Foreign Investment In Thailand | Juslaws & Consult Co., Ltd
Condominium in Thailand

13 Jul Buying a Condominium in Thailand

Buying a condominium (more precisely a condominium unit, or several units) in Thailand is extremely attractive for foreigner investors. Condominium prices and take up rates in Bangkok’s prime areas are constantly rising. In addition to this, condominiums are proving exceedingly popular as places of residence among foreigners in Thailand, mainly because life in a condominium is convenient – entailing facilities such as pools, gyms and restaurants operating right on your doorstep.

First of all, an understanding must be developed of what a “condominium” in Thailand is. According to the Condominium act, the term “condominium” refers to a building that can be separated into units for individual ownership – which includes personal and common properties. Furthermore, the condominium must be registered as such.

Legally, the only difference between a common apartment building and a condominium is that the units in a condominium can belong separately to different owners: a practice that requires special registration. In practice condominiums are often bigger and offer more common facilities than apartment buildings, which always belong to only one owner. However, in terms of size and number of floors there are no general regulations for condominiums.

Landownership of foreigners is restricted under Thai law. Ownership of a condominium is one exemption from these restrictions. Foreigners can acquire 100% ownership of a condominium, foreign natural persons and companies alike, as long as they fulfil the conditions of the Thai Condominium Act.

There are two conditions which must both be fulfilled if a foreigner wants to acquire 100% ownership of a condominium unit whereby the first condition refers to the ratio of the foreign ownership within the whole building and the second condition refers to either the residence or domicile of the foreigner in Thailand or to the origin of the money paid as purchase price. The two conditions are in detail:

1. The ratio of foreign ownership must not exceed 49% of the total floor area of all units combined. The law looks at the whole condominium building or condominium project. Under old law this condition did not apply in certain areas like Bangkok, so that foreign ownership of the total floor area in a condominium could be 100% in these areas, but this possibility has expired in 2004.

2. Additionally, the foreign individual or foreign company who wishes to acquire 100% ownership must be eligible which is the case if at least one of the following conditions is fulfilled:

  • The foreigner holds a Permanent Residence Permit in Thailand (in the case of a foreign juristic person: registration as Thai juristic person but with foreign ownership majority as specified under Sections 97 and 98 of the Land Code), or
  • The foreigner resides in Thailand under the laws governing investment promotion (in the case of foreign juristic persons: promotion by the Board of Investment proven by the BOI-certificate), or
  • The foreigner brings the purchase price in foreign currency to Thailand from abroad (must be proven by Foreign Exchange Transaction Form), or
  • The foreigner brings the purchase price withdrawn from a Baht-account abroad, or
  • The foreigner pays the purchase price with funds from a foreign currency account within Thailand.

Please note that the details are specified in the Condominium Act and by the competent land officer, so this article can only give a rough overview. In any case, you need to consult with a qualified Thai lawyer before you enter into any purchase agreement or even before you just pay for a reservation in a condominium project. This is also important as a so called ‘Condominium Due Diligence’ is highly advisable before you before you invest in a condominium.

I would like to make some additional comments regarding the above conditions for eligibility to answer some questions I frequently encounter from foreign investors. First of all, the law does not speak of eligibility, but I use this word to refer to the group of conditions one of which must be fulfilled alternatively besides the condition of the maximum 49% foreign ownership ratio which must always be fulfilled.

When does a foreigner reside in Thailand “under the laws governing investment promotion”? This condition refers to a foreign expert or skilled worker who is employed by a company holding a BOI-certificate and therefore entitled to bring such experts and skilled workers to Thailand.

Can the foreigner pay the purchase price using funds which were brought to Thailand in cash? In order to become eligible for the 100% foreign ownership the foreign buyer has to pay the purchase price with funds transferred from abroad. To bring the money to Thailand in cash is typically insufficient.

As a certificate of title the buyer of a condominium unit will receive a Condominium Unit Title Deed (Nangsue Kammasit Hong-Chut) which is comparable to the full ownership title deed for land ownership called Chanote in Thailand.

If the foreigner invests at least 10 million Baht in the purchase of condominiums or certain other financial investments, he/she can try to apply for a one-year visa. However, as immigration officers have a discretionary leeway in practice it might be difficult to obtain such an investment visa. You should always consult a qualified Thai immigration lawyer if you wish to invest at least 10 million Baht and plan your life in Thailand.

