Open a Non-Profit Organization in Thailand

Updated on Saturday 15th September 2018

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A non-profit organization (NPO) or a non-governmental organization in Thailand (NGO) is established with certain purposes like research in health, education, science or can have activities for the benefit of the society in the form of charities or foundations. NGOs in Thailand can be set up as companies or associations, where the profit or the donations will be reinvested for further activities or projects. People from abroad interested in opening a non-profit organization in Thailand can obtain suitable assistance and complete information from our Thai company formation specialists. You can also receive details about how to open a company in Thailand.

Details about non-profit organizations in Thailand 

Foundations or charities in Thailand are partially exempt from taxation, for example, if the revenue for the tax year exceeds the outflow, the owner will only pay 2% tax rate on such profits. This is a special and notable tax rate which is considerably lower compared to those imposed on companies in the country. Individuals create NGOs in Thailand for varied reasons, like:

•    research in health;
•    economic development;
•    donations;
•    community development;
•    charity;
•    education;
•    public interests.

Any foundation or NPO in Thailand needs to be registered with the Thai Ministry of Interior, as a legal entity with owners and regulations. If you are interested in opening a non-profit organization in Thailand, we invite you to ask for comprehensive guidance from our experts in company registration in Thailand. It is good to know that the company registration procedure in Thailand can be done within a few days, with help from our advisors.

The foreign private organization used as an NGO

International NGOs that wish to enter the Thai market have the option to register as a foreign private organization. This is a form of registration that does not allow the NGO to register as a local entity in the country. In practice, our Thai company formation agents recommend that entrepreneurs avoid this type of registration as there will be limitations on the manner in which the NGO will be able to operate or obtain the work permits/visas for their foreign volunteers when needed.

If the foreign NGO does decide to register as a foreign private organization, then an approval from a special committee will be required. This approval will only be issued for the specific activities of the NGO in the country and not for allowing the foreign private organization to also bring the needed volunteers to work in the country. The visa applications will include a separate process during which our agents can help you.

The Thailand foundation used as an NGO

Foreign non-governmental organizations have a second option when entering the Thai market: they can register as a local foundation. By doing so they will be able to better integrate on the Thai market. When operating as a non-profit Thai entity, the NGO will be registered with the Ministry of Interior and will list an objective that serves the public interest such as education, charity, religion, arts, and others.

An important condition is that the Thai foundation will have at least three board members, either Thai or foreign, and a minimum capital. Having a Thai national on the board of the foundation has practical if not legal advantages. The NGO will generally benefit from having a board member who is a native language speaker and who will be able to handle some of the procedures.

How to register an NGO in Thailand

Individuals interested in opening a non-governmental organization in Thailand must submit the documents to the local Thai registrar and need to consider the rules and regulations stipulated in the Operation and Registration of the Foundation B.E. 2545. We remind that the following documents need to be prepared when registering an NGO in Thailand:

•    details about the owners and board of executives;
•    information about the purposes of the foundation;
•    the rental agreement or ownership title of the location of the NGO;
•    copies of the identification cards of the foundation members;
•    information about the address of the institute;
•    if assets are registered, a copy of the documents must be provided.

Even if it’s a non-profit organization in Thailand, one should know that a deposit of minimum THB 200,000 needs to be registered in a bank account. Additional information about how to set up a non-governmental organization in Thailand can be obtained from our Thai company formation specialists.

Although the country does not have a firm legislation in place for the NGOs, the manners of registration described above are sufficient to serve the purposes of foreign entrepreneurs willing to open this type of establishment in the country.

Bangkok is a modern and vibrant city with multiple cultural influences when non-profit organizations can benefit not only from having access to a large number of individuals but also the city’s efficient infrastructure and connectivity.
You can contact us if you want to know more about how to open a company in Thailand and the specific rights and conditions applicable to foreign investors.


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