Invest in Thailand: May your Investment Be Exercised under the Form of a 100% Foreign Owned Business
The first question that a foreign investor must consider when getting ready to invest in Thailand is whether the business activity he is considering to exercise is a business activity that can be exercised under the form of a 100 % of foreign owned investment or not.
Kindly note that
- The table below is applicable to all foreign investors except to US citizens who receive preferred treatment as a result of the THAI US Amity treaty.
- That some FTA agreement(s) may grant citizens of a given country preferred rights.
- There are existing overrides that may allow foreign investors to acquire a higher % of foreign ownership in certain type of businesses. Those overrides are:
(i) Applying and Obtaining a Foreign Business License (Activities Listed under List 2 and List 3 of the Foreign Business Act) See however my post on the Investing in Thailand: Obtaining a Foreign Business License as to the chances a foreign investor actually has to obtain said license. Applying and Obtaining a BOI Promotion: Please see my post Investing in Thailand: What is BOI promotion? and other related post. Another override is to invest into a Industrial Park under the IEAT.
The table below shows the basic percentage of foreign ownership allowed to foreign investor per type of activities without taking into account available overrides and promotion.
We would appreciate your feedback on how we could improve this table:
|This table is applicable to Foreign Citizens who are not National from the US or from a country that
has a FTA with Thailand
|ACTIVITIES WHERE FOREIGN INVESTORS MAY OWN THE MAJORITY OF THE BUSINESS UP TO 100%|
|All manufacturing activities which are not prohibited or restricted underList 1, List 2 or List 3 of the FBA or
Activities restricted under List 2 or List 3 for which the foreign investor has obtained a foreign business licenses
Activity that are promoted by the BOI providing that a BOI license has been obtained
|up to 100%|
|FOREIGN BUSINESS LIST 1|
|(1) Newspaper business, radio broadcasting or television
|49%||Business that foreign investors are not permitted to operate for special reasons.
Note that BOI promotion for many agricultural activities will not anymore include foreign ownership privilege.
Always check the BOI eligible activities list to see if the activity you are interested to invest into is among the activities promoted by the BOI
|(2) Rice farming, farming or gardening.||49%|
|(3) Animal farming.||49%|
|(4) Forestry and wood fabrication from natural
|(5) Fishing of marine animals in Thai waters and within
specific Thai economic zones.
|(6) Extraction of Thai herbs.||49%|
|(7) Trading and auctioning Thai antiques or national
|(8) Making or casting Buddha images and monk
|(9) Land trading.||49%|
|FOREIGN BUSINESS ACT LIST 2|
|Businesses related to national safety or security||49%||Foreign Investors may apply for a Foreign Business License and if successful may receive the permission from the cabinet to own the majority of the company
In many sectors the chance to obtain a Foreign Business License is remote.
Another override is to apply for a BOI promotion as BOI promotion often comes with a 100% ownership privilege
|(1) Production, selling, repairing and maintenance of:||49%|
|(a) Firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, explosives.||49%|
|(b) Accessories of firearms, ammunition, and explosives.||49%|
|(c) Armaments, ships, aircraft, or military vehicles.||49%|
|(d) Equipment or components, all categories of war
|(2) Domestic land, waterway or air transportation,
including domestic airline business.
|Group 2: Businesses involving art and culture,
traditional and folk handicraft:
|(1) Trading antiques or art objects which are Thai arts and
|(2) Production of carved wood.||49%|
|(3) Silkworm farming, production of Thai silk yarn, weaving Thai silk or Thai silk pattern||49%|
|(4) Production of Thai musical instruments.||49%|
|(5) Production of goldware, silverware, nielloware,
bronzeware or lacquerware.
|(6) Production of crockery of Thai arts and culture.||49%|
|Group 3: Businesses affecting natural resources
|(1) Manufacturing sugar from sugarcane.||49%|
|(2) Salt farming, including underground salt.||49%|
|(3) Rock salt mining.||49%|
|(4) Mining, including rock blasting or crushing.||49%|
|(5) Wood fabrication for furniture and utensil
|FOREIGN BUSINESS LICENSE LIST 3|
|Businesses in which Thai nationals are not yet ready to
compete with foreigners:
|49%||Foreign Investors may apply for a Foreign Business License and if successful may receive the permission from the DBD to own the majority of the company
In many sectors the chance to obtain a Foreign Business License is remote. Another override is to apply for a BOI promotion as BOI promotion often comes with a 100% ownership privilege
|(1) Rice milling and flour production from rice
and farm produce.
|(2) Fishery, specifically marine animal cultures.||49%|
|(3) Forestry from forestation.||49%|
|(4) Production of plywood, veneer board, chipboard
|(5) Production of lime.||49%|
|(6) Accounting service business.||49%|
|(7) Legal service business.|
|(8) Architectural service business.||49%|
|(9) Engineering service business.||49%|
|(10) Construction, except for:||49%|
|(a) Construction rendering basic services to the public in public utilities or transportrequiring special tools, machinery, technology or
construction expertise with a capital of 500,000,000 THB or more
|up to 100%|
|(b) Other categories of construction as prescribed by the ministerial regulations.|
|(11) Broker or agent business, except:||49%|
|(a) Being broker or agent for underwriting securities or services connected with future trading of commodities or financing instruments or securities.||up to 100%|
|(b) Being broker or agent for trading or procuring goods or services necessary for production or rendering services amongst affiliated
|(c) Being broker or agent for trading, purchasing or
distributing or seeking both
|domestic and foreign markets for selling domestically
manufactured or imported
|goods in the manner of international business operations
with a foreign minimum
|capital of Baht 100 million or more.|
|(d) Being broker or agent of other categories as prescribed
by the ministerial regulations.
|(12) Auction, except:||49%|
|(a) Auction in the manner of international bidding not being
an auction of antiques,historical artifacts or art objects which are Thai works of arts, handicraft or antiques or having historical value.
|up to 100%|
|(b) Other categories of auction as prescribed by the
|(13) Internal trade connected with native products or
produce not yet prohibited by law.
|(14) Retailing of all categories of goods having a total
minimum capital of less than Baht 100 million or having a minimum capital for each shop of
less than Baht 20 million.
|Retailing of all categories of goods having a total minimum capital of MORE than Baht 100 million or having a minimum capital for each shop of MORE than 20,000,000 THB per shop||up to 100%|
|(15) Wholesaling all categories of goods having minimum capital of each shop less than 100 millions THB||49%|
|(15) Wholesaling all categories of goods having minimum capital of each shop MORE than 100 millions THB||up to 100%|
|(16) Advertising business.||49%|
|(17) Hotel business, except for hotel management service.||49%|
|Hotel management service.||up to 100%|
|(18) Guided tour.||49%|
|(19) Selling food or beverages.||49%|
|(20) Plant cultivation and propagation business.||49%|
|(21) Other categories of service business except those
prescribed in the ministerial regulations
|OTHER TYPE OF BUSINESS|
|Insurance Business||Less than 25%|
|Bank Business||Less than 25%||But exception granted by the Thai
|Owning and running a Boat||Less than 25%||Please see BOI promotion however|
Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation
Originally posted 2012-04-23 18:20:37.