The US-Thai Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations of 1833, is a special economic relationship between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand.

The Treaty gives special rights and benefits to US citizens wishing to establish their business in Thailand. The Treaty was amended in 1966 and provides two major benefits:
1) American citizens and US business entities can maintain complete or majority ownership over their American owned business that are registered in Thailand or in the United States of America under the Treaty of Amity, whether in the form of a sole proprietorship, limited company, branch office or a representative office.
2) American companies receive ‘national treatment’, which means that US firms may engage in business on the same level of Thai companies and are exempt from most of the restrictions on foreign investment imposed by the Foreign Business Act.

Outline Thai-US Amity Treaty Company

  • Up to 100% American ownership
  • American legal entities and individuals are entitled to carry out almost every type of business which are generally prohibited to foreign investors holding other nationalities in Thailand, pursuant to the benefit provided by the Treaty of Amity.

Despite the Treaty of Amity, there are still certain restrictions on U.S. investment as follows:

  • Owning land;
  • Engaging in inland transportation and communication industries;
  • Engaging in fiduciary functions;
  • Engaging in banking involving depository functions;
  • Engaging in domestic trade in indigenous agricultural products;
  • Exploiting land or other natural resources.

Requirements for Thai-US Amity Treaty Company registration

A Thai company, typically a company limited (Co., Ltd.) has to be set-up. There is no requirement that it is a new company . A Co., Ltds can be restructured or adjusted to qualify as and apply for treaty benefits.

The majority shareholders have to be U.S. or Thai individuals or U.S. or Thai companies, the percentage (quota) of their shares has to be 51% or more.

The majority of the directors have to be U.S. citizens or Thai. Third country directors have to fulfill additional conditions to be acceptable. The treaty company does not require a foreign business license, but just a certificate.

Work permit requirement

There is no exemption from the work permit requirement for anyone including the director.

Generally, the registered capital of at least THB 3 million has to be paid in. If the business is not restricted by the Foreign Business Act, an amount of THB 2 million is sufficient.

The American Embassy (Commercial Counselor) in Bangkok issues, on request, a confirmation letter that the shareholders qualify the requirements as U.S. citizen or ultimate beneficial U.S. shareholders, in approximately one week.

A Foreign Business Certificate has to be applied for and issued by the Ministry of Commerce. The process is similar to the application for a Foreign Business License. Required time: 4 to 10 weeks.

After accomplishing these steps, the “treaty company” needs no further renewal of its status. The benefits under the treaty apply as long as no structural change occurs which infringes the treaty conditions.

Contact our consulting team to receive more details…