Ideas for Doing Business in Thailand

If you are thinking about setting up a business in Thailand, then most probably you have visited the country as a tourist and fallen for the lifestyle, natural beauty and low cost of living. As easy as it may sound to start a business in Thailand, there are several cases of failed business ventures by foreigners in the country. The reason why many people fail is because of lack of business plan and lack of clarity on how to approach those businesses. Another major reason for failing is the lack of understanding of local culture, language and business & legal environment. So it is very important to have clarity of thought and proper planning before you dive into this land of immense opportunities.

Once you have made up your mind to start a business in Thailand, you need to narrow down to bright business ideas in Thailand. As a fast growth economy, Thailand has many opportunities to offer. As Thai economy is heavily dependent on tourism, it is not surprising that this industry offers lots of business opportunities to foreigners to do business in Thailand. Following are some business ideas that you can explore if you are serious about starting a business in Thailand:

Bar Business:

This has to be one of the first business ideas that come to your mind when you visit Thailand. There is so much business done by bars in Thailand every night that you are bound to be attracted towards the idea of owning one. While there is lot of money generated by these businesses, it would be naïve to think that it would be easy to run. If you are a not from US, then you need to first find a Thai business partner to start a business in Thailand (you can only own up to 49%). Also, you need to get lots of regulatory licenses and clearances done before opening a bar. You also need to do legal work done with respect to registering the business and leasing out the space. There is a lot of competition in this space and unless and until your location and theme is not attractive, your odds of being successful are lower.

Restaurant Business:

Restaurant business is a promising business opportunity in Thailand if tapped properly. Being a tourist destination, there is huge turnover in restaurant industry. While most requirements for restaurant business are similar to the bar business, the number of licenses required may be a bit less than opening a bar. You would need to obtain food license to serve food, alcohol license for serving alcohol and you also need clearance to play music in your restaurant. To be successful, you need to think about a good theme for the restaurant and find a suitable place to open the same. Remember, location matters a lot. Don’t forget to get clean legal and leasing work done to be safe, otherwise you could be easily be fooled.

Diving School/ Dive Center:

Opening a Dive Center is also an attractive opportunity in Thailand. However, the business is very competitive these days and you only have a six month season to make most of your money. Prices for an office near beach are sky high and you need to start in a big way differentiate yourself from others. Easiest way to go about would be to acquire an existing Dive center and then scale it up.

Resort, Hotel or Guesthouse:

These are capital intensive businesses, but if you have loads of money to invest, you can explore this business idea as well. In an already established tourist place, finding a good place would be a challenge. But you could still be successful if you have proper tie-ups with travel agents and market your business properly online.