Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column
1 June 2018
Arrests by the Royal Thai Police
My question is theoretical and not related to any situation I find myself in. I have heard that the Thai police can only arrest you if they find you actually doing a crime or in the immediate aftermath of a crime i.e. running down the street with a stolen TV. Is this true?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors:
While it is true that the Royal Thai Police can arrest you if they catch you in the process of committing a crime it is also true that they can arrest you if they suspect you of having committed a crime either due to evidence or a witness.
The Ministry of Labour is considering removing some professions from the restricted list of occupations including labor work, bricklaying, carpentry and other construction work but workers are expected to get permission first. Others include agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery, except work requiring specialized knowledge, accountancy services except internal auditing, making mattresses or quilts, knife making, civil engineering, architectural work, dressmaking, and pottery. However, the worker must be hired by a company and not do their own business, and are not permitted to do work which shows Thai identity, culture or art. Twenty-eight occupations still remain restricted to Thais including tour guides, front-shop sales, driving vehicles, hair dressing, and working with gemstones. The proposals went for approval to the Ministry and, if all goes to plan, will be published on July 1 in the Royal Gazette.
A recent survey by the travel technology firm Amadeus found that millennials are looking for unique experience and are open to new technologies to enrich their travel experiences with 42 percent reporting that they use ride-sharing apps while traveling and 35 percent use accommodation sharing apps like Air BnB which was recently found to be illegal in Thailand. Thai millennials said they social media content and online travel booking sites as most influential followed by family and friends. Celebrities and social media influencers ranked at the bottom of the list, slightly higher than brochures. Millennials are also less likely to avoid a destination that has had extreme weather, or safety or security issues than baby boomers. Millennials are also more unwilling to share personal data for personalized or special offers than Gen X travelers.
Maya Beach on Koh Phi Phi has been closed to tourists for four months to give authorities a chance to rehabilitate the popular tourist destination. The site, which was featured in the popular Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach” has seen beach erosion, coral damage and pollution from the 5,000 visitors a day. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation will be building a floating dock and a boat parking zone for visiting tourists and will use an online ticketing system to register income from entry to the park and guard against corruption. The Department plans on instituting a quota to protect sensitive sites including Maya Beach.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand continues to roll out promotions for tourism to secondary provinces which saw a 13.4 percent year on year jump in tourism arrivals in the first five months of the year. The TAT Governor predicts that secondary destinations will earn no less than 3 trillion baht in tourism revenue this year. The tourism industry is still bustling despite the start of the rainy season as more people come for unique cultural and community tourism. The TAT is collaborating with the Community Development Department of the Interior Ministry, to promote OTOP products or locally-made goods such as traditional handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items, and food. First tier provinces include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Koh Samui
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All-natural beauty products export business seeks partners
This all-natural beauty products business is seeking to expand its export business and so is seeking investors to help the company grow its already existing market in the US with new products and to launch its products in China. The owner of this Thai-Amity company is planning on a major roll-out of new products and a massive marketing campaign to launch the new products of its already successful beauty line of organic products. Fully licensed with FDA approval from both the USFDA and Thai FDA the business already exports products to its US warehouse as well as promoting them on the radio in the US and an online shop. The company already has a major marketing campaign in the works for its launch in China but needs further capital so that the new products will go viral on the organic beauty market.
The owner is offering shares at $USD1.00 (equity/debt) — the investor would get 50% of their investment back off the top of sales with interest and end up with their balance of 1 million equity stocks at $.50 cents per share. The total 1 million shares is 33 percent interest in the company and would include the US corporation’s future profits. This is a very lucrative investment when figured that over the next 7-10 years and beyond there are projections of huge potential global sales.
32 million baht
Silom area hostel with 14 rooms
Located in cool neighborhood area about 10 minutes walk from the BTS, this Silom area hostel has 14 rooms including private rooms with en suite bathroom, rooms with shared bathrooms and a dorm style room that holds 4. The convenient location and classic atmosphere has earned the business good reviews on booking sites and Trip Advisor. The business was established in 2015 and has contracts with key accommodation booking sites including Agoda, Booking.com, and Hostel World.
The hostel has seen 1.8 million in sales with an average of 840,000 baht in revenues. The monthly rent is only 49,500 baht a month for the five floors, there is one full time employee with a salary of 15,000 baht a month. The owner invested 3.5 million in setting up the hostel. He is looking to move to a new business and so is seeking a sale.
ASKING PRICE: 2.3 million baht
Well-reviewed restaurant on busy Sukhumvit soi
Located in a busy Sukhumvit soi, this restaurant is well-reviewed on Trip Advisor and has garnered good word of mouth with locals, expats, and tourists. The owner is looking to sell the brand, equipment, and will train the new owner in all recipes.
There are six service staff and six kitchen staff including the chef, who will stay on to work for the new owner. The 200sqm restaurant can seat up to 60 people and rent on the space is 200,000 baht a month. The current owner has a 3 + 3 year lease that expires in 2019. There is a parking area available as well. The restaurant has room for an office and an area with lockers for the staff. The fully fitted out kitchen is designed to cook both western and Thai food.
