Owning your BOI Promoted Company

It is possible for Board of Investment (BOI) promoted companies to be fully foreign owned and there are many benefits besides that in applying for promotion.

What are the benefits to a BOI company?

  • Corporate tax exemptions or reductions.
  • Tax exemptions on imported equipment.
  • Exemptions on production for export
  • 100 percent foreign ownership (three shareholders minimum)
    • Some categories are not eligible such as agriculture, mining, service and public utilities
  • Visas and Work Permits for foreign staff at the One Stop Service Center
  • Dependent visas for children and spouses.
  • Land ownership for the use by the company

It is important to note that the promotion may not apply to your entire company and that the benefits only take effect once the BOI has approved the promotion and the benefits.

Exemptions on corporate tax will vary depending on the business you are in, its important to meet with one of our lawyers to determine which tax exemptions your company can benefit from.

For example, offering cloud services can give your company an eight-year exemption from corporate income tax while software companies will get a five-year exemption. However, if your company cooperates with a Thai educational institute in one of four core technologies (biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced material technology and digital technology) it can see a ten-year exemption from corporate income tax.

What are the merit based incentives?

Some business categories are eligible for merit-based incentives such as

  • An additional three years of corporate income tax exemption
  • An additional five years of tax deductions
  • Tax deductions for infrastructure and utility costs

You can earn these extra incentives by opening your business in one of the 20 lowest income provinces or in a Special Economic Zone, Promoted Industrial Estate Zone, or Promoted Southern Border Zones.

What are the requirements for opening a BOI business?

  • A new or existing company
  • You must still follow the regular procedures for setting up a Limited Company when applying for BOI incentives. For example, you still need three shareholders, must follow proscribed accounting procedures, register for tax documents and in the social welfare system.
  • Falls under one of the eight business categories
  • The business performs eligible activities
  • Meets the minimum capital investment requirement
    • Your company must have at least one million baht in capital when you apply for BOI promotion.
    • You must have at least ten million baht in capital if you run a logistics company or international trading center.
    • Capital can include cost of construction and machinery, company assets, and other business expenses.
  • Meets the required debt-to-equity ratio
    • Cannot be higher than 3 to 1
  • Meets the business-type conditions.
    • These conditions will vary depending on which business you enter into, for example if you run a software company you must pay your IT employees at least one-and-a-half million baht each year, and the company must develop software listed by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency of Thailand.
    • Two basic requirements that your business must meet are:
      • Standards must be in place to minimize environmental damage.
      • A company that produces value-added products must meet a minimum percentage.

What are the eight business categories?

  • Agriculture and Agricultural Products
  • Chemicals, Paper, and Plastics
  • Electronics and Electronic Appliances
  • Light Industry
  • Metal Products, Machinery, and Transport Equipment
  • Mining, Ceramics, and Basic Metals
  • Services and Public Utilities
  • Technology and Innovation Development

It is important to note that while your business may fall under one of these categories, it must also engage in eligible activities. The legal team at Sunbelt Asia can assist you in determining if your business idea is eligible.

What business is best for foreigners?

Many foreigners opt to enter into businesses in Technology and Innovation Development. If you want to go this route then your business must meet one of four eligible activities:

  • Advanced material technology development
  • Biotechnology development
  • Digital technology development
  • Nanotechnology development

Manufacturing is another possibility, Harley Davidson recently opened a factory in Thailand, which is eligible for BOI promotion under their list of eligible categories and activities.

Offering Cloud Services also falls under BOI eligible activities, as does Research & Development in bio & medical industries, advanced manufacturing industries, high value services and creative and digital industries.

Creative and digital industries include everything from motion picture support services to production of digital printed matter, software development, digital services including software platforms and e-commerce. E-commerce is one business idea that many have considered, and indeed started businesses in Thailand.

Other interesting opportunities lie in food science and technology as well as logistics. If you have a great business idea but aren’t sure if you are eligible it is worth setting an appointment and meeting with our BOI experts to determine if your ideas are eligible.

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