A private limited company wherein 49% of the shares are owned by a foreigner entitles the latter to purchase properties in Samui. This privilege explains the growth of business organizations with foreign owners. However, many misunderstood that such privilege still applies to the beneficiaries of the Treaty of Amity. More often than not, such situation creates conflicts and problems, most especially to those who are unfamiliar with the said treaty.
Treaty of Amity implications on Samui properties
The Thailand Treaty of Amity exemplifies the economic relationship of Thailand and the United States. Its main purpose is to provide equal business economic opportunities between the two countries. Other than that the treaty is also created to further encourage foreign investment in Thailand. However, one of its strict provisions is that foreigners are prohibited from land ownership. The only thing that it allows is to exempt foreign companies from having Thai nationals as the major shareholders. Usually, 59% of the private limited companies’ shares are Thai owned. Only 49% is given to foreigners. Nevertheless, this situation is totally disregarded in the Treaty of Amity.
Other options for corporate ownership
Given this aspect at hand, there are still other options in which corporate ownership can be used to obtain Samui properties. Evidently, one of the most feasible options is for one to simply establish private limited companies and abide with the permitted share ratios. This approach is pretty popular in Thailand. However, it should be remembered that under this set-up, foreigners can only utilize those properties for residential purposes.
Another option for corporate ownership of properties is to purchase a condo. Condominiums are the only freehold property that foreigners can own in Thailand. But then again only 49% of the total units can be bought. It cannot exceed that. While others may opt to use nominees, this is nevertheless, prohibited. Lastly, foreigners can apply corporate ownership in property acquisition via capitalizing on the Board of Investment’s policies and regulations. Some of these laws are the Investment Promotion Act, Industrial Estate Authority Act and the Petroleum Act. All of these laws enable foreign company owners to buy properties in Samui. However, they should follow all the conditions that apply to property ownership.
The Treaty of Amity is not an option for foreigners to obtain or purchase land in Samui. As a matter of fact, such is prohibited or not allowed in this agreement. It only allows foreign nationals to be the dominant shareholder. For aliens who have been misled by such information, it would be best to seek the assistance of legal professionals who are specialized in this particular field.