Pattaya Real Estate by Anaakot Group

Information Guide

General Information Guide on Buying Property in Thailand

Can a Foreigner Own Property in Thailand?

Transferring Money to Thailand

Can I Open a Thai Bank Account?



Can a Foreigner Own Property in Thailand?

When first hearing about the laws regarding property ownership in Thailand it appears to be fairly difficult for foreigners, but it is really no different from most other countries. Just like many other developing nations, Thailand real estate laws state that foreigners may not own land in their own names; but do however have the right of ownership of newly built buildings on land. There are actually a few ways in which foreigners can acquire the use of land and house here in Thailand.

The most straight forward option by which to own a property in Thailand is to buy a condo or apartment. The Thai Law clearly states that foreigners may own 49 % of the saleable unit space of a condominium building. There are some important rules governing this acquisition that must be followed. The funds should be remitted from overseas and so a Foreign Exchange Transaction form can be obtained from a Thai bank, to register the purpose of the monies. (More about this below)

The remaining 51 % of the condominium saleable area must be owned by either Thai nationals or majority owned Thai Companies.

Owning through a Thai Limited Liability Company

The laws of Thailand regarding foreign interests in a Thai legal entity state that there can be up to two foreign directors, who between them can own up to, but not exceeding, 49% of the shares. 3 shareholders are required to form a limited liability company, with at least 1 being a Thai national who must possess at least 51% of the shares. While at first this may feel a difficult way to hold and control your valuable and/or sentimental piece of Thai real estate, in reality, it is a very common and surprisingly secure method.

Control of the Limited Liability Company

Thai law legally allows the shares of such a company to be issued as ‘Ordinary Share’ which means that one share entitles to one vote, and ‘Preferred Share’ which effectively gives multiple voting rights per one share. The majority shares may be issued as ‘Ordinary’ and foreigner minority shares as ‘Preferred’. This allows the foreign minority shareholders to hold fewer numbers of shares, but in fact have more votes and hence total control of the company by way of voting rights.

You can read more about setting up a Thai Limited Company in our Legal Services section by clicking here

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Transferring Your Funds

When purchasing a condominium in Foreign title holding, the foreign purchaser must bring in 100% of the funds from overseas in a foreign currency and will need a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FETF) from the Thai bank in order to provide as evidence of this to the Local Land Department when the actual property is finally registered.

It is also important to know that due to money laundering regulations, a FETF is also necessary to avoid complications and remittance tax when repatriating funds should the foreigner sell the condominium at a later date.

Note: You can only obtain a FETF for any inward remittance for amounts not less than the equivalent of USD 20,000. You should clearly indicate the payment purpose on the payment order form in the field for a message for the beneficiary, including the name of the condominium and the unit number. (This is clearly defined in our Sales Contracts)

Any foreign currency can be used to purchase a condominium unit. However, the funds must be transferred into Thailand as foreign currency and exchanged into Thai Baht by a local bank in Thailand. Please make sure that your overseas bank do not convert to Thai baht first.

If the amount remitted is less than the USD $20,000 requirement, the buyer is required to send a letter to the bank that will in turn send a letter confirming the purpose of the remittance is for purchasing a condominium unit. Presently, either the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form or the Letter from the bank can be used as evidence when providing proof of fund remittance at the Land Office for registration of the property. Without providing either the Foreign Exchange transaction Form or the letter from the bank, the Land Office will not register the transfer of the condominium unit into your name.

In the case of buying off-plan, generally recommend that the Buyer transfer the funds directly to the Developer’s bank account in the same format as described above. This way, the Developer will arrange for the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form to be issued by the Developer’s Bank. This is a much easier and smoother experience.

If the buyers are two individuals, then two names should appear on the contract and two separate remittances should be made by such two persons, in direct equal amounts to their shareholding.

If you are buying a private re-sale then the best option is to have a private local Thai bank account and send your funds from your overseas bank account to your local Thai bank account in the same name. If this is not an option then it is in fact possible to process the transaction through your agents bank account. 

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Can I Open a Thai Bank Account?

The short answer to this question is yes, and if you are buying a second hand condominium then we strongly recommend it. There are however a few requirements that you must pass. In our experience the actual requirements can differ from bank to bank and even then they can also change periodically! Opening a local Thai bank account is a safer way to store you cash if you are staying for any length of time. If you would like to chat about opening a Thai bank account or even employ our services to help you do this then please contact us

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Other Useful Information or Linking Sites - Thailand related websites - Pattaya English Language Magazine - Searchable database of websites about Thailand - Thailand website directory - Large range of Thai related weblinks - Huge range of Thai related weblinks - Images of Bangkok's and Thailand's well known and less travelled attractions - Scuba Diving Internships - A complete directory and guide to travel in Thailand. - Pattaya and Jomtien hotels reservation, tourist directory, Expat guide and Pattaya nightlife bar guide.

International Real Estate - InternationalAgentWeb.Com - Internet's Number 1 Estate Agent Directory for local estate agents websites abroad

Pattaya guide - for travel, tour, hotels, real estate, livestyle and any information for Accommodation or living in Pattaya, Thailand.



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