Visas and Work Permits — 6 min
Before you hire remote workers in Thailand, you'll need to familiarize yourself with local employment laws. Failure to do so may result in fines, miscommunications, lost employees, excess paperwork, and damage to your reputation. This extensive guide covers everything you need to stay compliant, including:
Salaries, wages, and overtime in Thailand
Thai tax rates and brackets
Local labor laws
Hiring and paying contractors in Thailand
Your familiarity with these laws and expectations may help you hire remote workers in Thailand and ensure a streamlined HR experience for you and your contractors.
This guide will help you get one step closer to achieving your goals for remote worker recruitment.
Foreign businesses have a few ways to pay remote employees from Thailand. These include:
To open a business in Thailand, you'll have to start by submitting potential business names to the Department of Business Development (DBD). After the DBD chooses a name, you'll have to file a Memorandum of Association with information about the shares and business owners, then attend a statutory meeting. Next, you'll have to submit a registration application.
Note that Thailand requires a Thai citizen to own at least 51% of the shares in your company, although a Foreign Business License grants some exceptions.
Global employment services like Remote employ workers throughout Thailand while cooperating with payroll and employment laws. These global employment services, also known as employers of record, handle the complexities of operating in a different country so that you can focus on growing your business and developing relationships with your employees.
Under Thailand's employment laws, employees receive benefits like annual leave and public holidays. The law does not require you to offer these same benefits to contractors. Hiring contractors gives you more flexibility and makes payroll easier — although you may get fined if the court determines that you misclassified an employee as a contractor.
Working with Remote, you can avoid issues of misclassification by employing your Thai workers as full-time employees, including all required benefits. However, if you do not wish to employ full-time employees in Thailand, Remote can also help you pay your Thai contractors.
Companies pay remote workers in Thai baht (symbol: ฿), the official currency of Thailand.
Every country has different tax rates. Like most countries, Thailand uses a bracket system where you pay a higher percentage if you make a higher salary. Here are the tax rates for each tax bracket in Thailand:
0% — ฿0 to ฿150,000 ($0 to $4,526.25)
5% — ฿150,000 to ฿300,000 ($4,526.25 to $9,052.51)
10% — ฿300,000 to ฿500,000 ($9,052.51 to $15,087.51)
15% — ฿500,000 to ฿750,000 ($15,087.51 to $22,631.26)
20% — ฿750,000 to ฿1,000,000 ($22,631.26 to $30,175.02)
25% — ฿1,000,000 to ฿2,000,000 ($30,175.02 to $60,350.04)
30% — ฿2,000,000 to ฿4,000,000 ($60,350.04 to $120,700.08)
35% — Over ฿4,000,000 (Over $120,700.08)
Learn more about how Remote can help you pay your Thai workers.
Thailand levies taxes on income from the following sources:
Wills, copyrights, and franchises
Business and agriculture
Investments and stocks
Bank account interest
Other sources of taxable income include mutual funds, court judgments, and most other sources of direct income. Check out our Thailand fact sheet for more information about paying taxes.
Per diem benefits are taxable in Thailand, with a few exceptions. Allowances and reimbursements, such as allowances for a company car, are taxable. However, the Revenue Code excludes allowances for work duty travel costs and allowances no higher than the fixed rates set by the government. The code also excludes travel allowances for employees traveling to the workplace for the first time.
Thailand differentiates between allowance and reimbursement. An allowance includes cash or benefits the employer gives the employee directly. Reimbursement is when the employer repays the money that the employee has spent on work-related expenses.
Thailand has three universal healthcare programs: the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme (CSMBS) for public sector employees; Social Health Insurance (SHI) for private sector employees; and Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) for everyone else. When Thailand launched the universal healthcare program in 1990, the law that workers pay 1.5% in payroll taxes was established.
Under Thailand's pension scheme, the employer should deduct 3% from an employee's wages as a contribution toward the employee's pension. Moreover, employers should make a 3% contribution on top. Residents in Thailand can start collecting their pensions from the age of 55 years, provided that they've worked for at least 15 years.
