Advantages of BOI Promotion in Thailand

Advantages of Thailands BOI promotion:

Thailand is fast becoming an investment destination for many foreign investors within and outside the Asian continent. Thailand is regarded by many as a fertile place for business with year over year growth expected to continue. Many Foreign companies have invested in Thailand and that looks set to continue. There are many things to consider before setting up a 100% foreign owned business in Thailand. One of the major things to consider is, do we qualify for privileges under the Board of Investment? BOI and registering your business with BOI comes with a plethora of benefits. This post will bring to the fore the major things to consider while setting up your company with the BOI of Thailand. Other areas that will be highlighted include the advantages of Setting up BOI registration, the disadvantages as well as the modalities for setting up of promotions.

Table of Contents

1. Meaning of Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI)
2. Benefits of BOI in promotion of companies
     2.1 Tax related advantages
     2.2 Benefits that are not related to tax
3. Tax incentives
     3.1 Exemptions on import duty
     3.2 Incentives that are not related to tax
     3.3 Full ownership by foreign investors
     3.4 Entitlement to work permits and visas
     3.5 Entitlement to land ownership
4. How to know whether your company is eligible for BOI promotion
     4.1 List of Eligible business categories
     4.2 List of eligible activities on BOI
     4.3 Minimum amount required as capital for the investment
     4.4 Balance DebttoEquity Ratio
     4.5 The BusinessType conditions
     4.6 BOI incentives based on merit
5. Disadvantages of promoting your company with BOI
     5.1 Complicated Accounting process
     5.2 Regular inspection
6. Wrapping Up

1. Meaning of Thailand’ s Board of Investment (BOI)
The BOI of Thailand is an organization specially designed to assist foreign investors in establishing their companies in the country. The BOI is owned by the government. The organization is solely designed to assist investors in starting up their companies. It helps in the introduction of innovative ideas, expansion, and technological advancements in the business. They offer the opportunity for investors to explore and harness the investment opportunities within and the country. The strategies employed at BOI are beneficial to both the investor and the country. Reports show that the economy of the country will experience positive growth when the businesses and companies are thriving. BOI promotion provides all-round assistance to new companies, it can also offer work permit and visa assistance to foreign investors. In addition to these, the investor may benefit from Tax incentives.

2. Benefits of BOI in promotion of companies
As a new foreign investor in Thailand, why should you register your company for BOI promotion?

2.1�Tax related advantages The following benefits will be accrued for incentives that are related to tax:

  • The company may be exempted from paying taxes for up to eight years.
  • The company will also enjoy the advantage of reduced corporate taxes.
  • Most of the foreign businesses and companies that are likely to import machineries and raw materials could incur heavy import duties. Companies that apply for BOI and are approved are given the leverage to pay for the import duties at reduced rates.
  • Research and further developments costs will also be given a boost by BOI promotion.
  • Foreign companies that register with BOI are exempted from some production costs and costs of export.

2.2 Benefits that are not related to tax
The advantages accrued are:

    • The foreign investor is offered the opportunity to gain full ownership of their company.
    • BOI promotion will offer them the opportunity for Visas and work permits.
    • They will also be offered the opportunity to own land and property. The benefits of BOI promotion are enormous. It is imperative for Company owners to know more about some key issues before going ahead to register for BOI promotion.

– The benefits of the promotion are meant for carefully selected sections of your company and are not designed to cover the entire company. For example, a company that deals with software and transportation may only be given the BOI promotion for one area. If the investment promotion is given for transportation, then it may not be applied on the software section.

– Your company will start reaping the benefits of the investment promotion immediately after they are given the promotion certificate. The promotion certificate is the approval given to all companies that are accepted for BOI promotion.

    – All the benefits accrued to your company will be communicated to you by BOI in writing.

3. Tax incentives
It is incumbent on all companies in Thailand to pay corporate income taxes. The taxes are usually paid annually and the amount paid is dependent on the size of the company as well as the area of business that your company is engaged in.
Companies that have been promoted by Thailand’s BOI may not pay corporate income taxes for a period of eight years. The number of years may vary and some companies might only be given a five year exemption while others may not be given any exemption. It all depends on the city where the company is located as well as the area of business.

In some cases, the income tax rate can be reduced to 50% of the total investment but the limitations can be more or less than that. This is dependent on the area of business.

A tax exemption of 50% is very beneficial for the company and such companies would have the liberty to carry out their business at a very low cost in Thailand.

If your business is operating in a key area that is vital for investment, then your company can be offered up to 70% of deductions on corporate income taxes and it could last for a period of 5 years.

Companies are segmented into groups according to some specifications. Companies in the “A1” groups and “Section 8” are usually given 100% exemption in corporate tax and they are given full corporate income tax exemption.
Section A1 Companies that belong to this group should be fully registered and given the due approval by the BOI. This approval can only be effective 120 days after the end of the company’s accounting period.

