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FAQs

ABOUT OWNING OR INVESTING IN A BUSINESS IN PATTAYA

Whatever it is that you can possibly want in life from a financial or lifestyle perspective can be gained from owning your own business.
There isn't a week that goes by when I don't receive a phone call from a client who is new to Pattaya and Thailand wanting to know what they can or can't do in connection with owning or investing in a business here in Pattaya.

Q. Can a foreigner run or invest in a business in Thailand?
A. Yes most businesses can be run or foreign investment is allowed. There are some restrictions which are reserved for Thai Nationals mainly in farming, banking, commercial transportation and mining. These exist under various laws.
Q. What is the most important aspect of doing business in Pattaya?
A. In a word 'Management'. Management is the key to success in any business in PattayA. A flare for business and commitment is important and that you have management with charisma if you intend to invest within the entertainments industry.
Q. Why does he/she want to sell there business?
A. It is a fallacy that most buyers believe a business is for sale because it is not profitable. Most businesses are for sale for human reasons, rather than financial. Usually illness, divorce, fallen out with the girlfriend, retirement, an urge to do something different or they have 'just had enough'.
Q. What licences do I need to run a business?
A. Depending on what type of business you are operating, depends on the types of licences you require. Among the most popular businesses that foreigners venture into is the entertainment, bar and restaurant industry which will require the following:
a. Entertainment Licence.
b. Alcohol and cigarette licence.
c. Food licence.
d. Music licence.
All businesses require a business licence whether you have a Limited Company or not.
If you do not have a limited company an alcohol or entertainments licence must be held in a Thai Nationals name it can't be issued in a foreigner's name.
Q. Is a foreigner allowed to own a commercial shop house in their own name?
A. A foreigner can't own land in Thailand (except in very special circumstances which requires approval from the Thai Minister of Interior and a minimum 40 million baht investment into Thailand in specified assets or Government bonds). In order to own a commercial building it either has to be registered in a Thai nationals name or purchased through a Limited Company.
Q. Can a foreigner have a lease for a commercial property in their own name?
A. Yes any lease agreement can be in a foreigner's personal name with a maximum of three years without registration at the land office. There can be a clause in the lease to extend the lease period for a further three years. If the lease is in a company name it can be for a longer period but it must be registered at the land office. If you sign a lease agreement on a building have it checked thoroughly before signing on the doted line. TBAC specialize in writing, checking, translating and explaining lease contracts to clients.
Q. What is Key Money?
A. Key money is where a percentage of the rental monies paid for a commercial building, for a period of one, two or three years is paid up front to the landlord or landlady. This money is not a security deposit and is non refundable. On top of the lump sum of Key Money there will also be a monthly rental paid every month in advance.
Q. Is location of a business important?
A. This depends on the type of business. If you run a currency exchange and are reliant on tourists yes location is important. In the cases of bars and restaurants I am a strong believer that location is not necessarily important. TBAC have many profitable bars and restaurants which are not located on Walking Street, 2nd Road or in high 'foot traffic' areas of Pattaya. These bars and restaurants are not paying high rents with key money but in some cases are more profitable than similar businesses on Walking Street.