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BUSINESS OPERATING LICENSES

 
By: Magna Carta Law Office
 
 
ALCOHOL LICENSE & CIGARETTE LICENSE
 
  • An alcohol license must be obtained from The Excise Department (Ministry of Finance) for any of the following purposes:
  • To sell alcoholic beverages
  • To produce alcohol and possess related equipment
  • To import more than one (1) litre of alcohol
  • To transport untaxed alcohol from a factory
  • To transport more than ten (10) litres of alcohol
  • To transport more than one (1) litre but less than ten (10) litres of alcohol between specified territories (provinces)
 
Establishments that require liquor licenses include:
  • Pubs
  • Bars
  • Restaurants 
  • Distillers, Importers, Distributors and Wholesalers 
  • Hotels
  • Clubs
  • Theaters
  • Grocery and Convenience Stores 
  • Liquor stores
 
Alcohol license holders are prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages: 
- to people younger than 20 years or those people that lose consciousness when they drink; 
- between 12 midnight and 11am, and from 2pm to 5pm; 
- in close proximity to educational and religious areas;
- at or within petrol stations and dormitories; 
- at or within public parks provided by the government for public recreation;
- at or within State Public Health Service Units;
- at or within public offices, except in the areas designated for the establishment of shops or clubs;
 
In case the business establishment intends to sell cigarettes, it must also apply to The Excise Department for a Cigarette License.  Alcohol & Cigarette Licenses must be renewed at the end of the calendar year (December 31).  However, the applications for renewal are accepted starting from the month of October.   
 
FOOD LICENSE FOR RESTAURANTS
 
Opening a food business has its own set of legal considerations, which includes obtaining a variety of licenses and permits in order to start operating your business. The type of licenses to obtain depends on the type of products or services that are intended to be sold.  All establishments in Thailand intending to serve or sell food are required to obtain a Food License from the Municipality or District where the proposed establishment or business will be located.
 
The entire procedure may take about two months from the date of submission of the application.  An officer from the Municipality or District shall set an appointment to inspect the location, restaurant facilities and over-all sanitation to consider the approval of the license application.   
 
Food License is valid for one year and must be renewed on a yearly basis. 
 
 
ENTERTAINMENT LICENSE
 
Entertainment License must be secured by establishments or businesses who intend to provide or engage in any of the following services:
 
  • Entertainment Venues
  • A place providing a show or other activities for the purpose of entertaining customers and allowing staff to socialize with customers;
  • A place providing equipment enabling patrons to sing and allowing staff to socialize with customers;
  • A place that has no dance floor but allows customers to dance on the premises;
  • Other places with lights and sounds facilities
  • Dance Venues such as discotheques and other venues that stage folk and country dancing
  • Restaurants that provide entertainment
 
Entertainment License must be renewed at the end of the calendar year (December 31).  However, the applications for renewal are accepted starting from the month of October.   
 
MASSAGE LICENSE
 
Massage License must be obtained from the Municipality or District where the proposed establishment or business will be located if the business intends to engage in a Spa or Massage services.
 
The establishment applying for this license must:
 
  • have staff/massage therapists with a valid massage certificate from a registered massage school, with a minimum of 60 hours of training;
  • display a sign that bears information about what medical conditions are worsened by massage;
  • pass the sanitation inspection conducted by the Municipality officer;
  • have an enclosed changing room;
  • must have First Aid Medicine supplies inside the premises;
 
Massage License is valid for one year and must be renewed on a yearly basis.