too seriously, though I might be wrong.

It is taken as seriously as driving when drunk.

It's 100% illegal, it happens all the time, people get away with it, people go to jail for it.

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Interesting insight innerspace, though I've never come across such reports in the newspapers or Thai TV news channels of foreigners getting deported for any kind of latent work. Perhaps it's so common that it's just not newsworthy?

Still not sure how the bloke at home selling stocks and shares gets on the radar though? There are also lots of folks playing the Thai Stock market on a regular basis, so I guess they're working too, or gambling even, which is also illegal.

Having said that, there are a lot of Thailand related websites in English, openly visible and run by foreigners residing in Thailand, TV being just one of many - I think, though I can't be sure.

These sites are usually information based but the still make money with Google ads and sponsors etc. According to your sources innerspace, one can only assume the owners and operators of such ventures are either working WITH permits, or, they've just been bloody lucky and gone unnoticed by despite being out there and visible.

Stubby

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Stubby, Innerspace is correct yet not entirely correct. The problem is the vagueness of the Thai regulatory regime. In the west there are laws and then underneath them, regulations and then underneath them, policies. You can get a copy of each and also have a reasonable expectation that they will be reflected in on-the-ground reality.

In this case, in reality, there are exceptions to the enforcement of the work permit laws, made for passive investors (e.g. buying shares) and for work-related activities undertaken by people resident in the kingdom for less than 15 days (the shortest time frame for a work permit). I have seen statements by officials that indicate that these are official exceptions, but they are not I believe enshrined in formal regulations. Are there exceptions to these exceptions? Yes, probably. Welcome to Thailand

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Lots of people working online from home have been deported.

Can anyone please provide some actual examples / cases?

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Lots of people working online from home have been deported.

Can anyone please provide some actual examples / cases?

Boiler rooms for example.

Working out of appartments using voip telephony.

Obviously the arrests come about after complaints of their highly illegal rip of tactics, but the actual arrest and deportation is always done based on working without a permit.

If such deportations happen it will most likely happen through somebody putting in a complaint against you (competition, plain jealousy).

Stupid reasons but they do have the legal framework in place to deport you based on the labor law...

Sent from my GT-I9001 using Thaivisa Connect App

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As always, the letter of the law is not really what matters, its the implementation of the law that matters.. and that can be very different to the letter of the law.

If you sit at home and trade shares etc (as I do) then whilst some people will tell you that you need a work permit to do that in Thailand the important thing is that YOU CANNOT get a work permit to do that. Countless times I have asked immigration and they always say that they are totally not interested and that I can't apply for one anyway. As Immigration DO NOT issue work permits anyway I also check with the department that do, and they say the same..they are not interested.

So, whilst the people who say "you need a work permit" are technically correct, in reality you won't have any problem.

ecommerce is a little more tricky, but if you are "based" overseas (by that I mean that your address on your website is overseas, and payments do not come into Thailand) then unless you are employing staff you really will not have any issues. Assuming of course that you are not breaking any other laws (ie not selling bootleg, pharmaceuticals or porn etc). If you are employing staff the you need to operate it as a proper business (company) and get a work permit.

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Most work permit busts are due to tip offs from an unhappy or jealous 3rd party.

People working online, stocks etc may not be a priority or actively targeted by immigration but it doesnt mean they cant be arrested if the authorities so wanted.

You can get a work permit for trading stocks, you just need a company and all involved with that.

Lots get away with it but its certainly not 100% safe.

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yes...

so...

are they any known cases of foreigners that were either fined, arrested or deported for working ALONE at home, purely online, with no local activities in Thailand?

Examples:

- employed by a foreign company to work by telecommute and paid into a foreign bank account)

- webmasters working alone

- freelancers working for foreign customers (translating, programming, designing ... whatever)

- financial markets traders

etc.

Or are there cases of immigration actually looking into such a case and taking no action?

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BANGKOK 23 July 2017 21:55
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