Many Foreigners were wondering and asking the above question of their Lawyer when they set up a Company to carry out their business in Thailand. In fact Foreigners can own more than 49% of Shares in a Company but they have to get approval and a licence from the Ministry of Commerce in compliance with the provision of the Alien Business Act. Generally businesses concerning Industrial / Manufacturing of goods for export / BOI (Board of Investment) promoted businesses or contract of large investment with the government, which can easily get approval and obtain Alien Business Licence from the Ministry of Commerce under Alien Business Act. Other than the said businesses, it is a complicated and costly process when applying for approval and licence and it is very unlikely approval will be given.
That’s why the Lawyer advises his Foreign Client to set up a Thai Company with 49:51 Foreigner and Thai percentage of Shares in a company; this is to get Thai national away from the control of the Alien Business Act. Another reason is a restriction in the Land Code that prohibits Foreigner or Alien Company to own land so that the 49:51 Thai Company is used to own land.
© Jatupon Cherbangkaew
Executive Partner / Lawyer
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