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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

How to establish a successful business in Thailand

For many people, running their own business in Thailand represents the dream of ex-pat life. Bars change hands with monotonous regularity after the new partner finds he has purchased the third 50 percent share and is left with nothing other than an empty bank account. A dream, yes - but sometimes closer to a nightmare. But this can be avoided.
Philip Wylie is British with a solid background in business (Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst and Young. and MBA from Imperial College London), and so is very well qualified to write on “How to establish a successful business in Thailand” “(ISBN 978-1-887521-75-8, Paiboon Publishing, July 2007).
The advice begins with an overview on how Thai laws affect foreigners, including foreign ownership of limited companies. The chapter headed Same Same, But Different highlights the fact that success in a similar venture in one’s home country does not guarantee a similar success over here. Seven foundations are given, complete with salient advice, even to the fact that jealousy can be a problem, so many successful ex-pats maintain a low profile.
Should you buy an existing business? Or a franchise? Or start from scratch? These options are carefully examined, and showing a prospective business owner what kind of personality fits which type of business option.
Even something which should be a given basic is not ignored in the chapter on how to evaluate prospective businesses for purchase. The principle of Caveat Emptor does make the journey to Thailand! In fact, it is compulsory!
In preparing to start, there is one chapter devoted to all the various governmental requirements such as visas, work permits and licenses, forming companies, bank accounts, transferring money and all the other myriad of details.
In the chapter entitled Red Tape, Customs and Procedures, emphasis is again given to the fact that you are attempting to do business in a foreign land, with equally as foreign customs, as well as the requirements laid down by the capital C Customs!
I found the profiles of successful business people very interesting, especially the couple I knew. If there was a common thread, it was enthusiasm for their business, no matter how diverse they all were.
“How to establish a successful business in Thailand” has a wealth of detail, even to a list of franchise businesses and how much a franchise will cost. Expect a few shocks in this list! They range from 10 million baht down to 30,000 baht.
It also covers the major centers in Thailand, and the Chiangmai Mail gets a meritorious mention.
There are many pages of important organizations, a full index and a clearly defined contents pages, as well as many appendices. This is a very complete book.
I can honestly admit to being a novice as regards business in Thailand, but for B. 595, this book will give you the benefits that came from years of experience. For the price, it is hard to imagine cheaper or better advice. If you are contemplating running a business in this country, get this book. Your chances of success will be improved multiple-fold.