Weekly Column

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 9 February 2018

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

9 February 2018

Purchasing a condo with income from Thailand

Question 1:

I have a question about buying a condo here in Bangkok. I have the money in my account to pay for the unit, but my research online suggests that when purchasing a condo in Thailand foreign buyers have to transfer the money in to Thailand from abroad. Surely, this cannot be true. If I do this it will make the effective cost of the condo around 10% more than if I used the money I have here in my Thai bank account, money legally earned and saved in Thailand! I have worked here legally since 2005. I have had a work permit since my very first day on the job. All of my savings in Thailand – that is every single last baht I have here – was earned here legally with all tax paid. Is it really true that to buy a condo I have to transfer the money in to Thailand from an account outside of the country? The condo I wish to buy is 3.4 million baht. Surely that doesn’t mean I have to send the entire amount of 3.4 million baht to my account in the UK, exchanging it in to pounds and losing a few per cent on the transfer, and then send it back to Thailand, exchanging it back in to baht and once again losing a few percent on the exchange rate, while also paying the bank’s transfer fees?! If true and this is in fact what I have to do, it is the epitome of ridiculousness! I assume that for someone like me who has done everything right and is legal in every respect is not subject to this lunacy that, worryingly, my research points to. PLEASE tell me that I misunderstand it and the requirements are not as crazy as they appear.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds

According to the Thai Condominium Act Section 19 Section 19 Aliens (foreigners) and juristic persons regarded by law as aliens (foreign) may hold ownership of an apartment if they fall in one of the following categories:

  • Aliens permitted to have residence in the Kingdom under the Immigration law; (this would be a Permanent Resident)
  • Aliens permitted to enter into the Kingdom under the investment promotion law;
  • Juristic persons as provided in Section 97 and 98 of the Land Code and registered as juristic persons under Thai law;
  • Juristic persons which are aliens under the Announcement of the National Executive Council No.281 dated November 24 (current section 4 Foreign Business Act), B.E. 2515 and have obtained promotion certificate under investment promotion law;
  • Aliens or juristic persons regarded by law as aliens who have brought in foreign currency into the Kingdom or withdraw money from Thai baht account of the person who have residence outside the Kingdom or withdraw money from a foreign currency account.
    So that means you do have another option; you can open a non-resident foreign currency account and a letter from the bank to submit to the Land Department. But you will have to convert the baht to the Foreign Currency at the bank. Different banks will have different requirement on opening such an account and not every bank will offer it.

Can a single person stop a person in a traffic violation?

Question 2:

Can a lone Thai policeman can fine you if he stops your motorbike i.e for riding on a wrong part of the road, or must there be at least two of them?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:

Yes, a single police officer can stop someone who is in violation of the law. The requirement for two officers is only for safety protocols at a checkpoint. An officer has full authority to stop and fine the biker if the illegal act happens right in front of him.

Bangkok has been voted as the “Best City Destination in the Asia Pacific” for the third consecutive year by readers of DestinAsian magazine, a leading travel and lifestyle magazine. Voters in the Reader’s Choice poll cited its “vibrant mixture of historic sites, contemporary style, cuisine and nightlife”. Chiang Mai reached the top ten as Best City Chiang Mai while Phuket was voted second Best Island, Koh Samui came in fourth and Krabi made the top ten at number nine.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) predicts tourism related revenues will hit 48 billion baht during Chinese New Year. Around 800,000 tourists are expected to arrive from February 15-21 with 300,000 of those coming from mainland China. The Ministry said this is a 20 percent increase over the same period last year due to more direct flights from China to Thailand. Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai are the top destinations and will receive about 90 percent of total visitors.

Bangkok has the most active Facebook accounts of any city in the world and Thailand ranked eighth in the world for active accounts according to a recent study by social media management platform Hootsuite and global agency We Are Social. The survey found that Thais registered the most time on the internet last year at 9.38 hours per day, followed by the Philippines at 9.29 hours, Brazil (9.14), Indonesia (8.51) and South Africa (8.32). Thailand also ranked first in spending the most time on the mobile internet at 4.56 hours, followed by Brazil (4.21), Indonesia (4.17), the Philippines (4.13) and Nigeria (4.05). Thailand came in 11th in social media penetration at 74 percent and fourth in time spent on social media with Thais averaging 3 hours and 10 minutes a day on social media. Thailand came in 8th with mobile social media penetration with 67 percent; the global average is 39 percent. Facebook sign ups in Thailand continue to grow and Facebook users aged 22-40 years old dominate the website.

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.

