The first thing to remember if you are planning to purchase a property in Thailand, is that under Thai law, foreigners are not allowed to own land directly in their name. However, foreign nationals can legitimately secure property with the help of legal support to control the ownership of the land. Many investors have found this way useful in recent years, as a means to purchase, own, build and develop on Thai-land.
The two most popular ways for foreigners to purchase land are:
Long-Term Leasehold Agreements
This is altogether a more approving, hassle free process for foreigners to own property in Thailand. Long term leasehold contracts are secure and straightforward in Thailand. Normally an initial leasehold is made for a period of 30 years, further to expiration there is the option to renew it for an added two times for a 90-year lease term with the land owner, but these may not be enforceable under Thai law. Therefore, the lessor cannot take possession of the property upon expiration of the lease agreement.
Limited Liability Company
The other alternative is to set up a company, i.e a Majority Thai owned company, which simply involves having a local lawyer or accountant who can easily arrange the provisions after which you can legally purchase land within the company name. We can offer you a free consultation service on this or recommend you reliable real estate accountant to assist your purchase.
As a foreigner you are allowed to own 49% of the shares in a Thai company, the rest of the shares must be held by Thai juristic persons who will sign over control of their shares to you. The land will be owned by the company, however as managing director, you would control the voting of the other shares, and therefore you have authority over the ownership of the land. For more detailed information on this process feel free to contact us at: [email protected]
Foreign nationals must qualify for foreign ownership under section 19 of the Thailand Condominium Act. Having said that, they can own the freehold of 49% of the total available unit space & must request a letter of guarantee from the condominium juristic setting out the proportion of foreign ownership which must be presented to the Land Department upon transfer of ownership. For example within a condo project consisting of 100 units, 49 are typically available for purchase under foreign freehold title.
In order to provide evidence of this to the Land Department , the foreign national must present 100% of the funds in foreign currency only and would require a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FETF) which is easily available at any Thai bank. Due to strict money laundering regulations, a FETF must be processed to avoid complications and remittance tax when repatriating funds, incase a foreign national chooses to sell the property at a later date.
Note: A FETF for any inward remittance for amounts not less than the equivalent of USD 20,000. You should clearly indicate the payment purpose on the payment order form in the field for a message for the beneficiary, including the name of the condominium and the unit number.
There are a lot of considerations that go into purchasing a property in Thailand, you can Contact Us for assistance specific to your needs.
Note: Hiring a good lawyer can make the process of purchasing property in Thailand smooth and hassle free & to make sure you have a good lawyer.