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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 1 September 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column


1 September 2017

Registering a will in Thailand

Question 1:
In the column of 9th April 2017, question 1, Sunbelt Legal wrote about registering and ratifying a will in Thailand. I have never before heard that you may register a Thai will and the absence of registration is a sore point in my mind, as I want to make sure my wife is secure when I die. I cannot do so if my will is not found after my death. In my home country a will is registered and stored in the probate court and automatically found when a person dies. I would appreciate it if something similar could be made in Thailand. I have not found anything about the registration of a will in the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) section 1646 -1672. Is registration only possible for Thai wills made outside Thailand and described in another law? How do I register a will and does a registration secure my will is found and applied after my death?

Sunbelt Asia legal Advisors responds:
You register your will at the local District Office or Amphur. The Thai will need to be witnessed by people who understand the language as does the English language will. The translation needs to be certified and then it can be registered with the local Amphur. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist you in writing a will that covers your Thai assets and register the will as well. Please be aware that your Thai will only cover your Thai assets and you will need a separate will from your home country for assets there.

Prenuptial agreement

Question 2:
I plan to marry my Thai girlfriend in Thailand and we have already agreed that we need a pre-nuptial agreement before we go ahead with the marriage registration. It will be a very simple agreement that protects a few of our respective assets and our respective small business interests. As I understand it, each of us needs our own lawyer for this. Is that correct? Also, can you please tell if I was to engage Sunbelt to be my lawyer, what is the cost of drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement including any other fees that are involved?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors are able to draft a prenuptial agreement for you, but your fiancée should have separate legal representation to review the document after it has been drafted. However, the drafting can be done by us and she can have it reviewed separately. It is important to note that the agreement must be registered at the same time as the marriage. If you are already married, then it will not be valid and it cannot be registered before the marriage. It is also important to know that the agreement can include all your assets abroad as well, and is not limited to, as in the case of a Will, only Thai Assets.

To draft the agreement, we will need a copy of the Passport or ID Card for both yourself and your fiancée. A copy of the Passport or ID Card for the 2 Witnesses required. (Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can provide these witnesses if necessary). A list of all the assets you and your fiancée would like to not be listed as marital assets but as personal assets upon marriage. And proof of ownership of all the assets listed above. Here we are talking about for example a copy of the title deed for a condominium or a copy of the Bank books in question.

Our professional fees to complete the draft in both English and Thai is 14,500 Baht +7% VAT, but please get in touch to set up a free initial consultation with one of our legal team to go over your requirements for the prenuptial.

Burning leaves in a municipal area

Question 3:
What does Thai law say about burning leaves and trash in residential areas? Is there an office that takes complaints about burning leaves?

Sunbelt Legal Advisors respond:
This is not allowed in residential areas and complaint can be filed at the juristic person if its gated community or the district office, if you live in a municipality then you should file with the Tessban Office.

Public use of school photos

Question 1:
In our children's school the management hired a photographer to shoot pictures of students on school premises to use for commercial use. They have not asked the parents' permission to use these pictures and they are now all over posters, brochures and other marketing material. Further, the photographer has featured some of the pictures, mainly pictures of primary grade student girls, on his own website along with his other photo shoots where the majority of his work is erotic pictures with links to titles like "Katie & Laure's Fancy Panties Photo shoot", "Boudoir Photo-shoot" and "Bikini Swimwear Photo-shoot Pattaya Thailand". We asked the photographer to remove the girls next to these pictures and links which he has done. The school management took no action even when we wrote them.

1: What is the Thai law of taking pictures of students on i.e. a school and use them for commercial marketing? (In most Western countries, you by law have to get parents' written permission first).

2: Can a photographer use these pictures on his online portfolio without parents’ permission? I have enclosed closed some screen dumps from the photographers website as it was before so you can see. Hope this question will be interesting for your website and readers.

Sunbelt Legal Advisors responds:
The school does have the right to hire a photographer and use their photos on their website or school related advertisements. However the photographer does not have the right to use these photos without school permission in his portfolio. The school should have taken steps to have these photos removed from his website. If he uses the photos for his own commercial purposes then he needs permission from the parents of the minor children.




