As a foreigner, it is a very complicated and complex process to purchase land in Thailand. In general, under Thai law, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. However, you will have three different options to purchase lands in Thailand;
As an alternative to purchasing land in Thailand, a foreigner can lease it for 30 years with additional extension of 30 years. This is a very popular and preferred way for a foreigner to acquire property in Thailand as it does not require setting up a company with different shareholders that at some point might have interests that are different from yours. Another advantage is, that you can transfer the leasehold or even sell it. The option to renew the contract after 30 years will not be automatic and will depend on the discretion of the Lessor and the legal clauses adding on the leasehold agreement. Our lawyers will be happy to guide you through the whole process and will make sure that your interests are being taken care of. For detailed information on leasehold in Thailand, please contact Juslaws & Consult.
Another alternative is to set up a private limited company as this company may own land. If you decide this is the best option for you, be aware that as a foreigner, you generally cannot hold more than49% of the company’s shares. Therefore, the company has to be at least 51% Thai owned. For purchases we would do a title search and review the contract before you sign it. Feel free to contact Juslaws & Consultfor any further information.
The third option is to marry a Thai citizen as a foreigner will be allowed to buy landin Thailand if he or she is married to a Thai citizen. However, there still are some limitations. We draw your attention to the fact that as the non-Thai spouse you have no rights over the lands, effectively waiving your rights to claim the property. The property cannot be in your personal name but has to be in the personal name of your Thai spouse. Last but not least, problems might still arise during divorce as providing that the land is a marital property will be difficult. In general, a skillfully drafted prenuptial agreement may help to minimize your risks as a foreigner.