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Thread: How Foreign Nationals Can Own Land in Thailand ?

  1. #1
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    How Foreign Nationals Can Own Land in Thailand ?

    The Senate Standing Committee on Economy, Commerce and Industry has held a seminar on foreign property ownership in Thailand while citing the growing number of Thais holding lands on behalf of foreign nationals as its main concern.

    At the Senate committee’s seminar, which took place at Government House, Ombudsman Sriracha Charoenpanich revealed two main concerns threatening national security – the first being drug abuse, which is an issue undermining the productivity of the nation's human resources in the long run, and the second being the rising trend of foreign land ownership through Thai nominees.

    According to reports, one-third of properties in Thailand, estimated to cover 100 million rai of land, are secretly owned by foreign nationals. Mr Sriracha said the illegal acquisition of land through loopholes in the law has long been practiced as it can increase foreign investments and stimulate the economy.

    Due to the 1997 economic crisis and the subsequent downturn in local property market, the law was amended so that foreigners with a capital of at least 1 million dollars can obtain a special right to own lands. The Ombudsman elaborated that 90 percent of beach-front properties in Rayong, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chon Buri now belong to foreign investors.

    He said that foreign land ownership can be achieved through various means, such as marriage with Thai nationals and establishment of a domestic company. Legally, the total foreign ownership of a company cannot exceed 49%, but in practice, it is often found that more than 51 percent of the shares belong to Thai nominees appointed by foreigners.

    Mr Sriracha thus recommended an amendment to the law controlling foreign real estate ownership as well as an increase in property tax to drive up the use and the value of land. He also added that collaboration between the Anti-Money Laundering Office and the Department of Special Investigation is needed to solve the issue in a sustainable manner.

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  2. #2
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    Well if they marry a Thai girl they should have land, but the problem is big company doing this.

  3. #3
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    What if i open a company in thailand, and also marry a thai lady later and nominate my children from that thai lady for the joint ownership, will i Have
    full free hold rights on the property ?

  4. #4
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    If you have a correct contract with your wife the land is yours so to speak.
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  5. #5
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    I have some tips for Foreigner how can own land in Thailand.

    -Become a Thai citizen
    -Be the principal investor in a export orientated Board of Investment approved company. The current maximum size limit of freehold ownership rights is one rai of land.
    -Make an approved investment of over ฿40 million left for a minimum number of years. The current maximum size limit of freehold ownership rights is one RAI of land.
    -Invest in a Thai private Limited Company. This involves the incorporation or the buying of a private Limited Company of which the foreigner can hold up to 49% of the shares. The remaining 51% of the shares must be held by Thai nationals.
    -In practice, this method is the most commonly used by foreigners, to invest in a Thai private Limited Company which owns or intends to acquire land. The Articles of Association can be worded to allow the foreign minority shareholder effective control over any dealings with land despite the majority Thai owner ship required under the Thai Alien Business Law. By doing this, the foreigner still is not the legal owner of the land, but his investment is fully protected and therefore safe.
    -Thai law requires that 51% of the shares are held by Thai natural persons. However, any company with more than 40% of foreign interest that purchases land may be investigated by the Central Land Office in Bangkok (under Section 74 of the Land Code) to ensure that the company has not been organized in an attempt to circumvent the prohibition against foreign ownership of land. This results in the foreign ownership of the company kept at 39% only. With the above changes to the Articles of Association, the foreigner can be the only director of the company. He is therefore the only officer of the company who can legally commit or bind the company. This gives the minority shareholder the effective control over the company. The company is required to submit an annual balance sheet and there will be a very modest tax obligation. Many law- and accounting offices will take over this task at a relative small fee.
    -Lease the land for 30 years in your name
    -This is done by registering a 30 year lease contract (residential) to the foreigner in the foreigner`s own name. There is also the possibility of a prepaid option to contractually renew the lease for further periods of twice 30 years. The foreigner may also receive the option to purchase the land should the law in Thailand respect of foreigner`s land ownership rights will change. Under Thai law, the foreigner is the owner of any structure (for example a house) which he has erected on the land. To make this legally binding, a lease for a period of over three years has to be registered. This involves payment of a registration fee and stamp duty based on a percentage of the rental fee for the whole lease term. Such a registered lease remains in force even if the property is sold.

    And if foreigner married with Thai lady. She would lose right to purchase land in Thailand. She could, however, still retain land that she owned prior to marrying the foreigner. The new (1999) Ministerial regulation now allows Thai national`s married to foreigners the right to purchase land, but the Thai spouse must prove that the money used in the purchase of freehold land is legally solely theirs with no foreign claim to it.
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  6. #6
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    Thats very good advice Kanokarn.

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