Foreigners are prohibited from operating specific businesses in Thailand that are set out below in three lists from the Foreign Business Act (FBA).
A foreign business license can be obtained to operate businesses under Lists Two and Three.
The process to obtain a foreign business license in Thailand is long and expensive without any guarantee of positive results.
Most foreign owned businesses in Thailand are structured using a Thai majority shareholder or Board of Investment (BOI) privileges to avoid application of the Foreign Business Act.
The only types of businesses the foreigners can own 100% in Thailand without a license are manufacturers and exporters.
Generally, we would not recommend to apply for a foreign business license in Thailand except in the case of large well known multinational companies investing large sums of capital and creating numerous jobs for Thai citizens.
- Real estate trading
- Radio broadcasting
- Television station
- Wood fabrication from natural forest
- Fishing in Thai waters
- Fishing in special economic zones
- Extracting Thai herbs
- Trading or auctioning Thai antiques
- Trading or auctioning Thai historical objects
- Creating Buddha images
- Creating monk alms bowls
- Gun powder
- Firearm accessories
- Ammunition accessories
- Explosive accessories
- Military vehicles
- Domestic land transportation
- Domestic water transportation
- Domestic air transportation including airline businesses
- Trading antiques
- Trading art objects and handicrafts
- Production of carved wood
- Silkworm farming
- Producing Thai silk yarn
- Weaving Thai silk
- Weaving Thai silk patterns
- Producing Thai musical instruments
- Producing goldware, silverware, nielloware, bronzeware, or lacquerware
- Producing Thai art or cultural crockery
- Manufacturing sugar from sugarcane
- Salt farming
- Rock salt mining
- Mining such as rock blasting or crushing
- Wood fabrication for furniture
- Wood fabrication for utensils
- Rice milling and flour production
- Fishery, specifically marine animal culture
- Production of plywood, veneer board chipboard or hardboard
- Lime production
- Construction except for rendering basic services to public utilities or transportation requiring special tools, machinery, technology or expertise, but the foreigner must have a minimum capital of 500 million Baht
- Broker or agent except for the following: a) Underwriting securities or services connected with futures trading of commodities or securities; b) Trading or procuring goods or services necessary for production or rendering services amongst affiliated enterprises; c) Trading, purchasing, distributing or seeking domestic and foreign markets for selling domestically manufactured or imported goods, but the foreigner must have minimum capital of 100 million Baht
- Auctions except for international bidding excluding Thai antiques, handicraft, historical artifacts or art objects having historical value
- Internal trade relating to native products or produce not prohibited by law
- Retail of goods having capital less than 100 million Baht or 20 million Baht per shop
- Wholesale of goods having capital less than 100 million Baht
- Hotel except hotel management services
- Guided tours
- Service businesses
Our foreign business license application service includes the following:
- Advise client on all required information and documents to apply for a foreign business license.
- Prepare a foreign business application with the assistance of the client.
- Filing the application with the MOC.
- Assist in communicating with the MOC.
- Accompanying the representatives of the client in meetings with the MOC if necessary.
- Make presentations to the MOC in regards to the business plan.
- Follow up the application with the MOC officers.
- Submit any additional information or documents required by the MOC with the assistance of the client.
- Receive the foreign business license.
- Provide an English translation of the foreign business license.
- Correspondence by email, telephone and in person meetings when necessary.