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ResourcesCorporate and Tax AdvisoryThailand Corporate LawWhat Are the Criteria to Obtain a Thai Foreign Business License?

What Are the Criteria to Obtain a Thai Foreign Business License?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Foreign Business Licenses.

Recently this has come to sort of the forefront of a few cases. People have asked me about this and they have basically said: "Well, what needs to be overcome to get a Foreign Business License?" Well a lot. Long story short, Foreign Business Licenses are a rather difficult endeavor. I want to be clear, I am distinguishing this from a Foreign Business Certificate which is the appellation given often times to US-Thai Treaty of Amity Certificates, Companies for Amity Treaty Certificates so American citizens may be able to operate a company here in a very different manner notwithstanding the Foreign Business Act. This is also distinguished from companies which receive a Foreign Business Certificate under the auspices of the Board of Investment or BOI here in Thailand. What we are talking about is the traditional Foreign Business License sometimes referred to or referred to in the past as the Alien Business License.

Long story short, the criteria are rather vague and difficult to overcome. Just my notes here real quick. First of all the time frames, you are looking at least I would say four at the absolute fastest but probably unlikely, more like six and all the way up to possibly 12 months to get one processed. The other thing is you have to go ahead and prove that a Thai Company could not otherwise carry out the type of business you are trying to undertake; that is a tough one. Then you have also basically got these other things that are more vague like it doesn't go against National Security, good conduct, moral order of Thailand and it may also have to affirmatively show that it is bringing in technology transfer etc. to Thailand. So as a practical matter, Foreign Business License, we have dealt with them in a very limited sense and it has been some time now since we have actually seen one issued. Yeah they are rather difficult to obtain and when you do see them, it is rather interesting. Every time I see one, I am always startled by it because they are they are something of a rarity, especially more now these days. That said, it should not be conflated with a Foreign Business Certificate associated with an Amity Treaty Company or a BOI Company but yes when seeking a Foreign Business License, be prepared for the prospect that it will take a long time and the criteria associated with it is rather vague. There are other specific criteria but the adjudicatory criteria is a rather high threshold to overcome and in many cases it often times can't be overcome.