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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 8 December 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

8 December 2017

hai person changing their last name legally

Wife and I have been married for over 15 years. After we were married she went to get a new Thai ID card. The issuing authority after examining documents took my middle name and attached it to my family name as though a hyphenated name which it most definitely is not. Years later she took US citizenship and in the American manner kept her given name, took her original family name as middle name, and my family name as her last name. Thinking it would be easy to officially change her name in Thailand she requested a change to her family name. It was not permitted. Given name can be changed; family name can not. By being very careful about which documents are presented we have had no problems. Advice?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
It is legal to change oneís given or also the family name, however it must be done at the District Office where her House Registration book is located (blue Tabien Baan). She will need to provide the current ID card, house registration book and signed copies of these. Then she can request a name change at the District Office. Once the new name and ID card is issued she will need to change her passport at the Passport Office.

Adopting adult children in Thailand

I have been married to my Thai wife for 11 years. She had two young daugthers whom I have accepted as my own. I never officially adopted them. They are now 26 and 24 and I would like to explore the possibilty of officially adopting them. What would we need to do in order to make this happen. The biological father is nowhere to be found and abandoned the family when they were babies. Do we need to track him down and get him to sign something? Hopefully not. Thanks for listening.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Before considering adoption it is important to note that you must be at least 15 years older than your wifeís adult children. Even though they are adults, the process is fairly long and under the Child Adoption Actof 1979 requires that you must go through the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW: Competent Authority) or the non- governmental child welfare agencies (Authorized Agencies) which are particularly authorized by DSDW, in cooperation with the Competent Authority and under the direction of the Child Adoption Board of Thailand.

According to Thai law, foreigner having domicile in Thailand can submit the application at child adoption center (Bangkok area) or district office and Provincial Development and Human Security office (provincial areas). You need to provide alien identification to the aforesaid office. Call 02 246 8651 at Bangkok Center. Foreigners residing in Thailand not less than 1 year and with a work permit can request child adoption with support documents from their embassy or consular.

The DSDW will visit the home and will assess the applicants' physical and mental health, family status, assets, liabilities and financial standing, personal reputation, conditions of residence and surrounding, size of family maturity and ability to give love and care to the child, motivation and any special reasons related to the welfare and interest of the child, parental relationship and obligation with the children born out of previous marriages (if applicable), and other matters pertinent to the applicants. You must be eligible to adopt a child in your home country as well.

In case the child's parents have not registered their marriage, consent by the child's father or if the child's father could not be traced a statement from the authorized official at the District office is also required.

It is a fairly complicated process and if you would like to go over the details and required documents please feel free to contact Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors for a meeting.

The Thai government has set up an online team to support fair tax collection on the new e-tailer tax that is hoped to make e-tailers pay the same tax that locally based businesses do. The law will change from allowing a company that has no physical presence in the country to avoid paying taxes to stating that any business or transaction being conducted in Thailand is liable for taxation, regardless of whether the business has an established presence in the country. There are currently about 500,000 websites offering items for sale, of which 350,000 are located in Thailand. Tax revenues from online businesses was 1 billion baht during 2016-2017, far below the estimated 100 billion baht in online transactions in the country during the same period. Indonesia, Taiwan, and India are some other countries that have imposed an e-commerce tax.

The Board of Investment (BOI) is considering extending tax privileges for small to medium business enterprises (SMEs) for another three years as the current measures are due to expire on December 31, 2017. The measures would help Thai SME's who account for about 99 percent of all Thai businesses, there are around 2.74 million SMEs nationwide. The BOI approves around 1,000 projects for investment promotion each year, of which two-thirds are for SMEs. The investment promotion is for 38 categories including glass production, jewelry and ornaments, auto parts, software, pharmaceuticals, printing and film production. The promotions include corporate tax exemption for two more years and apply used machinery. Eligible companies must be 51 percent Thai owned, maintain a debt-to-equity ratio of 3:1 and have investment cost of at least 200 million baht, excluding land, working capital or net fixed assets.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose to a 33-month high last month, rising for the fourth straight month as confidence in the economy grew in part due to continued growth in exports and rising tourism for the high season. Exports rose 13.1 percent year on year in October to 658 billion baht or US$20.1 billion. The first ten months of the year has seen a 9.7 percent growth an exports totaling US$196 billion. The stronger baht is a concern as it hit 32.5 baht to the US dollar, the highest in 31 months. The survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) forecasts economic growth to reach 4.2 - 4.5 percent in 2018 while the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has revised its GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 3.9%, up from the previous forecast of 3.7%.

Thailand's first Michelin guide for Bangkok came out last week and while street stalls received mentions, none were given stars. Thailand has three two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants -- a new category without stars created to provide recommendations to diners that was expanded to promote Bangkok's street food. The guide selected 98 restaurants after 8 months of surveys. Gaggan, Le Normandie and Mezzaluna were the only restaurants to receive two stars. The Michelin guide covers 28 countries and selects the best culinary experiences revealing new trends and new chefs. The new guide is expected to boost Bangkok tourism as tourists come to visit the restaurants in the guide.

Business news on Sunbelt Asia

Special Sunrise Tacos offer for holiday dinners

For our guests in Bangkok who would like us to prepare your hot turkey dinner we offer several packages with traditional sides and fruit pies so that you can dine at home with family and friends in Bangkok.

