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1. Non-restricted Businesses : A foreign majority business can be registered (without any special license or approval) in categories of businesses that are not restricted to foreigners, namely certain types of exporting and manufacturing businesses.
2.Restricted Businesses : Although nearly all types of service and retail businesses are restricted to foreigners, exemptions may be obtained with an Alien Business License, a Board of Investments promotion, or registration under the treaty of Amity (for Americans). Exemptions can not be obtained for some types of businesses, most notably land trading and the liberal professions.
An application must be submitted to the Foreign Business Section of the Ministry of Commerce. The application goes through a lengthy review by at least 2 committees and final approval by the Ministry Official.
The Amity Treaty, or the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between the United States of America and Thailand, allows American citizens to own and operate businesses in certain restricted categories in Thailand. Read more about Amity Treaty companies.
A promotion from the Board of Investments can provide an exemption to the Alien Business Act, allowing foreigners to own and operate businesses in otherwise restricted categories. The Thailand Board of Investments (BOI) also provides foreign companies with privileges including tax holidays and customs reductions, and assistance with work permits and visas for foreign personnel.
In Thailand, a representative office is considered a local division of a foreign parent company. A representative office can serve only as a buying office and is typically reimbursed by the parent company for its expenses. It cannot normally receive income from local sources in Thailand. It can make purchases do marked studies and perform related tasks.
Foreign owned companies who are registered with the Board of Investments are privy to privileges, such as tax holidays and customs promotions that Thai companies are not. On the other hand, compliance with BOI regulations requires a great deal of disclosure on a regular basis and foreign companies and generally under more scrutiny than Thai companies. If regulations change, the Alien Business License may be in jeopardy. Starting a business under an alien business license requires more time. Thai companies can own land, whereas foreign companies can only lease land.