New exemptions on Foreign Business License

The Thai Cabinet approved three new exemptions to service businesses requiring a Foreign Business License in May, the three categories, which are expected to be enacted by the Ministry of Commerce will allow foreigners to engage in the provision of loans to affiliates and subsidiary companies, lease of office space to affiliates and subsidiary companies and consultation services for management, marketing, human resources, and information technology to affiliates and subsidiary companies. Currently the definition of affiliates and subsidiaries has not been established but are expected to be included in the new ministerial regulations when they are announced.

Thailand has climbed five places in the World Competitiveness Index from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) of Switzerland. Ratings are based on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. According to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). Thailand performed better in the three criteria of infrastructure, economic performance and government efficiency. Improved business legislation from the government was highlighted although business efficiency dropped. Thailand came third in South East Asia and 25th globally.

Western Union has joined with Central Group’s financial services division to launch online international money transfers after seeing success in that area in North America and Europe. The company has launched a new mobile app. Customers can pay for their transactions with their own currency within the digital channels using either a card or an account, or can use the app or web and pay in-person at one of their retail offices. The company will be charging 99-baht fee during the promotional period.

The Thai government has also announced some changes to the Labor laws including the following:

Section 108: An Employer who employs a total of ten or more persons shall provide work rules in Thai language and the rules shall contain details on the following:
(1) Working days, normal working time and rest periods.
(2) Holidays and rules on taking holidays.
(3) Rules governing overtime work and holiday work.
(4) Date and place of payment of wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and holiday overtime pay.
(5) Leave and rules on taking leave.
(6) Discipline and disciplinary measures.
(7) Complaints.
(8) Termination of employment, severance pay and special severance pay.

“The Employer shall announce and apply the work rules within fifteen days of the date that the Employer employs a total of ten or more persons; and the Employer shall at all times retain a copy of such rules at the place of business or at the Employer’s office. The Employer shall disseminate and conspicuously post the work rules at the workplace of the Employees for the Employees’ information and acknowledgement so that the Employees shall be able to conveniently check the rules.” Any changes must be announced within seven days.

Other changes affect companies, one more shareholders holding an aggregate of 10 percent of shares may call an extraordinary general meeting but must state clearly the reasons. Shareholders or one shareholder holding an aggregate of 5 percent of shares may call on the Registrar to inspect the business, financials and the conduct of the board of directors. Additionally, payment of dividends must be made within one month from the date of the resolution of the general meeting or of the meeting of the board of directors.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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