The Condominium Act also contains provisions regarding the rights and duties of the joint owners. The unit owners manage and use the common property jointly. The details of the management and use are set forth in the condominium’s regulations. The joint owners attend and vote in general meetings. The required quorum is not less than one-quarter of the total number of votes.

Foreigners can inherit condominium property if the above conditions for 100% foreign ownership are fulfilled. That means that the foreign ownership ratio within the whole building does not exceed 49% and the foreign heir is eligible. If the foreigner has no Permanent Residence Permit in Thailand and does not reside in Thailand under the laws governing investment promotion, the foreign heir can still inherit a condominium unit if the purchase price was paid for by funds from abroad or a foreign currency account in Thailand. If the conditions for 100% foreign ownership as explained above are not met, the Land Department will order a foreign heir to dispose of the inherited property within one year.

The heirs must show various documents for the unit transfer to be completed, such as the death certificate, the last will or testament or other documents proving the connection to the deceased in case of absence of a last will or testament, etc.

Currently condominium owners still pay a land and house tax of 12.5 % on annual rental income if the foreign owner rents out his condominium unit. The Thai government has recently approved a new Land and Building Tax which might replace the current tax on rental income by a tax on property ownership with progressive tax rates on the value of the condominium unit, as many condominium owners did not declare their rental income. We will discuss the new tax when it is certain that it will become effective.

When the rental income is remitted abroad a withholding tax at a rate of 15% will apply as final withholding tax besides the above mentioned land and house tax. However, there are legal ways to reduce the tax burden on your rental income which a qualified Thai lawyer needs to explain to you, depending on the details of your individual case.

Christian Moser

Senior Associate at Jus Laws & Consult

Charity Auction Dinner and Fine Arts in Bangkok

16 Jun Charity Auction Dinner and Fine Arts in Bangkok

Last Saturday 4th of July our Jus Laws & Consult Partners Mr. Yuthana Promsin and Mr. Jose Herrera and our guests and partners from Delsk, one of the largest second residence and real estate companies in China, attended the second Charity Auction Dinner at the luxurious Pacific City Club in Sukhumvit Road.

The event gathered a good representation of the top business and political elite of Thailand. Among the assistances there were CEO of some Oil & Gas, Government Officials, representative of Public Listed Companies and Directors of Mining corporations of Thailand and its families and friends.

The famous artist Pablo Picasso said once that “Art is a lie that tells the truth” and in this fantastic occasion the fine art had philanthropist goal. The event raised funds by the acquisition of art pieces and sculptures of well-known Thai artists to build up a vocational college in Koh Samui.

The initiative collected funds for the PDRC foundation that will build the “Pawanaphothikhun Vocational Education College” on Koh Samui, Surat Thani where students will study based on the Buddhist concept

The next “Charity Auction Dinner No. 3” will take place on July 16th, 2016. In Jus Laws & Consult, we have some partners who are art collectors and advice regularly on art acquisitions. We must highlight that we feel glad and happy to attend this type of altruist events that helps to contribute to the development of our country:  Thailand.

Accounting in Thailand

20 Oct Accounting in Thailand

Accounting looks at the heart of each and every business. Financial Statements serve as a crucial source of information for business owners, managers, directors, business partners, investors, creditors and the Revenue Department for calculating the income tax. A modern regulatory framework for accounting is important for foreign investors. According to the World Bank’s report on the Observance of Standards and Codes, Thailand has made great progress in this field. The Thai Accounting standards closely follow international standards (IFRS). This article outlines the regulatory framework for accounting in Thailand.

The following business entities have to keep accounts according to the Thai Accounting Act, B.E. 2543 (here called the Act):

  • Registered partnerships registered under Thai law,
  • Limited Companies registered under Thai law,
  • Public Limited Companies registered under Thai law,
  • Juristic Persons registered under a foreign law if carrying on business in Thailand,
  • Joint Ventures under the Thai Revenue Code, and
  • Natural Persons or Unregistered Partnerships engaging in any kind of business in Thailand as prescribed.

According to Section 20 of the Act the above business entities must have a qualified bookkeeper (see below) who keeps accounts which must show results of the operations, financial status or changes in financial status in accordance with the facts and accounting standards. According to Section 21 of the Act particulars must be entered in Thai language or accompanied by a translation into Thai language.

According to Sections 9, 10 and 11 of the Act a business must prepare and submit financial statements to the Accounts Office within five months from the day the accounts are closed, but in the case of a limited company or a public limited company registered under Thai law within one month from the day of the general meeting approving such financial statements. The books are closed (end of accounting period) twelve months after the commencement of the accounting period which begins either with the registration date (Thai company or Registered Partnerships) or the date of start of business operations (Joint Ventures and foreign companies).

