Buy a Shelf Company in Thailand

Updated on Thursday 29th November 2018

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Foreign investors interested in expanding their business operations on the Thai market should know that they have several options under which they can do business here. A first method refers to the incorporation of a new company, a process which requires the completion of many legal aspects; the second option refers to the purchase of a shelf company, which can be an advantageous option for entrepreneurs who want to run the company as soon as possible. Businessmen who want to acquire a shelf company can receive assistance on this matter from our experts in company registration in Thailand

The main advantages of the shelf company are listed below:
  • Credibility: a company that has been in existence for a longer period of time tends to have more credibility in front of clients, creditors, banks and business associates; this I precisely what an aged company will offer to its buyer; moreover, it can also make it easier for accessing investment capital.
  • Easier processes: a company that has been on the market for some time can have better options and chances when submitting requests for obtaining work permits; in some cases, it can even be useful for individuals who wish to obtain a business visa; careful consideration is needed for these types of companies as there may be some limitations on the ability to apply for a visa for a foreign director; none of our agents can give you more information.
  • Saved time: the time needed to transfer ownership when purchasing a ready-made company will be significantly reduced compared to the time needed to prepare the documentation and make the necessary submissions to open a new company.
  • Saved costs: in some cases, buying an existing legal entity can prove to be a more economic business decision because of the costs will be lower; of course, this depends on the prices of the shelf company provider and due diligence is needed when making the purchase in order to make sure that the price is right. 
The shelf company can be acquired by foreign investors and used for purposes like raising capital and opening a local bank account. The company can apply for the needed permits and licenses in advance and can enter into agreements – all actions that allow the foreign investor to maintain a presence on the Thai market from the earliest days after establishing their business presence.
The shelf company can be purchased by entrepreneurs who wish to make a business investment and use the company in the future. Maintaining a company, even if it remains dormant after the transfer is made, will make it possible for investors to start trading in a very short amount of time when they do decide to take this step. Another reason why investors can consider buying a shelf company and handle this process in advance has to do with intellectual property rights. Some investors might want to know that their company is incorporated and registered in advance so as to protect themselves from competitors.

You can also find out how to buy a Thai ready-made company from the video below:

What is a Thai shelf company?

A shelf company in Thailand, or a ready-made company, is a business that is already incorporated as per the standard procedure and it is available for purchase. The main advantage of this type of company is the fact that the investor can start his business immediately after the purchase. Thus, he no longer has to go through the company registration procedure in Thailand. Investors who do wish to know more about this procedure can contact the Department of Business Development for information about commercial registration.

The purchase of a shelf company is a rather simple process as it is the case in other jurisdictions, for example in Montenegro. This  process consists of the transfer of ownership from the current owner to the buyer. The transfer of ownership is represented by the transfer of the company’s shares to the new owner. 

A ready-made business in Thailand will have a registered business address and will have its directors already appointed; the new owner will have to appoint new directors for the company; our Thai company formation specialists can offer you more details on this subject. 

How can I purchase a shelf company in Thailand?

Foreign investors who want to open a company in Thailand should know that at the purchase of a ready-made business they will have to change the following aspects after the transfer of ownership:

•    director of the company;
•    company name;
•    company seal;
•    shareholders;
•    company address. 

As a general rule, the process of buying a shelf company can last one or two days until the transfer of ownership is completed. If the shelf company was registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) but it remained dormant and had no commercial activities, the company is still required to file VAT returns on a monthly basis, specifying that the business had no income. 

If you need further information on the shelf company, please contact our consultants who can also help you open a new company in Thailand



March 10, 2016

I believe that is so much easier to purchase a company that has already been incorporated because the process of owning the business is very simple and straightforward.

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