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  1. #1
    My kind of town
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    Marrried to a Thai - No work permit needed for a family business?

    Guys I think we have been fed a load of bull for many years about work permits.

    I was talking to a good farang friend of mine and he mentioned that you do not need a w.p. to run a family business if it is not a prohibited occupation. Say a farang marries a Thai lady legally, gets a non immigrant O married visa and the two of them open a small restaurant or bar. Is a w.p. needed if he is cooking, cleaning up a, tending bar or managing?

    After our conversation, I began to question all the work permit scare stories we always here about. Jailed, deported, black listed from Thailand etc.

    So, I asked an immigration lawyer and an immigration officer (I know both of them pretty well) and they say no problem. They say if it is not an international company and the occupation is not prohibited then its ok. Nothing wrong with a married couple doing business. Now they did say that once you set up a company then you must get a w.p. as you WILL be working for a company. By doing this you are really screwing yourself. If you want to do a bar or a restaurant and work it together then do it. The police nor immigration will stop you.

    Now we all know plenty of married farangs that are running family businesses with their wives, but I do not know anyone that got arrested for doing it.

    Do you know anyone that got done for it?

    Any input from the TD team?
    Last edited by chitown; 24-09-2009 at 11:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    They say if it is not an international company and the occupation is not prohibited then its ok. Nothing wrong with a married couple doing business. Now they did say that once you set up a company then you must get a w.p. as you WILL be working for a company.
    Does this mean that you can work without a work permit as long as you don't work for a legal company? That sounds a bit unlikely.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    aging one's Avatar
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    very interesting. only problem for me as we never married here. guess i could do it. we need to build some apartments so property development. damn if that could be done it would be great.

  4. #4
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    If you want to do a bar or a restaurant and work it together then do it. The police nor immigration will stop you.

    ?
    pretty sure that both bar and restaurant work are prohibited occupations!

    It was always my understanding that ANY work required a work permit - paid OR unpaid.

  5. #5
    This is not my avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    and the occupation is not prohibited then its ok.
    1. laboring
    2. work in agriculture, animal breeding, forestry, fishing and farm supervision (excluding specialized skills for the branch, farm supervision or in the maritime fishing field)
    3. masonry, carpentry or other construction work
    4. wood carving
    5. driving of motor vehicles or non-motorised carriers (except piloting international airplanes)
    6. shop attendant and window salespeople
    7. auctioneering
    8. accountancy supervision, auditing or services in the accounting field (except occasional internal auditing)
    9. gem cutting or polishing
    10. hair cutting, hair dressing or beautician work
    11. hand weaving
    12. mat weaving or fabrication of wares from reed, rattan, kenaf, straw or bamboo pulp
    13. manual fibre paper making
    14. lacquerware making
    15. Thai musical instrument fabrication
    16. nielloware fabrication v 17. goldsmith, silversmith, or other precious metalwork
    18. bronzeware fabrication
    19. Thai doll making
    20. mattress or padded blanket fabrication
    21. alms bowl fabrication
    22. manual silk product fabrication
    23. Buddha image fabrication
    24. knife making
    25. paper or cloth umbrella fabrication
    26. shoemaking
    27. hat making
    28. brokerage or agency work (except international business)
    29. engineering work, civil engineering branch, which involves designing, drawing, calculation, organization, research, planning, testing, construction supervision or advisory work (except work requiring specialized skills)
    30. architectural work involving designing, drawing or estimating as well as construction supervision or advisory work
    31. dressmaking
    32. pottery or ceramics
    33. manual cigarette rolling
    34. tourist guide or tour organizing agency
    35. hawking business
    36. Thai character typesetting
    37. clerical or secretarial work
    38. legal or litigation service.

  6. #6
    This is not my avatar
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    ^I can't see chef, cook, waiter, barman in there, so I guess it's OK

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    ^Thats a list of banned occupations.

  8. #8
    Member theudonshawn's Avatar
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    so, let's get this straight... if I didn't legally register my business I wouldn't have to worry about immigration showing up?

    What if I set it up as a partnership between my wife and a 3rd party? (3rd party = angry wife insurance)

    Can somebody who ain't a sea lawyer jump in on this?

    My tax guy who is the provincial auditor said that I should never have a problem but that I could (don't piss anybody off)... but then... he doesn't really know, does he?

    Of course... they could change the law tomorrow and go shakedown all the places where the Thai wife has a foreign last name.

    And what if I used my money to buy the place? Isn't that in violation of the "Foreigners can't shit" law here in LOS?

