Three Things Investors Should Know About Thailand

Investing in Thailand is perhaps one of the best decisions any businessman can make. After all, not only is Thailand known for its tourist spots, its costs of living and expenses are a lot lower than what you’d probably encounter in your home nation.

However, as they say, investing requires a lot of thinking and research, and less on action itself. You’d have to find out what it takes to put your hard-earned savings into a business in the Kingdom of Thailand. To help you along your way, here are three facts that you should know about as a potential investor in the country.

You’d Need Local Partners to Start a Business

You cannot just go to Thailand with your ‘mates and start a business there. Thai laws indicate that a specific percentage of the membership of the board should be composed of locals. The actual number depends on what country you’re from, and whether your nation has a trade agreement with Thailand. Just watch out for nominal shareholdership though – it’s downright illegal. Make it a point to give your local Thai partners voting powers, or you’re going against Thai law.

There Are Markets That Are Off-Limits to Foreign Businesses

While Thai law does allow foreigners to start businesses in the Kingdom, it is specific about which markets foreign-owned businesses can compete in. This is in line with keeping the competition fair for local companies.

Theoretically, it is believed that the financial capacity of foreign-owned businesses can make it difficult for local companies to compete.
You’d have to consult a legal advisor to find out if the market you’re planning to compete in as a business owner in Thailand is one that you can legally enter into. Look for a legal advisor that speaks both Thai and English to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to brushes with the law.

You Can Legally Acquire Real Estate in Thailand

It’s a FACT that foreigners cannot legally acquire land in Thailand. However, that only applies to individuals. There is an exception in Thai law that allows foreign nationals to actually buy land in the Kingdom, but to do that, you’ll have to contribute millions of baht into the local economy. The only way you can do that is to start a company. You can then acquire land under the name of that corporate entity, and the property can then be eligible for use as your corporate headquarters as well as an extra source of income through leasing.

On the other hand, you could always purchase a condominium unit for your own personal use. Thai laws allow you to own condos under the principle that you only own a unit within the building, and not the land that it stands on. One provision, however, is that foreign ownership of condos equal only 40% of the total number of units up for sale. Not to worry though – you can always lease from local Thai owners anyway.

It’s a great decision to invest in Thailand, not only because of the tourist spots that you can visit as a businessman, but also because of the foreigner-friendly investment landscape in the Kingdom.

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