Starting an Association in Thailand

What is an Association?

In Thailand there are several different types of formations; companies which are for profit, foundations, which are charitable non-profits, and associations, which is for clubs and similar organizations to act as juristic persons. The Thai Civil and Commercial Code defines an Association as being “created for conducting any activity which, according to its nature, is to be done continuously and collectively by persons other than that of sharing profits or incomes earned.”

In general, associations are organizations of members that act together for specific goals. Associations can include hobby clubs, service clubs, sports clubs, religious organizations, professional groups and organizations of people like expat clubs. Non-governmental organizations can form a non-profit association.

What are the benefits to creating an Association?

  • An Association is viewed as a juristic person and so can sign contracts and engage in other legal activities.
  • Opening and holding bank accounts under the name of the Association.
  • Legal recognition by Thai government for activities of committee members.
  • Ability to earn income (but must still pay taxes).
  • No requirement for registered capital.

What are the requirements to setting up an Association?

Three would be members must file with the Office of the National Culture Commission:

  • A name, which must contain the word Association and a logo.
  • Objectives.
  • Address of its principal office and branches if any. Map to location.
  • Rules for admission of members and termination of membership.
  • Rates and member fees.
  • Rules for the Committee of the association
    • Number of directors
    • Appointment of directors
    • Term of office of directors
    • Retirement of directors
    • Meetings of the committee
  • Rules for the management of the association, account keeping and management of the property of the association.
  • List of names, addresses and occupations of at least ten would-be members.
  • Background histories of the 3 would be members, Certified by the department level government officials.
  • Minutes of the meeting for establishing the Association by minimum 3 promoters.
  • Letter of consent from landlord for use of building including copies of landlord’s house registration and title deeds.
  • Certified copies of identification and house registration books (if any) of the directors and members of the association.

How to set up an Association?

The directors file the form and a memorandum at the District Office where the Association is situated. The application and paperwork are also submitted at the same office.

The government fee is 2,000 baht.

All documentation must be in the Thai language.

It is important to note that once the Association is formed no alterations of and additions to the regulations may be made, except by a resolution at the general meeting and must be submitted at the District Office within 30 days.
Sunbelt Asia Lawyers can assist you in this process, ensuring that all documentation is correct, translated into Thai and properly submitted.

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