Foreign ownership of companies

What percentage of a Thai company may be owned by a foreigner? Does a non-Thai require a work permit to administer his share in the company (i.e. by giving direction or advice)?

Mike Scott

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The percentage of a Thai company that you, as a foreigner, may own depends on your nationality and on the business you intend to open. Generally speaking, the total foreign shareholding in a company may not exceed 49%. There are three exceptions that allow foreign shareholding up to 100%: – If the foreign shareholder is an American citizen; – If the business has written approval from the Board of Investment; – If the business is of a type defined by the Alien Business Law as being allowed to have a foreign shareholding of up to 100% (for example, certain export-related businesses) If you are working for the company (including giving direction or advice), or you receive a salary or fees of any kind from the company, then you must apply for a work permit.

Friedrich Fauma, Managing Director, International Law Office

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