Three years ago, when I didn't know how to start a business in Thailand, I looked for an accounting company recommended by a friend, registered the company at a low price, and started the business. Because Thailand requires that Thais account for more than 51% of the joint venture company shares, I purchased 3 Thais from an accounting company as shareholders as usual. Everything looks intelligent and average. The accounting company also helped me, as a customer, achieve my goal successfully.
After three years of hardships, the company has some improvements and achievements, but problems also follow. Since November 2022, to avoid the risk of proxy shareholding, I have replaced the company's Thai shareholders with real Thai identities and canceled the previously purchased Thai shareholder identities. But in June 2023, my Thai shareholders received a summons letter from the Economic Crime Division of the Royal Thai Police. After confirming by phone, they issued a summons notice to all our company's former and existing shareholders. They asked us to go to the investigation with relevant documents on the specified date and time.
According to the laws of Thailand, if a foreigner is identified as an equity holder in a business, he will be sentenced to at least three years of imprisonment or a fine of no more than 1 million baht, and he will not be able to enter Thailand for life. Ultimately, we took great pains to solve this problem and had to explain to the police, repent our mistakes, and accept the punishment. Suppose your Thai shareholder is the nominee of the shares. In that case, these records will be kept in the official data for at least ten years, whether you change the existing shareholder or not. In other words, there is still the possibility of being prosecuted or punished within ten years. And I had to shut down the company that had been in business for three years, redesign the ownership structure, reposition my role, and re-plan everything.
Registering a Thai company is more complicated. I have contacted many clients who asked us to register companies but only looked at the results rather than the process. They have no reliable Thai shareholders, no Thais as legal representatives, and they don't even care about the possible risks; they only care about the results. Like me, if you choose an "unreliable" accounting company, he can fool you and tell you, "It doesn't matter; we can provide you with a Thai identity as your nominee shareholder" Not only can you register a company, tax, social security, accounting A series of businesses such as bookkeeping and annual review can also allow you to achieve your goals and be grateful to Dade easily. So have you considered the longevity and legality of your business? Do you care about being investigated and punished one day after several years?
Foreigners who do business in Thailand face many problems and risks. Registering a company takes time and effort. It would be best if you evaluated whether you have real needs, whether you have the conditions for registering a company, and whether you understand every link. If something goes wrong, any accounting firm that provides you with the status of nominee shareholding will not have any good ways to help you solve it.
Today's Wellion, we only do compliance business and help foreigners who want to invest and do business in Thailand within the existing legal framework. Risk and compliance are the prerequisites for everything we do. We don't want to put our customers at risk, and we don't want to plant a time bomb for our business reputation. This is our position, not all customers are accepted, and not all customer needs can be met. If you want to take shortcuts, if you want to find someone to hold shares on behalf of you, if you are not afraid and willing to take the risks that come with it, then you may need a more versatile company to help you. But the advice is harsh; if you walk too much at night, you will always encounter ghosts. There is a long sea of business, and we must take Sunshine Avenue.