Weekly Column

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 6 April 2018

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

6 April 2018

Immigration visiting my home

Question 1:

I am a Brit living in Thailand on a marriage visa and have been doing so for many years. I recently had to renew my visa again for another year and was told Immigration officials would come to my home to visit and take photos inside and outside the house. The photos were to be of my wife and I and a Thai friend that my wife. I had already provided the Immigration office with the usual 6 photos of the house inside and outside on the visa application. The 2 visiting Immigration officials did produce ID when challenged but failed to produce any formal / legal paperwork to justify legal house entry. When I objected to their entry under the invasion of privacy act, they said if I do not conform, I may not be given another visa. This created animosity between my wife and I, so I then agreed. One of the photos demanded was a photo of my wife, her friend and I sitting on the marriage bedroom bed. Can you give us any update on these new rules that may be applicable to those of us on a marriage visa. Can Sunbelt give any further advice? There was nothing displayed about this in the Immigration office. I did received a marriage visa for another year.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:

It is within their rights for Immigration officials to check your home. It is usually done on the first application of an extension of visa based on marriage to a Thai national but it does happen that an officer will decide to do so even after some years. There have been reports of Immigration becoming more strict in checking because of fraudulent applicants. According to the Immigration officer we spoke to, it is up to the discretion of the officer and so is on a case by case basis.

How to check if someone is married

Question 2:

I have a legal question an ex-girlfriend asked me. For me, if you have to ask this, you probably should not marry this person if you do not trust them. My question is this: Is there a way to check to see if someone was and / or still is married in Thailand?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:

The evidence of being single or married can only be provided by the person in question and that is done by obtaining a certificate at the District Office. It is not possible for a third party to access this private information. However, were this person already married and attempted to register a new marriage it would not be allowed as marriages are listed in the government database.

Sunbelt Asia offices will be closed for Songkran on Friday April 13 and Monday April 16. The offices will reopen for regular business on Tuesday April 17.

Last week the Cabinet approved a 3.5 billion baht budget to finance land acquisition for the high speed rail line linking Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-tapao International Airports. The cabinet also approved a further 108 billion baht is allocated for the rail link. The entire route will be about 220 km long and the trains should run at a speed of 250 km an hour. It is expected that the train will take about 45 minutes from Bangkok to U-tapao for a cost of 330 baht. Most of the rail line will be built along an existing route operated by the State Railway of Thailand and trains in the inner city will run at a lower speed of 160 km an hour. Makkasan Station, currently a station on the Airport Rail Link that connects with the MRT system will serve as the central station for the high-speed train. The government is expected to sign a joint-venture contract in December and the train is expected to become operational in 2023.

The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) said last week that six major airports across the nation will see an 11.9 percent year on year increase in air travel between April 11th and 17th for the Songkran New Year holiday. The number of passengers is expected to grow 14.4 percent year on year to around 430,700 passengers per day. Suvarnabhumi will see the highest volume with more than a 1,000 flights and almost 200,000 passengers each day. Don Mueang will see the second highest volume and is expected to see passenger growth jump 21.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts that nearly 20 billion baht in tourism revenues will be generated during the Songkran holiday period, an 18 percent increase from the same holiday period last year. Foreign tourists are expected to reach 530,000 arrivals and generate 9.3 billion baht in revenues while domestic tourism is predicted to grow 12 percent year on year generating 10 billion baht in revenues, a 15 percent rise. The rise in domestic tourism is due to tax incentives, the extension of holiday period and increased domestic flights to meet high demand during Songkran.

The use of data via mobile phones reached six times the same amount from four years ago in 2017 as Thais used a total of 3.3 billion gigabytes (3 million terabytes) of mobile internet data in 2017. Each user used an average of 4.11 gb of data a month on average. According to the to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) voice calls dropped from 70.72 billion minutes in 2014 to 43.46 billion minutes last year and the duration of those calls dropped from four minutes per day in 2014 to 2 minutes in 2017. There are 121.53 million mobile numbers in use in Thailand, with 53.05 million numbers registered with AIS, 36.05 million registered with TRUE, 30 million with DTAC, 2.32 million with CAT, and 0.11 million with TOT.

Special offer on serviced officesWe are offering two types of serviced offices available at a special promotional deal
Office with space for two staff at 9,500 baht a month

Office with space for three staff at 11,000 baht a month

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.

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

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

Please feel free to contact us if you are in Thailand on (+66) 02-662-7004 to discuss any of these listings.

Well-known top end furniture business

This long-running furniture company has been in the business of importing and supplying modern classic furniture and lighting. In addition to a large showroom for retail sales to the public, the business also supplies furniture and lighting to many of the five star hotels, restaurants and property developments. The company is a mature, well-known brand in Thailand and has earned a top reputation in its ten years of business.

The showroom/warehouse/office is in a good location on upper Sukhumvit, the 1200sqm space has a 140,000 baht month a rent and a 6 year lease. There are ten full-time staff with monthly wages of 250,000 baht. There is a large database of active customers and the company is a regular exhibitor at many of the furniture fairs in Thailand.

Sales have reached an average of 25 million baht a year for the past 3 years, with yearly earnings of 5.8 million for the same period. Inventory valued at 4 million baht is included in the sale.