3.Exemptions on import duty
Exemptions on import duties are very beneficial for companies that deal in exportation of raw materials and research. In those cases, manufacturing companies with intentions of carrying out research and development will not be made to pay for import duties for the manufacturing of machines and other raw items.

3.2 Incentives that are not related to tax
A successful registration and promotion of your company at the Thailand’s BOI comes with some non-tax incentives.
Examples of such incentives include:

  • Full ownership by foreign investors
  • Entitlement to work permits and visas
  • Entitlement to land ownership

3.3 Full ownership by foreign investors:
Foreign investors who have not registered their companies in Thailand’s BOI are only allowed to own 49% of the shares but registration with BOI will grant them 100% ownership of the shares of the company.
Company registration requires a minimum of three shareholders.

3.4 Entitlement to work permits and visas
This provision comes with lots of benefits. By promoting your company at BOI, you will be entitled to visas and work permits. Application and processing of visas and work permits are very strenuous and time-consuming. Without a BOI registration, you will be going back and forth from immigration to ministry of labour. Promotion of your company with BOI will simplify the registration, renewal, and extension of your Visas and work permits. This also extends to your staff. There is no need for you or your staff to visit the Immigration Centre for visas. This is also applicable for application and processing of work permits. There is no need for you and your staff to visit the ministry of labour. Everything can be done at once at the same place with less stress. All these are usually done at the one-stop service centre in Bangkok. Your spouse, children and relatives are also covered by this provision. They will also be given visas and the vital documents required for them to reside with you in Thailand.

3.5 Entitlement to land ownership
Thai law does not allow foreigners to own land in Thailand. Foreign companies in Thailand, can own land if they have acquired BOI registration. This is made possible by section 27 of the Investment promotion Act of 1977. According to this Act, BOI promoted companies with relevant businesses can own lands and the lands can only be used for building of factories, offices and residential apartments for the staff. The provision also stipulates that the land must be sold within a period of one year after the closure of the company.

4. How to know whether your company is eligible for BOI promotion For many foreign investors, one of the resounding concerns in their mind is to know whether their company is eligible for BOI promotion or not. For companies to be eligible for BOI promotion, the following conditions must be met:

  • It should be listed among the eight categories of business and it should meet the specific requirements for each type of business.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio should be ideal and the minimum amount required for investment should be met.
  • It can be a new or an already existing company and should deal on legitimate and eligible business activities.

The aforementioned requirements are tentative and can be changed in the future by Thailand’s BOI.

4.1 List of Eligible business categories
Before proceeding to process your BOI promotion, it is imperative to check whether you business is one of the eight eligible business categories. Below are those business categories:

1. Agriculture and allied products
2. Light manufacturing industry
3. Mining, ceramics and basic metals
4. Chemicals, paper and plastics
5. Technology incubation and innovation development
6. Public utilities and general services
7. Electronics and electronics appliances

4.2 List of eligible activities on BOI
There are some business activities that are not permitted by BOI. You will not qualify for BOI promotion if your business categories falls under the list stated above, but does not carry out legitimateactivities. The list of eligible activities are listed on Thailand BOI’s official website.

4.3 Minimum amount required as capital for the investment
The investment capital is the total amount invested by the business owner and other share holders of the company in order to achieve the goals of the business.
It is incumbent that all companies should have at least one million baht before they can proceed with BOI promotion.
The amount can either be in cash or in the form of physical assets. Cost of construction, assets, machinery, can be used in lieu of cash. Please take note that, the value of land, payroll budgets, cost of production of goods, and other operational expenses cannot be used as investment capital.

4.4 Balance DebttoEquity Ratio
Debt-to-equity calculation is usually used to determine the financial status of a company and the value of its leverage. The maximum value of Debt-to-ratio that’s accepted for BOI promotion is a three to one ratio meaning that your debt is three times higher than your equity. Anything higher than that is not acceptable. BOI wants to ensure that companies are not running their businesses with borrowed money. Companies whose debt-to-equity ratios are greater than three to one are advised to increase their equity or reduce their debt profile.
It’s important to note that the three to one ratio is only applicable for new companies. There is no general rule for existing companies. The decision and modalities are selected based on the individual debt and equity profile of the company.

4.5 The BusinessType conditions

In addition to the general requirements, there are conditions that are universal while other conditions are specifically assigned for each business category. Your company must adhere to them.

Below are the two conditions that are universal:

1. Every business that produces solid waste must have efficient waste disposal and should set-up provisions and standards to minimize damages to the environment.

2. Companies that deal on value-added products must meet the required minimum percentage.

The minimum percentage can be calculated thus:

Value added = {(revenue – materials – expenses) x 100%) / revenue}

Agriculture and Agricultural Products
Businesses in the Agricultural sub-sector must offer a minimum extra value of 10%. A typical example of Agricultural value added product is the supply of coconuts which is used for the production of coconut water.

