How can I have a foreign owned business?
In what circumstances is it possible to register a foreign majority company?
A foreign majority business can be
registered (without any special license or approval) in categories
of businesses that are not restricted to foreigners, namely certain
types of exporting and manufacturing businesses.
(2) Restricted Businesses
Although nearly all types of service and retail businesses are restricted
to foreigners, exemptions may be obtained with an Alien Business
License, a Board of Investments promotion, or registration under
the treaty of Amity (for Americans). Exemptions can not be
obtained for some types of businesses, most notably land trading
and the liberal professions.
can I obtain an Alien Business License?
An application must be submitted to the Foreign Business Section
of the Ministry of Commerce. The application goes through
a lengthy review by at least 2 committees and final approval by
the Ministry Official.
is the Amity Treaty?
The Amity Treaty, or the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations
between the United States of America and Thailand, allows American
citizens to own and operate businesses in certain restricted categories
in Thailand. Read more about Amity Treaty companies.
Can a promotion from the Thailand
Board of Investments (BOI) help me out?
A promotion from the Board of Investments can provide an exemption
to the Alien Business Act, allowing foreigners to own and operate
businesses in otherwise restricted categories. The Thailand Board
of Investments (BOI) also provides foreign companies with privileges
including tax holidays and customs reductions, and assistance with
work permits and visas for foreign personnel.
What about a representative office?
In Thailand, a representative office is considered a local division
of a foreign parent company. A representative office can serve only
as a buying office and is typically reimbursed by the parent company
for its expenses. It cannot normally receive income from local
sources in Thailand. It can make purchases do marked studies
and perform related tasks.
does registering and maintaining a foreign company differ from registering
and maintaining a Thai majority company?
Foreign owned companies who are registered with the Board of Investments
are privy to privileges, such as tax holidays and customs promotions
that Thai companies are not. On the other hand, compliance
with BOI regulations requires a great deal of disclosure on a regular
basis and foreign companies and generally under more scrutiny than
Thai companies. If regulations change, the Alien Business
License may be in jeopardy. Starting a business under an alien
business license requires more time. Thai companies can own
land, whereas foreign companies can only lease land.
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