The new excise tax is due to come into force on September 16 and will affect sugary drinks that will lose their excise free status. Ready-to-drink coffees and teas will be levied a 10% tax on their suggested retail price. A tax on sugary drinks will depend on the sugar content of the drink; soft drinks with a sugar content of 0-6 milligrams will be tax exempt, while 6-8mg will have a 10-satang tax, 8-10mg will be taxed 30 satang, 10-14mg will see a 50 satang tax, and more than 14mg in one drink will have a one baht tax. The laws will apply to 21 categories except alcohol, cigarettes and playing cards which are still being determined but expected to be decided before September 16. Local wine makers are expected to benefit as the Excise Department plans on raising the ceiling for tax exemption from 600 baht to thousands of baht. Foreign made wine are not expected to benefit from this new ceiling as their retail price is higher than locally made wines.

New customs laws are due to take effect November 17, repealing the old Customs Act BE 2469 (1926) and its amendments. The new Customs Act BE 2570 (2017) will see changes in the penalties which will be based on separate categories depending on the offense, penalties based on intent will also change and be lessened for those just committing an error rather than intentional or negligent misconduct. Now the prosecution must prove willful intent. Financial penalties for duty evasion will also be changed in the new act and will be based on only the actual amount of duty evaded. The new act will be applied retroactively to pending cases. Additionally the new act will streamline the process, making clearing customs a faster and more transparent process according to reports.

A report by the Digital Advertising Association of Thailand (DAAT) predicts that Thailand's digital ad spending is expected to hit 12.2 billion baht in 2017, a 29 percent jump from 2016 which saw 9.47 billion baht. Last year businesses spent the most on digital advertising on communications, non-alcoholic drinks, skincare products and motor vehicles. In 2017 the association predicts that the highest spending will be coming from the same four categories as they seek to boost brand awareness and consumer engagement. Currently more than 80 percent of Thais use the internet daily and the average internet user spends 4 hours a day on the internet on a mobile device and 5 hours a day on a PC or laptop.

The new Land Tax law is still under consideration by the National Legislative Assembly over concerns if taxpayers can pay the new tax bills levied by the bill. The NLA is likely to rework the bill to increase revenues as the argument is that the 50 million baht ceiling for tax exemption for first homes is quite high. Owners of second homes are subject to taxes even if the combined value of the two homes is less than 50 million baht. Only 0.04 percent of all homes and farmland are valued at more than 50 million baht.

Business news on Sunbelt Asia


Special offer on serviced offices for October!!

Starting October 1 we have two types of serviced offices available at a special promotional offer

Office with space for two staff at 9,500 baht a month
Office with space for three staff at 11,000 baht a month
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Happy anniversary from all of us at Sunbelt Asia!!

A "Thank you" gift for our clients new and old!


Sunbelt Asia has been offering our excellent service to our clients for 15 years! As our 15th anniversary gift we would like to offer our professional services on retirement and marriage visa extensions at the very special reduced rate of 7,500 baht as a thank you to our clients new and old for their support over the years.

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Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can handle all your legal and business needs; from visas to work permits, prenuptial agreements to divorces, condo purchases and wills.

Be sure and contact our English speaking legal advisors for all your legal needs

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We at Sunbelt Asia see many of our clients regularly ask us legal questions regarding living and running a business in Thailand. To help out we have set up a FREE Expert Answers for Your Questions in Thailand Facebook page; Sunbelt Asia Facebook Expert Advice Page

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Beautiful French restaurant in top Sukhumvit location

Set in a beautifully decorated French country style home with an outdoor garden terrace dining area, this well-known and popular French restaurant is located on Sukhumvit 39. There is even parking for 20 cars in this space, a rarity in the Sukhumvit area. The business has earned a good reputation for delicious home-style French cuisine and a charming, relaxed ambiance since its opening in 2014.

Rent on this spacious premises (120 sqm for the restaurant, 40sqm for the kitchen plus the garden area and parking) is 90,000 baht on a two year lease. There are eight staff with a total monthly payroll of 148,000 baht. Sales reach 7.8 million annually.

The owner is moving overseas and so is seeking to sell the restaurant.

ASKING PRICE: 7 million baht (BKK15787)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Dental clinic seeks tenant to share prime Siam Square location

An existing dental clinic is seeking a tenant to share space on this amazing Siam Square location. Siam Square is one of the top locations in Bangkok and this is an ideal location for a beauty clinic to open and share the common area and consultation room with the dental clinic that is using a part of the premises. The new tenant would share the rental fee with the dental clinic. Rent on the space in this really amazing location is 126,000 baht a month for the new tenant. A deposit of 3 months and one month in advance would be necessary.