Additionally, a tax return must be filed together with a balance sheet, operating account and profit and loss account, revenue and expense account on gross revenue within 150 days from the last day of the accounting period according to Section 69 of the Thai Revenue Code, B.E. 2481. These financial statements are the basis for the calculation of the Corporate Income Tax according to Section 65 of the Revenue Code. The financial statement for the Revenue Department might differ from the financial statements under the Accounting Act where prescribed by the law.

The accounting professions in Thailand and their code of ethics are governed by the Accounting Professions Act B.E. 2547 and self-regulated by the Federation of the Accounting Professions (FAP) which also issues the license for the Certified Public Accountants (CPA). The FAP is a member of the International Federation of Accountants. The Department of Business Development (DBD) of the Ministry of Commerce and the Securities Exchange Commissions (SEC) are the competent regulators for accounting and the accounting professions.

When speaking about accountants in Thailand these can be either simple book keepers or (if fulfilling additional qualifications) auditors. Accountants in Thailand must hold a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. Auditors must hold a license as Certified Public Accountants. Both types of accountants, book keepers and auditors, must be members in the FAP. Juristic Persons who offer accounting and auditing services must be registered with the FAP as well. Juristic Persons must even provide a collateral for malpractice liability.

The FAP also issues the Thai Accounting Standards which are closely based on the International Accounting Standards. The ASEAN member states are currently in the process of mutually recognizing and liberalizing the accounting professions in the wake of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Juslaws & Consult is a competent partner for all questions regarding accounting in Thailand and the whole ASEAN region. We can also effectively communicate with company headquarters and mother companies abroad as our international team speaks their language when it comes to accounting question.

Please contact our Bangkok office for further information at


Christian Moser, Senior Associate at Juslaws & Consult

Foreign Investment In Thailand

Significant Consideration For Foreign Investment In Thailand 
Thailand remains an attractive destination for foreign investors wanting to open a new business or a branch office, in seeking out new markets.  Foreigners firms or individuals wishing to wholly own their business need to be aware of Thailand’s laws and regulations regarding foreign investment and the list of activities that are reserved only for Thai citizens.
According to Thailand’s Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (FBA), the businesses operations reserved for Thais are divided and listed under 3 categories as follows:

List 1: Foreign Investment In Thailand – Business Activities Not Permitted to Foreigners

(A) Newspaper publishing, radio or television broadcasting stations.

(B) Rice farming, plantation or crop growing.

(C) Livestock farming.

(D) Forestry and timber processing from a natural forest.

(E) Fishery, only in respect of the catchment of aquatic animals in Thai waters and specific economic zones of Thailand.

(F) Extraction of Thai medicinal herbs.

(G) Trading and auction sale of antique objects of Thailand or objects of historical value of the country.

(H) Making or casting Buddha images and monk alms bowls.

(I) Land trading.

List 2: Foreign Investment In Thailand – Business Permitted to Foreigners under Conditions**
Any business related to National Safety or Security; affecting Arts and Culture, Traditions, Folk Handicraft; or Natural Resources and the Environment, as follows:

Group 1 – Business related to National Safety or Security:  Production, Selling and Maintenance of firearms, ammunition, gun powder, explosives, and Domestic Transportation byland, water or air.

Group 2 – Business affecting Arts and Culture, Traditions, Folk Handicraft:  Trading Thai art, art objects, handicrafts or production of carved wood, etc.

Group 3: Business affecting Natural Resources and the Environment:  Manufacturing sugar from sugar cane, salt farming or rock salt mining, etc.

List 3: Foreign Investment In Thailand – Other Business Permitted to Foreigners under Conditions**
These activities are classified as businesses in which Thai nationals may not yet be ready to compete alongside foreigners, like rice milling and flour production from rice, farm produce, fisheries, specifically marine animal culture and forestry from a grown (i.e. not natural) forest, accounting, legal, engineering, and architectural services, etc.
Note that Foreigners are strictly prohibited from engaging in business activities on List 1 of the FBA, while foreigners wishing to engage in activities on List 2 and List 3 of the FBA must obtain a Foreign Business License (FBL), which requires approval by the Ministry of Commerce or the Foreign Business Committee respectively.

** Lists 2 & 3 as shown are only partial representations.  Please contact your legal representative for a comprehensive list of prohibited and permissible business activities under the Foreign Business Act.