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Amity Treaty Offers Americans 3rd Way to Start Business in Thailand

Starting a new business in Thailand requires more than just a great idea but also an understanding of the market, the requirements to establish a business, and expert legal advice during the incorporation.

The new cannabis laws have seen the boom of cannabis-related businesses, from food to cosmetics and cannabis shops.

Other businesses that are seeing growth in Thailand include sustainable energy solutions, a key point in the government’s investment focus.

Those investing in a business in Thailand have several options for incorporation, a Thai limited company or a fully or majority foreign-owned company with a foreign business license. Obtaining an FBL is difficult and many of the categories are restricted so the Thai limited company with 51% Thai ownership is the usual route for business incorporation.

However, Americans have a third option with the Thai American Amity treaty. American citizens and businesses incorporated in the United States or in Thailand, are allowed to engage in business just as would someone of Thai nationality however, there are some limitations and restrictions in what activities a company that is registered under the treaty cannot perform.

An Amity treaty business cannot:

  • Own or purchase land,
  • Engage in activities in the internal transport and communication sectors;
  • Engage in fiduciary functions;
  • Engage in banking activities with depositary functions;
  • Engage in domestic trade of domestic agricultural products;
  • Exploit land with natural resources.

Before starting the registration process, it is best to determine if your business activity falls within the Treaty then submit the documentation to the U.S. embassy’s Commercial Services Department.

Once the department confirms that the applicant is an American-owned and operating company or a U.S. citizen, it will submit that confirmation to the Ministry of Commerce to register the treaty.

Then the incorporation process can begin, it is key to note that in order to be eligible the company must have a minimum registered paid up capital of two million baht, must be a minimum of 51% American-owned, and at least half of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens.

Sun Legal has experience in setting up Treaty of Amity companies for American citizens. Use the form below to contact us.