April 18, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

Work Online in Thailand – Get a Work Permit First

3 min read

It is like every person you meet in Thailand is up for some online work. Whether it is a retired business manager or an online social marketer, there are cafes and co-working spaces in Thailand to support freelancers. In the past few years, Thailand has been flooded with bloggers, web developers, affiliate marketers, PPC managers, writers etc. But the problem is, laws pertaining to working in Thailand require every freelancer to obtain a work permit which covers the kind of work you want to do.

What happens when you legally work online in Thailand?

Primarily in 2009, firms enquire whether a permit was needed for a person to work online for a foreign client in Thailand. Well, the answer was no one will say anything. But back then Thailand was a very different place and working online has no legal guidelines.

But over the years, there have been several amendments and changes in the online work laws for freelancers. Today, you need to abide by the law to be a freelancer. You need to have work permit and pay the taxes you are liable to.

So, how do you get a permit to work as freelancer in Thailand?

Foreigners cannot work as sole trader here. In order to get a work permit, you need to organize a Thai company. The requirement for which include 4 Thai employees per foreigner and 51% holding of a Thai person who isn’t in the 4-employee list with 2 million Baht business capital as well as business premises.

You cannot transform your tourist visa to work permit. You have to come to Thailand with non-immigrant business via and have a potential employer.

Can you be fined or arrested if you don’t abide by the law?

Unless, you have been hiding for the past 6 months, the NCPO will easily crack down the illegal workers. Rumours suggest that the NCPO is working on work laws and considering how can legalize online work and tax it in accordance.

In short, whether you are working for a dot company outside Thailand or your VPN is based in America, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter whether you pay tax or whether you get paid for the work or not, if you are working under something which falls in Thailand’s legal definition of work, you are doing it illegally.

How much income tax do you need to pay?

As per law, if you have a net income of 150,000 baht per annum, you should pay freelance tax. Or, if you have an income which doesn’t exceed 26,000 baht per month, then you don’t have pay freelance tax.

However, if you are working on a salary basis for a freelance company and if you have a salary of over 10,000 baht every month, or an income surpassing 60,000 baht per annum, then you definitely have to pay freelance tax.

You should submit a freelance tax [ภาษี ฟรี แลน ซ์, which is the term in Thai] form to the Revenue Department. In case you don’t pay the freelance taxes, you will be penalized and made to pay extra money as recommended by law.