Laws of Thailand
If you are considering starting a business in Thailand then consider your first port of call being that of a lawyer in Thailand. There are a number of restriction in Thailand when it comes to foerign ownership of both property and business. The most common issue in Thailand has always been property ownership and this is where you will need a lawyer in Thailand.
Firstly, most expats who buy property and any real estate in Thailand tend to buy a condo unit. The reason for this is simple. The laws which govern ownership of a condo unit in Thailand is easy to follow and more straight forward compared to that of buying land or a house. The condo purchase is governed by the Thai Condominium Act in Thailand. This act lays the rules for buying a condo unit in Thailand much easier to understand. If you are starting a business in Thailand then there are many rules to remember. You will note that most businesses in Thailand a Thai national holds 51% of the business. Speak to a lawyer in Thailand about these rules and those which govern business and work permits in Thailand for your business.These are for now not the same for Americans who can still apply to own a business 100% in their name by using the Treaty of Amity which even though will change with the WTO agreements in place. Make use of this while you can!
Thailand has show much growth of the past 10 years and more small business in Thailand have been registered. If you are opening a business there is normally a process for this. You need to consider which type of business you want to open. Real Estate agents are a big no at present as it falls under the Foreign Business Act which governs which types of business you may own in Thailand. Once you have a business in mind and it is not prohibited or limited you need to look at property. Best option is always to rent when starting a new business. Most businesses rent their property. You also need to register the business for VAT and taxes as you will need this to obtain your work permit in Thailand. Depending on the type of business you will also need other registrations such as an entertainment permit if you are opening a bar. May people place this permit in the name of their Thai wife. Again, speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information which regards to starting a business in Thailand and how best to approach the laws of Thailand.
Do it now!