    I just keep my head down and keep a low profile. If I could ever get 2 mil baht together... I might try to make my biz a farang ownable enterprise. But this is worth looking into isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Now we all know plenty of married farangs that are running family businesses with their wives, but I do not know anyone that got arrested for doing it. Do you know anyone that got done for it?
    good point (hence my lack of real concern)

  9. #9
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    All aliens engaged in any kind of work in Thailand must hold a valid work permit, issued principally by the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare pursuant to the Alien Employment Act B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978).

  10. #10
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    I asked an immigration lawyer and an immigration officer
    Lets get this into perspective here and now.

    Immigration officers in Thailand deal with visa matters. That is clear

    Employment matters are the realm of the Thai department of employment, the labour office.

    Their rules on this are clear and are directly opposite to those expressed by Chitowns immigration buddies in his op...on all points.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat
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    Pattaya immigration department raid gogo bars and stuff just like real policeman do

  12. #12
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    Isn't masturbation illegal without a WP, coz you're taking away the job of a Thai?


    Apologies... Carry on.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    So no one really knows?

    I reckon it depends where you are in LOS.

    In the end it'll come down to the local "boss".

  14. #14
    My kind of town
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    Do any of you posters, above and below know a farang that has been arrested, deported or blacklisted for running a family biz with their wife?

    Do any of you posters, above and below know a farang that runs a family biz with their wife and nothing has happened?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    All aliens engaged in any kind of work in Thailand must hold a valid work permit, issued principally by the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare pursuant to the Alien Employment Act B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978).
    I can assure you Chitown that this is the applicable rule, I ran a family business without the benifit of of a WP and paid the price, not deported but it cost me a quite a bit to get out of trouble, even with a decent lawyer assisting.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    yes, the guy that used to help his wife run that English pub in Soi Cowboy, Fox & Hounds

    he was not allowed to do anything for running the business

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Do any of you posters, above and below know a farang that has been arrested, deported or blacklisted for running a family biz with their wife? Do any of you posters, above and below know a farang that runs a family biz with their wife and nothing has happened?

    NO


    YES

  18. #18
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Do any of you posters, above and below know a farang that has been arrested, deported or blacklisted for running a family biz with their wife?
    I know of a guy in Issan who built a "maarn roodt" "curtain over car - knocking shop" out in the sticks. Within a few days of opening he was visited by the local labour office and asked his role, he advised he was the manager. He was advised to go to the labour office and they would help him get a work permit for that.

    I have seen his work permit, it shows him as hotel manager, even though its a brothel for thais he is running

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    ^Thats a list of banned occupations.
    ...hospitality fields certainly can't be among them, yes?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandajoy View Post

    NO


    YES
    the correct answer to the OP.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    My mate recently got done for 20k baht for working with his wife in his family run bakery.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Surin
    hospitality fields certainly can't be among them, yes?
    As i said, that is a list of BANNED occupations for foreigners, ie there is no work permit even available for them unless you fit into one of the specialist catergories.

  23. #23
    loob lor geezer
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    Fook me.....its pretty obvious they make the rules up as they go along. Whatever you're doing its bound to be wrong in the eyes of some nit picking nonce who will find some way to throw a spanner in the works. Sure they have laws here but do you want to go to the expense of arguing the toss with 'em , hiring a lawyer etc. only to find that you lose anyway because you havn't got the connections to make it stick. If you don't mind the grease , you can get away with murder.

  24. #24
    ding ding ding
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    do you want to go to the expense of arguing the toss with 'em
    The 64 million $ question. Personally the answer is no.

  25. #25
    anonymous ant
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    All aliens engaged in any kind of work in Thailand must hold a valid work permit, issued principally by the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare pursuant to the Alien Employment Act B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978).
    I can assure you Chitown that this is the applicable rule, I ran a family business without the benifit of of a WP and paid the price, not deported but it cost me a quite a bit to get out of trouble, even with a decent lawyer assisting.
    can you expand on this, pp?

    it seems that in isaan, anyway, either the cops don't know how to go about, or don't care about foreigners doing whatever the hell they want.
    i used to sell catfish that i raised to the cops whenever they had a party (and the local cops and i had a really bad history, hated each others' guts, and i am sure they would have taken great pleasure in nailing me if they knew how to)
    surely you only need a wp if you are earning a salary out of the "business"?
    if the business is not registered, and you are not receiving a salary, but your "wife is doing business" and you happen to be on the premises, or "helping out"
    i would think it would be too much hassle for them to bother trying their luck.
    unless of course the wife does the "face" thing and starts mouthing off about all the millions you are making, which could start the old jealousy thing going.
    i ,too got the same advice from a thai lawyer. she sed:
    "just do it. nobody cares, but don't brag if you make big money" (fat chance)

    i had to laugh at the list of "prohibited occupations" posted earlier:
    "labourer;mat-weaver" etc
    what the fkk were they thinking?!!!!

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