The minimum wage in Thailand is ฿336 (about $10.14 in 2022) per day.
Overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular pay rate in Thailand. Employees qualify for overtime hours if they work more than 48 hours a week. Employers need to get permission from their workers before they give them overtime hours.
The local labor laws in Thailand offer the following benefits and protections to workers:
Employers must notify employees about their schedules.
Employees can't work more than eight hours a day and 48 hours a week, with some exceptions.
Employees must agree to work overtime and receive overtime pay.
Employers must give workers at least one hour of rest if they work for five hours or more.
Employers must pay workers for their rest time if it exceeds two hours, so they can't put workers on “standby.”
Employees must get up to 30 sick days per year. Employers can ask for a doctor's note if necessary.
Employers must pay twice the hourly wage if employees are asked to work on a holiday.
Employees must have at least one day off per week.
Employees must receive at least six paid personal leave days after they've worked for the employer for one year.
Employees can carry over their unused personal leave days for up to two years.
Employers must pay workers for their unused personal leave days at employment termination.
Classifying workers as contractors gives you more flexibility and makes it easier to hire and fire people. However, if you misclassify an employee as a contractor in Thailand — accidentally or not — you may face severe fines, penalties, and legal challenges. If the worker finds out, they might leave and criticize your company, damaging your reputation and making it harder to find a replacement. Contractors also have rights that employees do not, such as ownership of certain intellectual properties.
Fortunately, you can convert contractors to employees in Thailand. You might convert a contractor if you accidentally misclassified them or want to give them a larger role in your company. Keep in mind that employees receive benefits such as paid holidays and maternity leave days, all to enhance their working environment.
In Thailand, contractors typically get paid once a month. Remote's contractor management tools process payroll to ensure your contractors in Thailand get paid quickly and efficiently. With one click, you can pay your workers, and Remote’s easy-to-use platform keeps track of all your payouts and invoices.
Check out our global payroll management guide for more information.
If you do not own your own legal entity in Thailand, you must go through an employer of record to employ local Thai workers legally. You cannot directly employ Thai employees through an entity in another country.
Employers of record, or EORs, such as Remote act as the legal employer. Technically, your EOR employs your workers, but you remain in charge of their work and responsibilities. You work with your team in Thailand the same way you would work with any of your other employees — the EOR simply handles the paperwork to ensure you can employ your workers legally. The value of an EOR is not just confined to managing the registration and compliance of the employee's contract. An EOR like Remote can also manage your employees’ payroll, benefits, taxes, and local compliance. Think of your EOR as your local HR office in an international country where you don't own your own legal entity.
Remote owns and operates our own local legal entities in every country where we operate. We never rely on third parties or outsource our EOR services to others, so you can be sure your employees with Remote always receive a first-class experience.
Remote handles every aspect of hiring and paying international remote workers, which saves you time, money, and the hassle of doing it all yourself. Our team of local experts stays on top of changes in employment laws in each country so that you don't have to keep track of labor policies or worry about implementing changes every time there
We provide all the following services to help your HR team focus their efforts:
Pensions and benefits
Time off management
Tax returns and deductions
You can sign up for free in seconds to start using your Remote dashboard. View your team, filter by employees and contractors, and manage your whole global team in one place. See each employee's name, salary, country of residence, and more. Remote makes it easy to keep track of all your global HR needs without leaving the platform.
When you hire remote workers abroad, they'll get a contract and team experience tailored specifically for their country. No generic hiring form — Remote has structured the process to stay compliant with local laws. If an employee wants to move to another country, Remote even offers immigration advice. Your employees get 24/7 access to a dedicated HR representative to ensure they always receive first-class service.
Since Remote handles the legal complexities, you never have to deal with hurdles like fines, penalties, and legal challenges that can make it difficult to employ workers in other countries. Instead, you can focus on profits, development, and improving your employees' experience. Reach out to us and start employing workers in other countries today!
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