Thailand property law is unlike western countries. It is imperative you learn about the different options open to you from the business perspective, if you are trying to open a business in Thailand or start up an arm of your company. The most important aspect to remember is that you cannot own land in Thailand.
Whether you are a business or person, you cannot have a controlling interest in the land. For businesses, it is possible to have 49% land ownership. A Thai company with the Thai majority of shareholders must own 51%. It means for your company to move into Thailand, you must partner with a Thai company. The Thai company can then sell you 49% of the land you intend to use for your business. You can also rent land in a land lease, but own the building. If you own the building it is often only in a 49% capacity. Some countries can own the entire building such as buying an apartment complex. The U.S. is one country that Thailand tends to work with in terms of owning the entire building. You still cannot own the land in full. There are also some countries that are unable to work out an agreement for complete ownership of a building.
Whether you can or cannot have full ownership, you still need permission from the minister of the interior. The office of the minister of interior has several individual locations which can offer permissions and help you get the paperwork signed. It is a long process and can take a couple of years before permission is given. During this time, you must wait to open your business or open the business but wait for 49% ownership.
The type of business you want to conduct is going to determine whether you receive permission for partial ownership of the building. Typically, Thailand is looking for some benefit for their economy. Your business needs to provide something that will truly help such as a factory that offers employment to locals. A tourist location can also be of help since a hotel or other tourist business can help the economy. Thailand is still pretty closed in terms of their economy. Many imports are brought in, but there are few exports from a Thailand perspective.
This is why Thailand welcomes companies, but prefers the companies work as an investment to the local economy. If you decide to open a business in Thailand you will want to seek a Thailand real estate lawyer who has conducted many real estate sales for businesses.
By hiring a real estate law office that has a full team, you can find out any answers you need. Additionally, you will have a team able to arrange the best situation for your company. In terms of an investment, you need to bring enough currency to change into baht for the partial ownership or full ownership of a building. You cannot use a loan to fund the purchase, unless your business brings the same amount of cash as the sale.