The owner is moving back home and so wishes to sell the business

ASKING PRICE: 16 million baht

Large bar and restaurant near Nana

In a great location a short walk from the Nana BTS station, this bar and restaurant has earned good reviews on Trip Advisor for its good food and great atmosphere. The business has been open for 4 years and offers a top menu featuring popular American dishes; recipes and training are included in the sale. The restaurant also uses two delivery services to send out its popular food.

This 425sqm space has inside and outside seating, as well as private space for meetings and parties. The restaurant can seat 65 people and offers three big screen televisions and an outside projector for the terrace. There is office and living space on the 3rd and 4th floors of this double shophouse. There is no key money in the takeover of this lease.

The owner has spent a considerable amount of effort in marketing the business, making it highly ranked on Google search and an active Facebook page. Last year the business took in 3.9 million baht with a profit of 1.1 million baht. Although the business is highly profitable, the owner wishes to retire and so is selling the business.

ASKING PRICE: 3.5 million baht

Gorgeous spa in high end hotel for rent

This beautiful spa is located in a popular and well regarded high end Sukhumvit hotel in a busy area with several other hotels as well as condo buildings. The large space is 135 sqm and has two rooms with two beds and two rooms with one bed each. All rooms have a shower for the customer. This spa is serene and beautifully decorated to ensure a quality experience for the guest. All equipment is included in the rental agreement. Five months deposit is required.

RENTAL PRICE: 100,000 baht a month

Popular franchise in busy Bangkok mall

Located in a busy mall in a popular Western suburb of Bangkok this American franchise is well-known but the owner is forced to sell as he has no time to manage and grow the business. A new owner could easily grow sales and profits with this popular franchise.

The 18 sqm restaurant is set in the food court of a busy mall and has a rent of 17 percent of gross profit. The business sold over 4.1 million baht in its first year and could easily grow with a dedicated owner/manager. There are three full time employees with a monthly payroll of 29,300 baht. The business has made a profit of around 20,000 baht a month.

The franchise fee and deposit with the suppliers is not included in the sale price.

ASKING PRICE: 2.5 million baht

Large hostel in popular Bangrak neighborhood

In the popular Bangrak neighbourhood, this hostel has 90 beds in 20 rooms with an in house café. Potential for this business is quite high but the owner is not able to manage on site, an active manager on site could easily grow this business as this is a popular tourist area and the hostel concept remains popular with travellers. Payroll is currently 100,000 baht a month and rent on the location is 151,750 baht a month with a 9 year lease.

All assets are included in the sale including furniture, CCTT, website and online booking system.

ASKING PRICE: 9.5 million baht

Retail business with unique concept around Thailand and Cambodia

With a unique and fun concept, this retail store has expanded rapidly and now has 39 branches around Thailand and in Cambodia. The stores are a destination and always have something new and fun to explore. Offering low priced fashion products and unique gifts that resonate with tourists and residents, the owners of this store have found that their success has outstripped their ability to manage the business. The company sources their products direct from the factory both locally and around the region. With an ever changing trendy offering of fun products, the company has created a popular and well-known brand image.

The business has 39 locations of which one is the headquarters and warehouse in Min Buri, and a company owned store in a popular tourist district as well as one licensed store. Total rent and services on these locations is around 5 million baht a month. There is 188 staff with a total monthly payroll of 3.17 million baht. Annual sales reach 344 million baht giving a profit of 38 million baht. Inventory valued at 100 million baht is included in the sale.

The company is debt-free would offer the new owner a good income but this is ideal for someone seeking to grow the business through franchising and owner-operated stores as the retail concept has proven to be quite popular.

ASKING PRICE: 225 Million baht

Small food shop in busy Rama 9 area

This charmingly decorated small shop is in a busy area filled with offices in the booming Rama 9 neighborhood. With a great location and near a Starbucks, this shop offers ready made snacks to go, spicy salad, salad rolls and more. There are also 8 seats for some eat in customers. The business has only just started and already sells 4,000 – 5,000 baht a day. A small franchise, this business is turn-key ready for someone looking to walk into a business that can easily grow.

Rental on the 10sqm shop is only 13,500 baht a month, great for this popular location. There are two staff with monthly wages of 24,000 baht.

ASKING PRICE: 880,000 baht

Long-running Chaweng Beach bar on Samui

The owner of this popular long-running bar on Koh Samui has dropped the price for a quick sale. The bar is located in the heart of Chaweng and has built up a good reputation over the years it has been open. Highly rated on Trip Advisor and with great word of mouth, this bar is one of the top nightlife destinations on Samui.

This fun bar can seat 40 and is open from 7:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. There are three full time dedicated employees with monthly wages of 37,300 baht per month. Rent on this top location is 560,000 baht a year or 46,666 baht per month and the lease expires in March 2019. This busy bar saw sales between 4.5 to 5.5 million baht in the last years with a net profit of 2.5 million baht.

The owner has owned the bar for more than ten years and is ready to retire and so is selling the business. This is a truly turn-key business. Walk in and take over a thriving bar in the heart of Chaweng.

ASKING PRICE: 1.5 million baht

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