Foreign Business License - Juslaws & Consult Co., Ltd
Company Registration

What is a foreign Business License in Thailand?

If a foreign company would like to engage in such as businesses as prescribe in the “Foreign Business Act” by applying at the Department of Business Development (DBD). The minimum capital must be at least 2 million THB. Ministerial regulations may also prescribe the time for the minimum capital to be brought or remitted into Thailand. These requirements do not have to be fulfilled in case the money or property is derived from business operation that has previously been in operation in Thailand.

Certain types of businesses are prohibited to be owned by non-Thai persons or activities if they are listed in the prohibited categories of Foreign Business Act. If the foreign company or entity seeks to conduct business in one of the prohibited categories of business, it must obtain a business license according to the provisions of the Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (A.D. 1999). A foreign business license in Thailand allows foreign investors to conduct and manage foreign businesses that are normally restricted to foreign nationals under Thai law.

Foreign Business Act Restrictions

According to Thailand Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (FBA), there are 3 types of business activities:

List 1: Business Not Permitted to Foreigners
List 2: Business Permitted to Foreigners under Conditions
List 3: Business Not Yet Permitted to Foreigners

Lists 1, 2, or 3 of the Foreign Business Act in Thailand are subject to the limitations imposed by this Act.

Activities that fall under List 1 are strictly prohibited to aliens
List 2 are prohibited to aliens unless permission is granted by the Cabinet.
Businesses that are covered by List 3 are prohibited to aliens unless permission is granted by the Director-General of the Commercial Registration Department (“CRD”).

How to apply for Foreign Business License in Thailand?

Thailand companies with majority of foreign ownership require obtaining a foreign business license from the Foreign Licensing Department of the Ministry of Commerce. The process is often facilitated when Thai BOI approval is obtained (link to “BOI”). A foreign business license may potentially grant non-Thai nationals 100 % ownership for types of businesses under certain categories of otherwise prohibited businesses. Factors affecting the approval and issuance of a Thai foreign business license may include the impact on Thai employment, transfer of technology, benefits to the public and the ability of Thai nationals to perform the activity, among others.

Generally, the application process for a Thailand foreign business license to set up business in Thailand is very lengthy and complex. It may take a minimum of four months for foreign companies to receive a decision on its application. For this reason, it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer or solicitor beforehand prior to attempting to apply for such a license, to see what exactly is involved before embarking on such a process.

Why should you apply for a Foreign Business License with Juslaws?

Juslaws & Consult, We are a full service Thai law firm with professional team of corporate lawyers who have experiences in this. Let our Thai lawyers or any of our foreign lawyers provide you with guidance when registering your limited company in Thailand.


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+66 2254 4117