Setting Up a Foundation in Thailand

Have a great idea about how to give back to your community? Maybe you should consider setting up a foundation so that you can work, solicit donations, and help people legally.

Setting up a foundation in Thailand is a complex procedure but it can be done. There are quite a few requirements, all in Thai language of course, and it can take a long time, but if you have a great idea for helping Thai society, it will be worth it to get the process started.

Thai law states that foundations must be for “public charity, religious, art, scientific, education or other purpose for the public benefit and not for sharing profit.”

What are the benefits to setting up a foundation?

  • It is a legally recognized juristic person that can enter into contracts, employ local staff, and lease premises.
  • Collect donations and issue receipts just like a company.
  • Choose exactly what and who your foundation will do and benefit in its constitution.
  • Any excess income not distributed is treated as profit but has a tax rate between 2-10 percent.
  • Work permits can be issued for foreigners.

A Thai Foundation can employ paid local staff and foreign volunteers, the directors must be unpaid volunteers.

What are the drawbacks to setting up a foundation?

  • Directors must provide personal financial information and proof of identity.
  • Assets must be valued 500,000 baht and at least 250,000 baht must be deposited in cash
  • Some foundations with specific objectives have a requirement of 250,000 baht in assets and 100,000 baht in cash.
  • All directors are equally liable.
  • The process can take a year, or longer!

What are the requirements for setting up a foundation?

  • A minimum of three directors, the Director, Assistant Director and Secretary/Treasurer.
  • The name of the Foundation (must include Foundation in the name).
  • A list of assets to be donated to set up the foundation.
  • Addresses of its principal office and all its branch offices. Permission from the owner to have the offices there.
  • Rules for the Committee of the foundation.
  • Rules for management of the foundation, the management of the property and accounting of the foundation.
  • Bylaws must have a clear objective with an achievable goal and must be in line with the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.
  • Abovementioned funds.
  • List of assets and proof of identification of directors.

In general, while foreigners can be directors of foundations, when setting one up there may be less scrutiny if the founding directors are Thai. Director names can be changed after the foundation has been approved.
This is a long and complex process that our lawyers can help you through to get you ready to start your charitable work in Thailand.

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