Many people retire in Thailand and use their pensions to have a small business. These normally don’t make any money as they tend to be ‘hobby horses’ and only there to keep them occupied and give them something to do during the day. They normally do not work in these businesses.

See the articles on taxes in Thailand as well as business licences for each type of business you will find in Thailand. Depending on what you wish to do you will need to speak to a lawyer in Thailand to show you what will be needed. There have over the years been a number of well-known businesses in Thailand which had been owned by expats. Also consider the size of the business and how successful you will be in the market. Many expats have built good businesses and have sold them 10 years later for a handsome profit before leaving again for their home countries.

If you are buying a business then you will need to have an attorney check the sale agreement as well as the contracts which would limit the previous owner of setting up another business down the road from you. Normally there has to be a restraint of trade agreement with the sale agreement. Note that many times especially in Pattaya the owner of the entertainment licence is in the name of the seller wife and all these issues need to be covered when buying an existing business.

Business Types:

Restaurants are very difficult to start as the competition in Thailand is very high. Don’t be surprised to see another business 100m away from you doing the exact same thing. You will have to make any business unique. Also not that many of your well known clubs tend to have a following as the original owner was the personality everyone knew. That goodwill will disappear if you take over and people move along. There have been some good examples over the years of bars and restaurants in Pattaya who lose their value after ownership transfer.

Nightclubs are a bit of a nightmare to setup for foreigners however there are again many are well-known jazz clubs in Thailand that are foreign owned and operated. These nightclubs tend to be your high-end clubs with huge investments made into the clubs.

Language schools you can forget about as the market has been dead for many years. Many started language schools on weekends mainly teaching kids they recruited at the school they had been working at. There are simply too many brand names in Bangkok today to even enter the market.

There are franchises available if you are interested in Thailand. These would be Family Mart as well as the normal 7-11 stores. Profits are going to depend on where the store is located and how well it is managed.

Take legal advice when buying a business or starting one yourself.

 

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