Technology and innovation development
If your company is a software development company, it is incumbent on you to pay your staff a minimum of 1.5 million baht yearly. In addition to this, the software developed by your company must be listed among the software by Digital Economy Promotion Agency of Thailand.
No minimum yearly salary is required for IT companies that deal on digital services.

Metal products, Machinery, and Transportation equipment
Owners of manufacturing companies seeking to apply for BOI promotion are advised to take their machinery to relevant government organizations for approval. Their applications will not be accepted if this action is not carried out.

Light Industry
Every light industrial company must have a minimum added advantage of 20%. A typical example of Agricultural value added product is coconut which is used for the production of coconut water.

Incentive Groups
The BOI in Thailand segments companies into six different groups for different tax incentives. The non-tax incentives are always the same for all segments of the companies.

Some of the conditions required by BOI for company segmentation includes:

  • The level on competitive advantage of the company,
  • The current market demand in Thailand
  • Comparative impacts on similar investments

The A1 is the highest ranked group. Companies in this group enjoy 8 years of corporate income tax exemption. The following are the types of companies in this group:

  • Research and development companies
  • Production design companies
  • IT companies that deals on digital services, cloud services, and software parks.

The A2 is second in the ranking. Companies in this group may be exempted from paying corporate income tax for eight years. This group is composed of manufacturing companies that deals with value-added products.

Companies in the A3 group are provided with 5 years of corporate income tax exemption. The group is composed of software companies and manufacturing companies.

Companies in the A4 group operate the same way like companies in the A1, A2, and A3 companies but they operate on a lesser technological level. A4 companies are exempted from paying corporate tax for three years.

B1 group companies in this group are not exempted from paying corporate income tax but they enjoy free import duties for their machines. This group is composed of the following types of companies:

  • Electrical and electronics manufacturing companies
  • Logistics companies
  • Plastics manufacturing companies

The lowest ranking group is B2. This group is composed of e-commerce companies and they are not offered any tax exemption.

Your company may fall under any of the four groups and it is also possible for you to get 10 years uncapped tax deductions if your business contributes in the development of Thailand via technological advancements. This includes companies in the following areas:

  • Biotechnology and nanotechnology
  • Advanced material technology
  • Digital technology

The above mentioned companies would only get their tax incentives for business by collaborating with research centers or educational centers recognized by BOI.

4.6 BOI incentives based on merit
The Thailand’s BOI offers incentives, bonuses and privileges to BOI promoted companies. This provision is carried to boost and encourage competition in the market. Examples of this type of merit include:

  • Exemption from corporate income tax payment for about 3 years
  • Deduction of tax for about 5 years.
  • Deductions of tax for costs of provision of infrastructure and other utilities

The BOI of Thailand has stipulated and listed the minimum number of staff and a minimum value of investment for every location. It is mandatory for all companies to adhere to the specified values.

5. Disadvantages of promoting your company with BOI
The advantages of promoting your company with BOI are enormous but it also comes with a few disadvantages. Firstly, the registration process is very complicated. It requires a well detailed financial accounting process. More so, the BOI promotion requires regular inspection. Below are the highlights of the major disadvantages of company promotion with BOI:
Long registration process, up to 6 months.

Setting up of BOI promotion involves bureaucracy and submission of a plethora of business documents. The process is rigorous, time-demanding and can last for more than six months. Within this period you will have to navigate back and forth to the headquarters of BOI.
Lawyers can help in the registration process. They can help you to complete the registration within a shorter time please contact Sunbelt Asia for assistance.

5.Complicated Accounting process
BOI promotions can bring about complications in the accounting section of the company. This is because BOI promotion may not applicable to all sections of the company. Accounting staff may spend more time separating the financial data in the section covered by the BOI promotion and the section that is not covered. One of the financial provisions of BOI is that the promoted companies must send financial reports yearly, monthly, or six months depending on the duration of the promotion. As a result of this, BOI promoted companies are expected to hire and pay higher amounts for highly qualified accountants who can handle advanced BOI financial accounting reports.

5.2 Regular inspection
BOI promotion is not applied in all the parts of the company and BOI companies are expected to ensure that the promotions are applied only to the right areas. The revenue department of BOI carries out regular inspections of all BOI promoted companies to be sure that the promotions are applied only to the BOI related areas. It very important to hire qualified accountants that know about BOI promotions because mistakes in the reports can lead to misunderstandings with the BOI officials.

6. Wrapping Up
The requirements mentioned in this article can be changed at any time. You can consult an experienced Lawyer for advice here Sunbelt Asia. Thanks for reading this post. You can contact us via the contact form if you need assistance in BOI promotion application.

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