Are You An Expat That Wants To Open A Business In Thailand?

Expats wishing to open a business in Thailand are aware of the Foreign Business Act, which lists the types of businesses foreigners are prohibited from owning. In this case, a foreigner could be a single person or a company that is majority-owned by foreigners. The restricted businesses are divided into three lists: List one: Activities that are strictly prohibited to foreigners due to special reasons, such as newspaper, television, and land trading. Second list: Business activities affecting national security and safety, such as firearm production and trading, international transportation, and mining, as well as arts, cultures, traditions, customs, folklore, and the environment. Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners in certain business activities such as retail, wholesale, and providing certain services.
Different laws contain other restrictions, however. According to the Financial Institutions Businesses Act 2008 (FIBA), at least 75 percent of the issued shares of a Thai financial institution with voting rights must be held by Thai nationals, while at least three-quarters of its directors must be Thai nationals. Unless Bank of Thailand permission is granted, no individual can hold more than 10 percent of any financial institution’s issued shares.
Applicants for a license to operate fixed-route transport, non-fixed route transport, and transport by small vehicle must be Thai, incorporated in Thailand with headquarters in Thailand, have at least one Thai director, and own at least 51 percent of the shares..


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