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Audits and Accounting on Thai Land Holding Companies

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing audits; we are discussing accounting; we are discussing in the context of what are called Property Holding Company sometimes called Land Holding Companies. I want to be very clear in this video as I have been clear in other videos, Companies that own property in Thailand that may have a foreign minority presence either on the Board or in the Shareholders, you need to be really careful with these kind of setups.

It is kind of bandied about it out there that you can just use a Thai Company to own land in Thailand notwithstanding the restrictions on Thai Property ownership. As I have stated in many other videos, that is not the case. However there are circumstances where there may be foreign investors in a Thai Corporation that are minority shareholders on a Thai Company and that Company may have real estate holdings. It does occur, it is out there; it is a phenomenon but you have to be really careful with it and you shouldn't presume that this is just some kind of subterfuge or circumvention of the law. It isn't. It isn’t. Yes there are some genuine situations where people acting in good faith may end up in a situation where there is a Company that as part of its Holdings has real estate. 

The reason I thought about making this video is we received some correspondence from somebody who frankly has some interesting points and to quote directly from this message, quoting directly: "You might like to emphasize that such constructions, these type of corporate setups, are not exempt from filing all relevant accounts, audits etc. Of course, from these it is clear to the Official at the Regional Ministry of Commerce office checking them on an annual basis that your company is bogus and does no business whatsoever. In fact it sits in the business statistics and falsifies them." Well first of all I am not making presumptions about false statistics or bogus anything. But the long story short is, a point is being made here that if you are just using a company to try and own property and it is just an inert company, that is a real problem. I have seen situations where Thai Authorities have taken steps to dissolve such structures and reclaim the underlying real estate asset. Now saying that, it is not a foregone conclusion that these things are necessarily bogus or false or anything like that, not at all in fact. As I have said, there are circumstances where Real Estate may be an asset of an operational company here in Thailand and that operational company may have a foreign presence as a Shareholder or Board member or whatever, but long story short you have to be careful about doing your audits and you can't be setting this kind of thing up as a pretext.