What is the DBD?

The Department of Business Development (the “DBD”) (in Thai: กรมพัฒนาธุรกิจการค้า) is one of the Thai government agencies that most Thais and foreigners doing businesses in Thailand have to deal with most frequently. This article explains, in a nutshell, what the DBD is and what its responsibilities are.

The origin of the DBD can be traced back to 1924 when the Department of Commercial Registration (in Thai: กรมทะเบียนการค้า) was established by a royal proclamation of King Rama VI, after the Ministry of Commerce was established in 1920. The agency’s name was changed to its current name when the Government Re-organization Act was enacted in 2002.

Together with six other department-level agencies, the DBD is under the supervision of (but at the same time is a separate legal entity from) the Thai Ministry of Commerce (the “MOC”), and is located within the MOC complex in Nonthaburi Province (just north of Bangkok).

The DBD is primarily responsible for regulating and enforcing the following laws:

  • the Civil and Commercial Code, Book III, Title XXII (the law on partnerships and private limited companies);
  • the Public Limited Companies Act;
  • the Trade Associations Act;
  • the Chambers of Commerce Act;
  • the Act Prescribing Offences relating Registered Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Limited Companies, Foundations and Associations (commonly referred to as the Corporate Offences Act);
  • the Commercial Registration Act;
  • the Accounting Act;
  • the Accounting Professions Act; and
  • the Foreign Business Operations Act (the “FBA”). For more information on the FBA, click here.

Formally (according to the Ministerial Regulations on structure of the DBD of 2012), the DBD consists of one secretariat, one division, five bureaus and two groups. However, in practice (according to its annual report of 2012 which can be found by clicking here), the DBD consists of 17 bureaus as follows:

  • Bureau of Business Registration;
  • Bureau of Business Information;
  • Bureau of Business Accounting Supervision;
  • Bureau of Business Promotion and Development;
  • Bureau of Law;
  • Bureau of General Administration;
  • Bureau of Finance Administration;
  • Bureau of Foreign Business Administration;
  • Bureau of e-Commerce;
  • Bureau of Information Technology;
  • Bureau of Entrepreneurs Development;
  • Bureau of Regional Business;
  • Bureau of Corporate Governance;
  • Bureau of Business Accounting Development;
  • Bureau of Strategy Management;
  • Bureau of Public Sector Development; and
  • Bureau of Internal Audit.

Most business people deal with the following bureaus: the Bureau of Business Registration for incorporation of partnerships and companies and subsequent changes to such legal entities; the Bureau of Business Information for annual filings of financial statements; the Bureau of Law for interpretations of the laws which for which the DBD is responsible; and the Bureau of Foreign Business Administration to obtaining foreign business licenses and certificates to engage in businesses which are otherwise restricted under the FBA.

In addition to its head office in Nonthaburi Province, the DBD also has five offices in Bangkok (Pinklao, Phaholyothin, Ratchadaphisek, Surawong and Srinakarin), 76 provincial offices (one in each province) and four additional branches in the major districts of some provinces (in addition to the main provincial office in that province).

For more information about the DBD, please see the DBD’s website: www.dbd.go.th