New business registrations in 2023 reached decade high

New business registrations in 2023 reached decade high

Thai entrepreneurs rushed to establish new businesses last year, tallying over 85,000, the highest in a decade, with registered capital worth 560 billion baht.

Foreign investment in Thailand reached 130 billion baht in 2023, with the Japanese taking the lead.

This year the number of new businesses is expected to reach 95,000, with foreign investment forecast to exceed 140 billion baht, according to the Business Development Department.

Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of the department, revealed on Tuesday the number of newly registered businesses totalled 85,300, an increase of 8,812 or 12% from 2022.

Their registered capital amounted to 562 billion baht, representing a 31% uptick year-on-year from 76,488 new businesses registered with a capital of 430 billion baht.

Mrs Auramon said the department projected 82,000 to 85,000 new businesses last year.

She attributed the increase to the overall economic recovery, combined with various government stimulus measures, including large-scale public infrastructure projects that resumed after delays caused by the pandemic.

Additionally, tourism stimulus policies played a crucial role in revitalising the economy in 2023.

Service sector businesses continue to be popular for continuous establishment, with high numbers seen in various segments such as general construction, real estate and restaurants, she said.

The top five businesses with the highest registration included general construction (6,524), accounting for 7.65% of the total; real estate (6,393) representing 7.49%, restaurants/food establishments (4,001) making up 4.69%; consulting businesses (2,046) making up 2.40%; and agencies (1,943) accounting for 2.28%.

According to Mrs Auramon, the department's analysis of the corporate registrations in 2023 found new business registration growth last year was driven by various sectors, including service, wholesale/retail and manufacturing.

The service sector accounted for 58% of total registrations, with significant growth observed in businesses related to foreign currency exchange (366 registered, growth of 1.46 times over the previous year), job placement agencies (43 registered, growth of 1.39 times) and real estate-related services compensated through contracts (707 registered, growth of 1.36 times).

The Business Development Department has been registering corporations since 1923, and to date there have been a total of 1,877,236 registered businesses with a registered capital of 29.4 trillion baht.

Currently, there are 890,317 active legal entities, consisting of 689,917 limited companies (77.4%), 198,955 limited partnerships and ordinary partnerships (22.3%), and 1,445 public limited companies (0.16%).

"The department anticipates a positive growth trend in the number of new business registrations in 2024, with the number of new business registrations estimated at 90,000 to 95,000, representing a further increase of 5-10% from 2023," she said.

"More importantly, we expect foreign investors will bring in additional investment of 130-140 billion baht this year or an increase of 5-10% from last year."

In 2023, the Foreign Business Committee granted permission under the Foreign Business Act to 667 investment applications, with investment worth 130 billion baht.

These investments led to the employment of 6,845 Thai workers.

The top five foreign investors in terms of investment applications were Japan (137 applications with an investment of 32.2 billion baht), the US (101 with an investment of 4.29 billion baht), China (59 with an investment of 16.1 billion baht) and Hong Kong (34 with the investment of 17.3 billion baht).

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