Call 089-887-8130 or email to [email protected]

Special offer on serviced offices extended through November!!

We 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


Serviced Offices for all your business needs

Sunbelt Asia is offering first class Serviced Offices in a prestigious office building in a prime location starting at 10,000 Baht. The first month is free for a six month contract! 

  • Telephone answering service (using your company name)
  • Reception/Receptionist
  • Secretarial assistance
  • Internet Connection (Broadband Internet available at certain locations)
  • Personal Computers (extra cost)
  • Free WiFi
  • Interview rooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Catering
  • Complimentary water and European coffee
  • Paperwork for you to register your address - We know the process so no need to wait 2-3 weeks for it to be processed.

Have your own three to twelve month office priced between 10,000 baht and 20,000 baht per month. The location of your new office in Bangkok is prime as it is connected to the Rama 9 Mrt Station. First month free on a six month contract! Two month deposit required.

Please contact Khun Ron at 02 - 642 02 13 or email [email protected]

Please feel free to contact us if you are in Thailand on +662-642-0213 to discuss any of these listings.


Large home-style Italian restaurant in top Sukhumvit location

This charming home-style Italian restaurant is located in newly constructed building in a busy area of Sukhumvit road in an area surrounded by 5 star hotels and high end condominiums and is well-reviewed on Trip Advisor.

The 300 sqm restaurant has 7 years left on the lease and covers 2 floors with an balcony. The owner invested 20 million in the business for kitchen equipment, decor, software and security systems with a CCTV camera as well. Rent on this space is 372,500 baht a month and the building has parking for 6 cars onsite and 10 spaces in a nearby building with valet parking. Rent for the 10 spaces off site is 25,000 baht per month. There are 20 full-time staff with a total monthly payroll of 350,000 baht. A Thai company with 6 million baht in registered capital allowing for 3 work permits is included in the sale as is the registered trademark. Sales have averaged 1.4 - 1.5 million baht a month.

The new owner can change the focus of the restaurant if they desire as the location is prime. The owner is selling as he has another restaurant that takes up all his time and has no time to manage this one.

ASKING PRICE: 19 million baht (BKK15803)

View this business on Sunbelt Asia

Event organizer brand & website in Bangkok

A well-known website and brand is up for sale offering the aspiring event organizer a great entry into the networking business. The sale includes the website, as well as all social media sites, meetups, and a full mailing list and database of attendees, potential events and more. The brand is quite well known in Bangkok and around Thailand for event organization. Also included in the sale are several event brands and logos along with partnerships with events in Singapore and around Thailand.

The owners are also providing three months of assistance for the buyer in event organizing, strategy, marketing promotion for the first three months of business.

ASKING PRICE: 5 million baht / US$ 150,000 (BKK15799)

View this business on Sunbelt Asia

French restaurant with beautiful garden terrace in the heart of Sukhumvit

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 business on Sunbelt Asia

Prime Siam Square location seeks tenant to share space

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 business on Sunbelt Asia

Executive Serviced apartment building & land in Ratchada

Located in the heart of Ratchada and just steps from the MRT station, this executive apartment building includes not just ownership of the building but of the 200sqw land the building is set on, a rare find in this part of Bangkok.

The apartments have high occupancy rates, reaching 98 percent year round. There is a gym and elevator and a regular steady clientele of residents that work in nearby offices. Sales last year reached 12 million baht with a profit of 8 million baht.

The value of the land and building alone are over 80 million baht. The owner is moving overseas and is forced to sell this profitable business. ASKING PRICE: 210 million baht (BKK15760)

View this business on Sunbelt Asia

Long-established construction company in Rayong, includes factory & land

In the heart of busy, industrial Rayong province, this long running fabrication and construction company has been in business for 20 years and is a specialist in the energy field, a focus of the current BOI targets.

The factory, with buildings and land included in the sale, is in Rayong and has a total area of 24,000 sqm. This ISO 9001/2008 certified company has a registered capital of 30 million baht which enables for quite a few work permits, and has long established contacts and concessions in the business ensuring that this turn key business is in place for the new owner.

The owner is retiring and so is selling this business.

ASKING PRICE 130 million baht (BKK15740)

View this business on Sunbelt Asia

Chaweng beach bar on Samui island

Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui is the top destination for visitors to the island and this popular long-running bar is located in the heart of Chaweng. The bar has built up a good reputation over the years it has been open and is highly rated on Trip Advisor and with great wod 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: 2.5 million baht (BKK15724)

View this business on Sunbelt Asia

Phang Nga resort & land

This is a great opportunity for someone looking to develop a currently operating resort style property to add villas, hotels or condominiums. Located in the popular and growing tourist destination of Phang Nga on the Andaman Coast, this resort complex is set on 44 rai of land, of which only 3 rai have seen development, making this a tremendous opportunity to grow this business.

Currently there are three buildings on the property but the opportunities growth are huge. The business offers accommodation and a restaurant along with adventure activities, a popular tourist activity. Hosting events such as conventions and weddings has been a major source of income along with leisure tourists.

There are 40 full time and 10 part time employees with a monthly payroll of 500,000 baht. The property includes 44 rai of chanote land not far from the airport. Annual sales have reached 20 million since its inception in 2015 and profit reached 3 million per year.

The owner wishes to retire and so is seeking to sell this development with great potential.

ASKING PRICE 375,000,000 baht (BKK15781)

View this business 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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