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Grey Costs Of Small Business In Thailand.

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the biggest hidden cost for start ups is paying TAX on income and salary that you don't earn .................................

Think long and hard about all the potential potholes and headaches and do your best to get hard numbers before registering a Thai company. Even with an accounting/legal firm it was not clear to me all the taxes and fees and redundant paperwork required to establish a business here. Only after five months time do I now know it costs my little one person business over $300.00/USD per month to "work" from my laptop. Needless to say, no one wants to give you the whole story because they and everyone down the line will lose their fees. Whether you actually receive a salary or not the Thai government will take withholding tax monthly, then there is the VAT tax that the government charges on the SAME transaction multiple times, and of course the matter of the virtual office that you are required to have. And then you must pay the legal and accounting fees for filing all the paperwork monthly because unless you read and speak Thai fluently, that will also be a cost of doing business here. No one can tell me why you register a Thai company that allows you a work permit and a year long Non immigrant Business visa but still have to cross the border every 90 days. And when you go on holiday, you must "suspend" your work permit and then reactivate it when you return. I now know I can still do business with Thai companies (from the West) and be paid directly into my foreign bank account, alleviating all the fees and paperwork to the Thai government...I save over $300.00USD per month in fees and the Thai government loses a revenue source. I am glad I learned this before purchasing a condo!!

Good luck to anyone wishing to do business in Thailand...it is a great place for holiday but not without a lot of challenges and headaches on the business side...read the forums and talk to as many foreigners as you can before considering dropping any money in Thailand. While you are at it...do some research on how many Thai girl/farang men get married...and divorced...after the property purchase of course.

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  • 1 month later...
Soundman, we already tell all our pre-booked customers to NEVER take any limousine or taxi from Phuket Airport. This is because of the terrible reputation these guys have for either ripping off customers or taking them to another hotel! We provide a 24/7 free pick-up service just to ensure that our customers arrive ok at our hotel.

For customers who have not prebooked, and who ask the taxi to take them to any hotel, we will always pay a fair commission to the taxi driver for bringing us more business. But if a pre-booked customer tells a taxi driver to take him to 'x hotel', then there is no reason to pay a commission to the taxi driver because he is just doing his job.

Some drivers get annoyed when we refuse to pay a commission for pre-booked customers. But my wife always deals with this and tells them to p*ss off and not to try it on again!

To be honest, we also stopped dealing with the tour agencies at Phuket Airport because they either asked for a commission of 50% of the hotel price!! Or they overcharged customers way above the retail prices for our rooms. On several occasions, I took customers back to the agent and insisted on a refund for them. Now we only do business with agents who charge no more than 20% more than our net rate, (and we do get lots of bookings from agents in BKK on this basis).

So, in summary, our hotel gave up on dealing with the agents and touts at the airport because - for the most part - they were ripoff merchants. But, thanks to our good internet marketing and good customer reviews, our hotel doesn't need to rely on agents other than for a few bookings here and there.


Once arriving at Phuket from my home in Pattaya to visit friends staying at the Holiday Inn I shared a taxi with a guy who from the same flight who had booked into some hotel in the right budget range but who had paid lets say Bt1200 per night when I considered it should cost about Bt800 per night. He checked in, I scouted around the hotel, it was OK but they wanted Bt1200 per night. I said I could go to an agen tand get it for Bt1000 or less and they would have to pay the agent so they might get perhaps Bt750 so Bt800 from me was a better deal. They took it but when I wanted to stay another day (low season just after the tsunami mind you !) they wanted a higher rate ! they didn't get one.

Now getting a taxi to the airport was a joke and really pissed me off, even though I live with the pattaya baht bus mafia each and every day !

PM me your place in Phuket please.

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