The Board of Investment regularly updates its rules and accomodating features for Foreign Direct Investment in Thailand. For clients that are not aware of all of the privileges available from the Board of Investment, then the website, in English, is a very helpful guide for those wishing to brush up on general matters. http://www.boi.go.th/index.php?page=index&language=en
Often, a new form of business, or a ‘combination’ of business activities can crop up in the plans of an investor. Hughes Krupica provides legal services in Phuket, Bangkok and across Thailand and has handled and continues to handle a variety of BOI projects for clients.
The guidance from the BOI is sometimes invaluable when preparing application forms for submission, and also to determine what the decision making arm of the BOI will take into account when assessing whether or not to grant licences. Here are some key points which are not necessarily obvious from the BOI website or the handy printed BOI guide book which is available on the ground floor of the BOI building on Vibhavadi-Rangsit:
1. It is possible for a BOI company to carry out more than one activity, and therefore you would only need one entity for seperate distinct business activities which attract promotion privileges
2. If the BOI rules are silent on an issue, then you should not assume that a matter is prohibited. Generally you will be invited to apply so that the Committee can determine acceptability of your proposal
3. It was notable that when a new type of activity for Thailand was proposed, the relevant officers we met seemed phased to encounter a new form of business. We advise that in any new ventures, supplemental information about the activities and purpose of the business are supplied, if such might not be obvious to a government official in Thailand
4. You will be directed to an officer responsible for your project based on the category of business it falls into. Each officer does in fact display a different approach and attitude, and you should be prepared to explain your business a few times to get your message and objective across clearly
5. The BOI want applications, and they encourage them. Although, like other government offices around the world, you will not be bowled over by the warm welcome or encouragement you receive by simply walking into the building, you will be rewarded for perseverance and determination.
6. The privileges are there for a reason attached to investing in Thailand – you can benefit from more foreign work permits for skilled foreigners; ownership of land for the business or attached to the business; and attractive tax breaks. Remember though, the benefits are attached to the business you apply to carry out, you are not conducting business simply to obtain the benefits.
We are available for consultation on matters relating to the BOI.