1. Natural person who does not have Thai nationality;
  2. juristic person not registered in Thailand;

a. Juristic person registered in Thailand having the following characteristics: Having half or more of its capital shares held by persons under (1) or (2) or a juristic person having the persons under (1) or (2) investing with a value of half or more of the total capital of the juristic person. b. Limited partnership or registered ordinary partnership having the person under (1) as the managing partner or manager; 

c. Juristic person registered in Thailand having half or more of its capital shares held by the person under (1), (2) or (3) investing with the value of half or more of its total capital.

Section 4 FBA defines the meaning of capital:

“Capital” means the registered capital of a limited company or paid-up capital of a public limited company or the money invested in a partnership or juristic person by its partner(s) or its member(s).

What foreigners cannot do in Thailand:

The FBA has 3 annexes in which 3 lists of activities are identified:

Annex 1 – Business not permitted to Foreigners.

  • Newspaper business, radio-broadcasting station or radio/television business.
  • Farming, cultivation or horticulture.
  • Animal husbandry.
  • Forestry and timber conversion from natural forests.
  • Also Fisheries, especially fishing in Thai territorial waters and in specific economic areas of Thailand.
  • Extracting Thai herbs.
  • Trade and auction sale of Thai antiques or objects of historical value.
  • Making or casting Buddha images and alms bowls.
  • Trading in land.

Foreigners shall be prohibited from operating a business as prescribed in Annex 1 due to special reasons (Sec. 8 (1) FBA).

These kinds of businesses are exclusively reserved to Thai companies. It is not possible to obtain the Foreign Business License.

What foreigners can do in Thailand – under certain conditions:

Annex 2 – Businesses Permitted to Foreigners under certain Conditions.

Annex 2 includes businesses related to the national safety or security or affecting arts, culture, traditions, folk handicrafts, natural resources or the environment, Sec. 8 (2) FBA. Businesses in this Annex are divided into 3 categories:

Businesses related to national safety or security: Category 1

  • Manufacturing, distribution, repair or maintenance of:
  • Firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, and explosive materials.
  • Components of firearms, ammunition, and explosive materials.
  • Armaments, ships, aircraft, or military vehicles.
  • Equipment or parts of any type of war equipment.
  • Domestic land transportation, water transportation, or air transportation, including domestic aviation.

Other Businesses affecting arts and culture, traditional and folk handicrafts: Category 2 

  • Trading of antiques or artifacts that are Thai works of art or Thai handicrafts.
  • Wood carving.
  • Silkworm rearing, manufacture of Thai silk, Thai silk weaving, or Thai silk printing.
  • Manufacturing of Thai musical instruments.
  • Manufacturing of gold-ware, silverware, nielloware, bronzeware, or lacquerware.
  • Making bowls or earthenware which are of Thai art and culture.

 Those Businesses affecting natural resources or the environment: Category 3

  • Manufacturing of sugar from cane.
  • Salt farming, including rock salt farming.
  • Mining of rock salt.
  • Mining, including stone quarrying or crushing.
  • Timber processing for making furniture and utilities.

What foreigners cannot do under any conditions if granted a Foreign Business License:

Annex 3 – Businesses not yet Permitted to Foreigners.

  • Foreigners shall be prohibited from operating the businesses prescribed in Annex 3 in which Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners, Sec.8 (3) FBA.
  • Rice milling and flour production from rice and plants.
  • Fisheries, specifically breeding of aquatic creatures.
  • Forestry from re-planting.
  • Production of plywood, veneer, chipboard or hardboard.
  • Production of lime.
  • Accountancy.
  • Legal services.
  • Architecture.
  • Engineering.

Certainly It’s Important to know that the service businesses that do not require a Foreign Business License as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations of 2013 are divided into 3 categories:

  • Category 1: Securities business and other businesses under the law on securities and securities exchange.
  • Category 2: Derivatives business under the law on derivatives.
  • Category 3: Acting as a trustee under the law on trust for transactions in the capital market.
 

More to know before applying for a Foreign Business License

Accordingly Foreigners may operate the businesses prescribed in Annex 3 in the case of receiving permission by the Director-General of the Department of Business Development with the approval of the Committee. This means that foreigners that want to operate a business prescribed in Annex 2 or 3 in Thailand need to seek permission from the Minister with the approval of the Cabinet or from the Director General with the approval of the Committee, as the case may be.

Foreign businesses which may apply for the Foreign Business License in Thailand are:

  • Representative Offices
  • Branch Offices
  • Newly incorporated Companies with majority or complete foreign ownership.
  • BOI promoted companies and American-Owned companies (Amity Treaty) companies which require FBL. It is much easier for the two lter to obtain an FBL.

Please contact LCS to find out the specific requirements for your case, the capital requirements, the timeframe and the procedure. Our firm is ready to follow your your business, from the establishment, including the administration of human resources and including all possible commercial contracts.

Foreign Business License


In order to conduct business in Thailand it’s mandatory for foreigners to be in possession of a Foreign Business License issued by the competent Thai authorities according to the provisions of the Foreign Business Act of  1999, the FBA.

