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Old Aug 20th 2014, 4:46 am   #1
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Default Working with IT in Thailand - thoughts?

Hi there!

As I've become aware, there are quite a few UK expats here in Thailand - in particular within the IT industry. I myself want to freelance from here (working with my European clients), however it is a nightmare to secure work permit/business visa/licenses, etc. Besides, foreigners working without a work permit can face serious penalties if getting caught: deportation, hefty fines or even up to 5 years in jail!

A couple of friends of mine who live in Thailand came up with this system of how to do freelancing legally. They started a company in Chiang Mai under a BOI (Board of Investment) license that allows them to hire foreigners.

In a nutshell, they hire freelancers at their company (who work for Western clients) in a way so it all is done legally without any trouble. I’m thinking of joining them, but wanted to ask about your opinions first.

The system works as such; the company invoices the client of the freelancer (who pays the invoice), and then the company pays the freelancer a salary based on how much they can invoice their client. The company keeps 30% of the revenue from the clients, out of which the remaining 70% goes straight to the freelancer.

As the company keeps 30%, they offer the freelancer:
1. A business visa
2. Work permit
3. To pay all employment taxes
4. Health insurance
5. Office space in Chiang Mai (where there are freelancers from all over the world working and collaborating with each other)

What do you all think about this arrangement? First 30% sounds quite a lot to me but then again when looking at all the benefits you get it doesn’t seem that much at all - considering that they pay for my taxes and my purchasing power is 4x greater here anyways I would save money at the end of the day (and I don't want to risk ending up in jail for working without a work permit anyways).

Would be interesting to hear your thoughts - in case you are also interested of working here in Thailand I could put you in touch with the company if the arrangement makes sense to you.

Cheers!
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