The US-Thai Treaty of Amity allows U.S. citizens to hold a majority share for foreign companies in Thailand and receive national treatment, which means they can be exempted from the restrictions under the Alien Business Law of 1972. GPS Legal can assist in the process of setting up a company under this treaty.
The treaty allows US citizens to manage and own companies in Thailand without needing majority Thai shareholders. This is a great benefit because it means that US companies can avoid many of the restrictions placed on other foreign companies under the Alien Business Act of Thailand.
Amity treaty companies can also hire American employees without needing work permits (though a company must have at least two authorized American directors). It seems likely that the government will “grandfather in” businesses engaged under the Treaty of Amity in order to maintain this arrangement.
To take advantage of these benefits, the company must file specific paperwork with the Commercial Services Office and then have the documents verified by the Department of Business Development. This process can be time consuming, and it is wise to get the help of Plizz to ensure the process goes smoothly. Plizz can also discuss the drawbacks of registering under the Treaty of Amity with you in more detail, so that you can decide if this is the right option for your business.
An American company wishing to operate under the Treaty must first verify its US nationality. The commercial service of the American Embassy in Bangkok will issue a letter to that effect, which must then be presented to the Ministry of Commerce to get a business operation certificate. This process typically takes less than a month.
This applies to both new and existing companies. A notarized copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation and an affidavit stating the name, citizenship, address and nationality of all directors must be submitted.
It is important to note that while a company registered under the US-Thai Amity Treaty can do almost any type of business in Thailand, it may not own land. It also must hire four Thai employees, pay their Social Security and comply with work permit regulations. In addition, the company must have a minimum of 2 million Baht in registered capital. GPS Legal can go over these requirements in more detail with clients.
Despite the advantages, there are some limitations associated with companies incorporated under the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. Companies with a majority of American shareholders, or that are wholly owned by American citizens, receive national treatment and are exempt from most restrictions on foreign investment as set forth in the Foreign Business Act. Documents must be certified at the Commercial Services Office at the US Embassy in Bangkok to obtain this protection.
These companies cannot engage in inland communications or inland transportation; fiduciary functions; banking involving depository functions; or domestic trade in indigenous agricultural products. Furthermore, they cannot own land.
If a company wants to own land, it must consider other options or register under the Foreign Business Act. In addition, these companies have to comply with other Thai regulations. Plizz can help ensure that the necessary paperwork is prepared and filed correctly to avoid any delays in the process. The entire process can take 4-6 weeks to complete, but a single mistake can cause it to be delayed for months.
In addition to allowing majority shareholding, the US-Thai Treaty of Amity also grants national treatment for American companies in the country. This means that American firms can operate in Thailand on the same basis as Thai investors without worrying about many of the restrictions put into place by Thailand to limit foreign investment.
If you decide to start a business under the US-Thai Treaty ofAmity, you must obtain a certificate of business operation from the Ministry of Commerce in order to register your company as a foreign enterprise in Thailand. This process can take about a month. You will need to submit notarized copies of your passport and your parent company’s passport as well as information regarding your company such as its name, address, authorized capital, number of shares and par value, the total number of shareholders, their nationalities, and the amount of shares held by each shareholder.
In order for a US-Thai Treaty of Amity company to sponsor a work permit, the company must have at least THB 2 million in registered capital and hire four Thai employees who are paid their salaries from this registered capital. Plizz’s legal team can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of registering under the US-Thai Treaty in more detail with you.