Foreign Business License in Thailand
Updated on Friday 16th September 2016
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In accordance with the Foreign Business Act (FBA) 1999, companies which are owned entirely by foreign citizens must obtain certain special permits and licenses to be able to operate in certain sectors in Thailand. The main license which is required for these types of companies to activate is the foreign business license in Thailand issued by the Foreign Licensing Department from within the Ministry of Commerce.
Other certificates required for foreign businesses in Thailand
Certain types of Certificates issued by the Director General for Foreigners could also be required for certain businesses to activate in Thailand, according to the various treaty regulations which Thailand has to abide by. These regulations could include the right of Thai citizens to conduct business in reciprocal countries. Your company might qualify with the protection of these treaties. A Thai company formation advisor can provide full assistance on this matter.
Types of businesses set by the FBA in Thailand
According to the FBA in Thailand, there are three main types of Thai investments which are prohibited for foreigners to open in the country unless a business license in Thailand is issued. These types of businesses are:
• List 1: Commonly these are businesses entirely prohibited to foreign citizens, except for the cases when there is a special exemption stated by a law or treaty;
• List 2: Businesses owned by foreign citizens which were opened and activated before the enactment of the FBA. These types of companies were allowed to apply for a special foreign business license in Thailand and to continue their activities. New businesses owned by foreign citizens, though, cannot be started under this category unless they are issued special permission by the Ministry and approved by the Cabinet;
• List 3: Is represented by businesses which are similar to those of List 2, except that the foreign business license for foreign citizens who open new companies is issued by the Director General and a committee. Exceptions are represented by businesses which qualify for the provisions of the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between Thailand and the U.S.
Our experts in company registration in Thailand can provide guidance on obtaining the foreign business license; we invite you get in touch with us.