Living in Thailand as an expatriate with a family is surely an excellent adventure for children! The opportunity to travel and experience different cultures and the myriad of thrills and learning opportunities that help expand their horizons as they develop into well-rounded adults. But what happens if, unfortunately, tragedy befalls that excellent adventure, and something should happen to you as a parent? Do you have guardianship arrangements in place that Thai law will recognize?
To encourage foreign investment into Thailand, the Board of Investment (BOI) offers a range of incentives for foreign businesses that qualify. Activities and projects that meet investment, structural, and operational criteria receive such benefits as corporate tax holidays, import duty exemptions, land ownership and work permit waivers for foreign employees to name a few.
A business in Thailand is classified as a foreign entity if more than 50% of its share or partner capital is foreign owned. And while many people believe their only option is to form a “local” company with a majority Thai ownership to avoid perceived or actual business restrictions, a foreigner can in fact own and operate any kind of business except those specifically restricted.
Thailand remains an attractive destination for foreign investors and business owners seeking out new markets to open a new or expand an existing business. Nevertheless, those who wish to establish majority or wholly foreign-owned business entities need to be aware of Thailand’s laws and regulations regarding foreign investment.
Much has been written about foreign business licenses and certificates that are required to conduct business in Thailand as a majority foreign held limited partnership or company. That aside, once you have established your business, whether as a Thai or foreign entity, there is a chance that you will be required to obtain additional business licenses to legally operate in Thailand.
A major obstacle for many foreigners looking to start a business in Thailand is the generally arduous procedure of obtaining a work permit and a non-immigrant type B visa and the laborious requirements of reporting and maintenance. With the recently implemented SMART visa program, this process has been greatly simplified for qualified individuals.
A major point of contention for many foreigners wishing to take up a more permanent residence or invest in Thailand are the real estate laws here. While foreigners can own free-hold condominiums in Thailand, it is very difficult for most non-Thai nationals to own land outright, with the one exception requiring a considerable investment. As a possible alternative, some look to executing usufructs or superficies.