Under Section 4 of the FBA the meaning of Foreigner is defined as:

  1. Natural person who does not have Thai nationality;
  2. juristic person not registered in Thailand;

a. Juristic person registered in Thailand having the following characteristics: Having half or more of its capital shares held by persons under (1) or (2) or a juristic person having the persons under (1) or (2) investing with a value of half or more of the total capital of the juristic person. b. Limited partnership or registered ordinary partnership having the person under (1) as the managing partner or manager; 

c. Juristic person registered in Thailand having half or more of its capital shares held by the person under (1), (2) or (3) investing with the value of half or more of its total capital.

Section 4 FBA defines the meaning of capital:

“Capital” means the registered capital of a limited company or paid-up capital of a public limited company or the money invested in a partnership or juristic person by its partner(s) or its member(s).

What foreigners cannot do in Thailand:

The FBA has 3 annexes in which 3 lists of activities are identified:

Annex 1 – Business not permitted to Foreigners.

  • Newspaper business, radio-broadcasting station or radio/television business.
  • Farming, cultivation or horticulture.
  • Animal husbandry.
  • Forestry and timber conversion from natural forests.
  • Also Fisheries, especially fishing in Thai territorial waters and in specific economic areas of Thailand.
  • Extracting Thai herbs.
  • Trade and auction sale of Thai antiques or objects of historical value.
  • Making or casting Buddha images and alms bowls.
  • Trading in land.

Foreigners shall be prohibited from operating a business as prescribed in Annex 1 due to special reasons (Sec. 8 (1) FBA).

These kinds of businesses are exclusively reserved to Thai companies. It is not possible to obtain the Foreign Business License.

What foreigners can do in Thailand – under certain conditions:

Annex 2 – Businesses Permitted to Foreigners under certain Conditions.

Annex 2 includes businesses related to the national safety or security or affecting arts, culture, traditions, folk handicrafts, natural resources or the environment, Sec. 8 (2) FBA. Businesses in this Annex are divided into 3 categories:

Businesses related to national safety or security: Category 1

  • Manufacturing, distribution, repair or maintenance of:
  • Firearms, ammunition, gunpowder, and explosive materials.
  • Components of firearms, ammunition, and explosive materials.
  • Armaments, ships, aircraft, or military vehicles.
  • Equipment or parts of any type of war equipment.
  • Domestic land transportation, water transportation, or air transportation, including domestic aviation.

Other Businesses affecting arts and culture, traditional and folk handicrafts: Category 2 

  • Trading of antiques or artifacts that are Thai works of art or Thai handicrafts.
  • Wood carving.
  • Silkworm rearing, manufacture of Thai silk, Thai silk weaving, or Thai silk printing.
  • Manufacturing of Thai musical instruments.
  • Manufacturing of gold-ware, silverware, nielloware, bronzeware, or lacquerware.
  • Making bowls or earthenware which are of Thai art and culture.

 Those Businesses affecting natural resources or the environment: Category 3

  • Manufacturing of sugar from cane.
  • Salt farming, including rock salt farming.
  • Mining of rock salt.
  • Mining, including stone quarrying or crushing.
  • Timber processing for making furniture and utilities.

What foreigners cannot do under any conditions if granted a Foreign Business License:

Annex 3 – Businesses not yet Permitted to Foreigners.

  • Foreigners shall be prohibited from operating the businesses prescribed in Annex 3 in which Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners, Sec.8 (3) FBA.
  • Rice milling and flour production from rice and plants.
  • Fisheries, specifically breeding of aquatic creatures.
  • Forestry from re-planting.
  • Production of plywood, veneer, chipboard or hardboard.
  • Production of lime.
  • Accountancy.
  • Legal services.
  • Architecture.
  • Engineering.

Certainly It’s Important to know that the service businesses that do not require a Foreign Business License as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations of 2013 are divided into 3 categories:

  • Category 1: Securities business and other businesses under the law on securities and securities exchange.
  • Category 2: Derivatives business under the law on derivatives.
  • Category 3: Acting as a trustee under the law on trust for transactions in the capital market.
 

More to know before applying for a Foreign Business License

Accordingly Foreigners may operate the businesses prescribed in Annex 3 in the case of receiving permission by the Director-General of the Department of Business Development with the approval of the Committee. This means that foreigners that want to operate a business prescribed in Annex 2 or 3 in Thailand need to seek permission from the Minister with the approval of the Cabinet or from the Director General with the approval of the Committee, as the case may be.

Foreign businesses which may apply for the Foreign Business License in Thailand are:

  • Representative Offices
  • Branch Offices
  • Newly incorporated Companies with majority or complete foreign ownership.
  • BOI promoted companies and American-Owned companies (Amity Treaty) companies which require FBL. It is much easier for the two lter to obtain an FBL.

Please contact LCS to find out the specific requirements for your case, the capital requirements, the timeframe and the procedure. Our firm is ready to follow your your business, from the establishment, including the administration of human resources and including all possible commercial contracts.