RENTAL PRICE: 126,000 baht a month (BKK15777)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Brand new restaurant near BTS on Silom in assets sale

Located near the BTS station on Silom road, this chic and modern bar and restaurant is perfect for someone looking for a brand new restaurant on which they can make their own imprint.

The owners fitted this great location out just last year but have since closed the business and moved it to another location. They are looking to sell this fully fitted out restaurant including the lease. The restaurant has 239 sqm of space including a charming outdoor space that proved very popular.

Rent on the space is 75,000 baht a month and the lease is for 3 years. The owners invested 6.5 million baht in fitting up this chic bar and restaurant but because of the other business are selling at an assets sale price.

ASKING PRICE: 5.5 million baht (BKK15791)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Long-running Chiang Mai pub with property in prime location

You won't just be purchasing this long-running well-known pub, located in the heart of the busy tourist district of the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, but also property that has grown and will continue to grow in value in this booming city.

The bar and restaurant has earned a reputation for good food and good drinks both with tourists and locals and is well-rated on Trip Advisor for its authentic atmosphere and great location.

Included in the purchase are two units of property covering 4 floors with a total of 400 sqm of area. The restaurant seats 90 people and is fully fitted out. There are 15 staff with a total monthly payroll of 200,000 baht.

The value of the property alone is already 45 million baht. The owner is retiring from the business and so wishes to sell this popular bar.

ASKING PRICE: 49 million baht (BKK15793)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Charming Chiang Mai guesthouse in heart of old city

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: 25 million baht (BKK15758)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Well-regarded Kanchanburi travel & tour agency

This long established Kanchanaburi travel agency handles inbound tours to the popular province. Holding the valuable TAT license the business is turnkey for the new owner. The sale includes the shophouse with the business. The building is 320 sqm and the buyer will be owning a chanote title property.

Last year's sales reached 4.5 million baht with a net profit of 1.04 million baht. There are six employees with experience in the business with a total monthly payroll of 80,000 baht. There are several part time tour guides the company can hire freelance as needed.

The owner is now retiring and so wishes to sell the business

ASKING PRICE: 11.8 million baht (BKK15647)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Rayong based construction contracting company

This construction contracting business offers services across the board including metal fabrication, insulation, construction and manpower. The company has been in business since 1997 and has earned a good reputation for quality work and has many large companies as customers including those in the gas, oil and chemical fields. This is a good business for someone looking for a turn key business that has a steady stream of customers.

The business is well-run and has 40 experienced full time employees with a total monthly payroll of 900,000 baht. Sales last year reached 50 million baht and net profit is around 10 percent. The company is established in the busy area of Rayong and the 10 rai of land the business is on is included in the sale. The land is market valued at 15 million baht.

The owner is moving back to his home country and so is looking to sell this well-established ongoing business.

ASKING PRICE: 33 million baht (BKK15703)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

BOI promoted export factory in Samut Sakhon

This Board of Investment promoted business is located in Samut Sakhon province just outside Bangkok and manufactures dried fruits for export to China. Fully licensed and approved by the FDA, as well as a Halal certification, this business has only just now started taking off. BoI promotion means tax cuts and other incentives to help the business thrive. Take advantage of this great opportunity for a business that is ready to go and just requires a motivated owner to take the reins.

The factory is in a two storey building with offices and factory located on 1.28 rai of land. The factory and equipment is all new and in top condition There are ten full time employees with a monthly payroll of 150,000 baht. The business has only just started running and the owner is forced to return to his home country so the new owner is stepping into a brand new and ready to go business.

ASKING PRICE: 30 million baht (BKK15705)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Sunrise Tacos Franchise  

Interested in joining the most successful and popular Mexican restaurant franchise in Thailand? Sunrise Tacos is seeking qualified franchisees to join us in our commitment to quality and healthy, delicious food. Are you experienced in hospitality or business management but want to strike out on your own? Sunrise Tacos is seeking franchisees fully committed to the Sunrise Tacos way; with a hands on approach to running the business and experience in hospitality or business management. The leadership at Sunrise Tacos prides itself on maintaining a close and personal relationship with each of our franchisees and looks at franchising as a long-term business partnership. We are committed to our franchise partners and helping them grow.  

With the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year we at Sunrise Tacos see the potential for growth in the region. If you want to be a part of that potential let us know! We already have a branch in Phnom Penh and have added more around Thailand, including our new franchise in Chiang Mai, and are seeking committed, enthusiastic business minded people to join us. Contact [email protected] for more information.




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