Silom area hostel and cafe

Located 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: 11 million baht

Large well-reviewed Italian restaurant in top Sukhmvit 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

Restaurant on ground floor of Asoke area hotel

Just off Asoke Montri Road and near Terminal 21, Health Land and many office buildings and hotels this restaurant is on the ground floor of a hotel and has a booming lunch trade and is very popular with the locals in the area as well as tourists.

The restaurant can seat 85 people comfortably and a classically decorated private ventilated cigar room or VIP room. There are 7 full time staff with excellent team work, and food and beverage contracts with the hotel in the same building or provide breakfast service and room service offering a guaranteed income every month.

There is a cool room which stores wine and beer kegs, new kitchen equipment including charcoal grill, wok stove, oven, deep fryers, cooker, refrigerators and freezers included in the sale price. Rent on the 280 sqm space runs 155,000 a month with no key money. The lease runs until 2022 with a fixed rate. All construction maintenance is supplied and paid for by the hotel above.The website, email, Instagram, Facebook page (15k followers) are all included in the sale.

Total income is around 400,000 – 500,000 baht a month but can go higher with an owner with more time to spare for the business. The owner doesn’t have time to manage the business and so is looking to sell the business.

ASKING PRICE: 3,600,000 million baht

Leading licensed English school in greater metro Bangkok

A leading English school is available in Samut Sakhon, in the greater metropolitan Bangkok provinces. With a top curriculum, fully equipped school and a high enrollment of students on an annual fee basis, the school is quite successful and a leader in the area with a waiting list for students wishing to enroll. The school has an active presence on social media that has helped to promote its brand, communicate with prospective clients and public relations.

Located in a 160sqm building, there is a reception area, two large classrooms, an office, a library, a back kitchen, an outside kitchen and yard as well a bathroom on each floor. The building has ample parking in front as well as a car park on the side. Rent on the premises is 15,500 baht a month.

The school has experienced consistent growth year to year with a profit of 1,065,801 baht in its first year. Sales last year reached 2,660,766 baht with a profit 2,160,964 baht. There is one full time and one part time employee with total wages at 12.620 baht a month.

The owner is moving overseas and so is selling the business. There is a detailed outline available for potential buyers once a standard confidentiality agreement has been completed.

ASKING PRICE: 6.5 million baht

Charming old town Chiang Mai guesthouse

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

Fine furniture factory in Pattaya with interior design service

Located in Pattaya, this high end furniture factory offers not just top quality fine furniture but also full service interior design for residential and commercial projects. The company has earned a reputation for attention to detail, unique and interesting design solutions and high quality products. Offering a wide variety furniture, including stand alone and built-ins, the company has a full – service interior design solution for its customers.

The business has a 600 sqm showroom in a busy Pattaya area and a 2500 sqm factory on the outskirts. The company owns the land and showroom in town. There are 45 employees and the monthly payroll of 1 million baht includes the owner’s salary. The business is open 6 days a week.

Sales last year reached 50.8 million baht and net profit over 2.6 million baht. The owners have spent a great deal reinvesting in the business including property to continue its growth.

The sale price includes the company with showroom, factory and land

ASKING PRICE: 60 million baht

Hotel near Walking Street in Pattaya with high occupancy rate

This modern hotel is very close to Walking Street in Pattaya and has a high occupancy rate and good reviews from guests. The hotel is almost always full and has attracted a strong Middle Eastern clientele.

There is a total of 18 rooms in the hotel, and there are a variety of rooms, all well equipped and roomy. The hotel also has a coffee shop for guests and outside customers.

The hotel has a good income each month, taking in 300,000 baht every month regularly. There are 4 staff with a total monthly payroll of 50,000 baht.

The owner is offering two options; lease the operation with key money of 3.5 million for 3+3 years and rent 100,000 baht per month or purchase the property for 25 million baht.

ASKING PRICE: 25 million baht or
100,000 baht a month plus 3.5 million key money

Exclusive luxury Samui beach resort

Have you always wanted to live the life in paradise? Now is your chance! This exclusive luxury resort has direct access to the beach on the peaceful and idyllic west coast of Koh Samui. Samui has developed a reputation for top luxury resorts that attract people from around the world.

Established in 2008, the resort has two villas and four apartments, a pool and a large private home, guest villa and gym. The total land area is 3200 sqm fronting the beach with a full chanote title for the new owner.

The villas are large, at 118 sqm each, while the four apartments are 32 sqm each. The private mansion is an enormous 760 sqm while the guest villa is 75 sqm. There is a fully fitted 75 sqm gym as well.

Sales last year reached 3.8 million baht and there are four full time employees. The valuation of this project has been set at 195 million baht but the owners are keen to move off island for their children’s education so are selling it at a must buy price of 150 million baht.

ASKING PRICE: 150 million baht

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