Thailand flag Thailand: Investing in Thailand

Investment framework and opportunities in Thailand

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Certain types of business activities are reserved for Thai nationals only. Foreign investment in those businesses must comprise less than 50% of share capital, unless specially permitted or otherwise exempt.
Acquisition of Holdings
A Thai private limited company may be wholly owned by foreign parties. However, for certain business activities reserved for Thai nationals, foreign participation is generally allowed up to 49%.
Obligation to Declare
The Foreign Business Act (FBA) of 1999 governs most investment activity by non-Thai nationals. FBA prohibits foreigners from engaging in most business categories and those that are open to foreign entrepreneurs can be operated in only after obtaining a Foreign Business License (FBL) issued by the Department of Commercial Registration. The second method of achieving 100% foreign business ownership is to have your business promoted by BOI (in the agricultural sector, mineral and ceramics, light industry, metal products, electronics and chemicals).

The Board of Investment gives information on the permits required to start a business.

Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Department of Business Development
Industrial Estate Authority
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Various Thai laws provide for restrictions on foreign ownership in certain sectors. These restrictions primarily concern services such as banking, insurance, and telecommunications. The FBA details the types of business activities reserved for Thai nationals. Foreign investment in those businesses must comprise less than 50 percent of share capital, unless specially permitted or otherwise exempt.

Prohibited sectors include: media, rice and livestock farming, fishery in Thai territorial waters and specific economic zones, extraction of Thai medicinal herbs, trading and auctioning of antique objects or objects of historical value and land trading. Restrictions apply to activities related to national safety or security, or those which affect arts and culture, or natural resources and the environment
Specific authorisations are needed for the following sectors: accounting; legal, architectural, or engineering services; retail and wholesale; advertising businesses; hotels; guided touring; selling food or beverages and any kind of service business.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
The Board of Investment Promotion in Thailand
Department for Business Development - Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Thailand
Asian Development Bank, Procurement Plans in Asia
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Siam Legal

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Latest Update: September 2022

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