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What is a Foreign Business License in Thailand?

If you are an investor interested to set up a new business in Thailand, it is important to gain more knowledge about this journey. You can find many unique business structures and can make an easy selection based on your interest. However, it is important to mention that you may need to get a foreign business license to proceed ahead with your idea.

Here we are going to talk about foreign business license as per list 1, list 2 and list 3. Prefer to go through the details below to know more about the procedures and requirements. Soon you will be able to go ahead with company registration in Thailand.

Foreign Business License – List 1:

Usually, FBA restricts the foreign companies to operate in Thailand as per category list 1. This list mainly focuses on some agricultural and mass media sectors. However, it is possible for a foreign company to quality via foreign trade agreements such as the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement, Thai-Australia Trade Agreement and US-Thai Amity Treaty.

As per list 1, the foreign company can be allowed to own 49% of the shares in the local capital. Also, it must be capitalized for around 25% of the total estimated expenditure for almost three years. However, if the company is not registered in Thailand, they may have to remit 25 million Baht into Thailand. Once qualified, the foreign company need to get a valid foreign business certificate from DBD, and the agency may issue a license within 30 days of the application submission.

Foreign Business License – List 2:

List 2 focuses on the business sectors that are rated as sensitive by the Thai government and may not need special restriction for protecting natural resources, heritage, culture, and national security. The foreign companies can apply for a business license by fulfilling few specific criteria: they need to have a minimum capital of around 3 million baht, at least one member or authorized director in the upper management must be Thai resident, minimum 40% shareholding by a Thai person, and at least 2/5 directors of the company must be Thai.

Once the company fulfils above criteria under List 2, they can apply for license and DBD may issue it within 15 days; however, the entire process may take around 120 days.

Foreign Business License – List 3:

List 3 is designed to protect some Thai companies while allowing them to become as competitive as other foreign investors in the country. This list includes a variety of essential services such as retail, wholesale, food, building, construction and other professional services. As per list 3, businesses need to apply for a license when it has a minimum capital of around 3 million baht, and there is at least one authorized director or member from Thailand.

As in this case the application doesn’t require any additional approval, the process can be completed within 60 days, and the license may be released after 15 days of the approval.

In case if the permissions are not granted, the investors can file an appeal to address the issue as per rejection notice.

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