Sales last year reached around 12 million baht with a profit of around 30 percent. The owner is looking to sell as he travels for his overseas business too often to manage the business.
6.5 million baht
Licensed general insurance broker selling majority shareholding
This fully licensed General Insurance Broker Company was established in 2008 and has developed an extensive client list of local subsidiaries of global companies as well as foreign owned companies and Foreign nationals and offers a full portfolio of Corporate/Business Insurances, Health, Motor, Industrial All Risk, Financial Risk, Public and Products Liability, Marine, Construction and Erection Insurance, House/Household, and car insurance among others. The business is a member of two global broker networks, one of which it represents exclusively in Thailand. The business currently has over 20 contracts in place with local and international insurance companies and good relationships with large insurance suppliers.
The process of gaining a corporate broker license can take up to a year and a half and 2 million baht in capitalization among other requirements. This business currently has 6 million baht in fully paid up capital which allows for 3 work permits. There is three highly qualified staff working in the Sathorn based office. The corporate and all individual licenses are in place
The business earns above 2 million Baht a year in commissions with premiums reaching 12 million baht a year. The owner is selling majority shares in the business but will maintain a relationship with the new entity which will guarantee the continuation of the long relationships and high retention rate as an excellent basis for growth.
ASKING PRICE: 5 Million baht for 75% Shareholding
French style bistro in Siam Paragon
This chic new French-apartment style bistro in Siam Paragon opened only this year but has already garnered great reviews for delicious food and a charming atmosphere. Siam Paragon is one of the top luxury shopping malls in Bangkok and known for a variety of great restaurants, and is often a destination just for meals. It’s great for those seeking to avoid the traffic but still want delicious home-style French food.
There are 12 staff with a total monthly payroll of 191,800 baht, rent on the 132 sqm space is 435,1000 baht a month while sales in the first six months have already reached 7.8 million baht.
The owner is moving overseas and so is selling the business.
ASKING PRICE: 16 million baht
Online health food store in Samui
This online health food store is one of the most well-known in Thailand and has earned a good reputation for providing high quality superfoods, and raw and organic foods and products with delivery around the country and worldwide. The website is quite extensive and has a great modern design with built in check out system and secure payment.
This business has huge potential growth as the health food industry takes off in Thailand. The new owners can run the business from their current location with no need to relocate since it all takes place online. The company has been in business for four years and the current owners expanded it and updated the website after taking ownership one and a half years ago.
The owners wish to sell for family reasons.
ASKING PRICE: 1.85 million baht
Top-rated dive school and luxury boat tours in Samui
This top -rated and highly reviewed dive school is located on Koh Samui and has been offering high quality, environmentally aware dive and marine tours and dive classes since 2002. Well reviewed on TripAdvisor the business offers exclusive high end daily joint trips and private charter snorkelling and diving speedboat tours to the best destinations in the Gulf of Thailand. The region’s first Scubapro Partner Centre, the award winning PADI 5 Star Dive center has garnered rave reviews and great word of mouth over the years.
This business could see growth by tapping into the expanding Chinese market as well as by increasing the private charter side of the business.
There are 25 highly trained dedicated staff with a monthly payroll of 580,000 baht. Annual sales are at 20 million baht with a net profit of 3.75 million. Approximately 60 to 65% of sales income comes from internet sales with 30 to 35% from resorts and remaining income coming via direct walk in and retail. The split between diving/non diving revenue is around 35% / 65%. The monthly rent is 35,000 baht for the 400 sqm building. The premises has space for reception/retail, office administration, classroom, store, garden areas for guest arrival/departure and a kit room containing high spec’ and well maintained dive & snorkelling equipment. The property also has a substantial 2 storey, 2 bedroom detached house with storage and an engine service workshop.
The business is fully licensed and assets valued at 10.5 million baht are included in the sale.
The owners are retiring and wish to sell this thriving high-end business
ASKING PRICE: 16 million baht
Restaurant and guesthouse in heart of old Chiang Mai
This charming guesthouse restaurant/bar is located in the heart of the old city in Chiang Mai, walking distance from all major old city attractions including the Sunday Walking Street Market and the many beautiful temples found in the old city. Chiang Mai continues to see tourism grow and this guesthouse has taken advantage of that growth. The guesthouse has contracts with all the major booking agencies and has earned five star reviews on Trip Advisor and Airbnb for its friendly staff, comfortable rooms, charming décor and central location.
The business was established in 2011 and has 560 sqm over four floors. Land with a chanote title is included in the sale, a rarity in this location. Each room is a large suite type room with minibar, en-suite, air conditioning and free WiFi throughout.
The business has six full time staff with a total monthly payroll of 60,000 baht. The guesthouse and restaurant saw total sales reach 4 million baht in 2016 with a net profit of 2.7 million baht.
The owners are relocating and so are selling the business, the building and the land.
ASKING PRICE: 18 million baht