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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 10 November 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

10 November 2017

Arrest for non-payment of rent?

Question 1:
I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend who owes 2 months' back rent to a Thailand-based Chinese property corporation. He was renting a condo in Bangkok when he noticed that property management forgot to give him his bill for 2 months straight. He himself forgot about it too. One day, he received a phone call from his mother telling him that his grandpa had passed away, so he left Thailand to return home. Once back home, he received an email from the management company asking for rent payment within 3 days and if payment wasn't received, they would proceed according to the law. He said that he had to take care of his family situation and didn't know when he'd be back. He told them they could keep the deposit payment. The company said he'd still have to pay the 2 months' back rent. At that point, he didn't reply. He has since left Thailand, but he wants to return. However, he's afraid that if he lands at Bangkok Airport, he might be arrested and imprisoned, if the company did report him to the police. Since the company did threaten to proceed according to the law, might there have been a chance that they reported him to the police and immigration? The company has a copy of his passport. Is there any way to find out if he's on an Immigration watch list or blacklist? Is there any way to find out if there's a warrant for his arrest? Do you provide that service? Is it stupid of him to return to Thailand? In Thailand, this is a civil matter and not a criminal matter, right? What are the chances of him returning to Thailand and nothing-bad happening to him?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Under Thai law paying rent falls under civil law so there would be no arrest as he has not broken any criminal law. The police may take a report but would have no grounds to arrest him. Since the owner has the two months deposit, which is the same as the outstanding rent, there should be no outstanding case.. However, Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors would be happy to check with the police for his peace of mind. We would need a copy of his passport.

Taking son to the United Kingdom

Question 2:
I have been residing here in the Kingdom for just over 4 years. I am now looking to take a holiday back to the UK and take my wife and son with me to visit my family at home. My situation is a little more complex than normal due to the fact that my son is from my previous marriage to another Thai national who I divorced 9 years ago. Although he has lived with my wife and I for the past year or so, at the moment he does not yet have a Thai or British passport. I am in the process of getting a Thai one for him and will then try to get him the British one. This is not being made easy due to the geographical location of his mother and some other issues created by her. I think it's likely that I will have to take him to the UK with the Thai passport and apply for a holiday visa for him due to time constraints and then get him a UK passport at a later date. What I really need to know is, what documentation will I need to present to be able to bring him with me on holiday? Also what other documents would be useful in ensuring my wife get's her visa at the first time of asking? We will have a letter from my boss who has employed me for nearly 3 years and my wife for about 2.5 years. My condo rental agreement, photos taken over several years we have lived together, copies of the flights I have booked and receipt from the house rental that will cover the duration of our stay and salary details and bank statements. If there is anything else you can recommend it would be much appreciated.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
While it is not against Thai law for a custodial parent to take a child out of the country without the other parentís permission it is important to note that this can vary on a case by case basis and since the child has a Thai passport an official may question as to parental custody and permission. If you have a court document stating that you have custody this could help allay any concerns that may arise.

As for the childís visa, you will need to prove that your child will be coming back, if he or she is enrolled in school a letter from the school head stating that the child is enrolled in school and that fees have been paid for his return the following term for instance. It would also be helpful, in addition to the documents you mention, to include proof of your visa in Thailand, for example if you are on a one year marriage extension or non-B work visa copies of the visa and work permit should be included.

Legal help in sueing Hospital in Malaysia

Question 3:
My wife and I are both health care specialists (MD, PhD). Case: We lost a member of our Thai family, 40 years old, male, sporty when travelling in Malaysia, by a sudden heart attack. After start of symptoms during the night he was immediately admitted to the ER of the biggest hospital in Kuala Lumpur, and diedwithin one hour. However, the standard treatment for - the correctly diagnosed - myocardial infarction, a so called PCI (percutaneous catheter intervention) was not applied. Since 2 months the family asks for copies of the medical records, being staved off repeatedly. Question: How to proceed legally against a foreign facility, for 1. Getting hold of the documents related to the case, and 2. Suing them if recommended. What are the estimated costs?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
We at Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors would like to offer our sympathies for the loss of your family member and that the Malaysian hospital has not been forthcoming in providing you with information. Unfortunately, this case falls under Malaysian jurisdiction and we do not have any irghts in jurisdictions outside Thailand. We suggest that you find a Malaysian law firm that can assist you in this process.

The Thai government is looking to improve the country's standing again in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report for 2018 by implementing more key reforms. Issues that the government is looking to tackle include enforcing contracts, registering property, and simplify paying taxes. Currently it takes 420 days to enforce contracts, the government is looking to shorten that time drastically; in Singapore it takes 164 days. They are also looking at reducing the costs of transferring property, the cost in Thailand is 7.3 percent of the value of the property, considerably higher than the regional average of 4.3 percent. The government is also looking to simplify paying taxes, currently it takes around 262 hours to prepare, file, and pay taxes, Thailand ranked 67th globally in the index for this and is looking to improve that ranking next year. The government is hoping to rank second in ASEAN after climbing more than 20 spots from 48 in 2017 to 26 this year.

The six main airports owned by the Airports of Thailand have seen continued passenger growth, often outstripping the airport's ability to handle the passenger load. Total traffic rose 7.7 percent and the six airports handled over 820,000 aircraft movements, up 6 percent from the previous year. There were a total of 129 million passengers through Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, and Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai was the only airport not stretched beyond capacity but still registered 21.7 percent growth from the previous year. Suvarnabhumi saw a total of 59.1 million passengers, well over its capacity of 45 million, Don Mueang processed 372 million passengers, also over its 30 million capacity, Phuket saw 16.2 million passengers, and Hat Yai 4.34 million passengers. China, South Korea, Japan, India, and Malaysia were the highest numbers of passenger arrivals.

According to the World Travel Market report, Bangkok remains one of the top city destinations, Hong Kong ranked first and Bangkok second as most visited cities in the world, but Hong Kong saw its numbers drop by 3.2 percent while Bangkok is expected to grow by 9.5 percent his year to 21.3 million, London came in third again at 19.8 million arrivals.

The Ministry of Finance predicts that GDP will exceed 4 percent in the third quarter, beyond expectations and the Bank of Thailand will make adjustments to its forecast for the year based on the higher third quarter numbers. Consumer confidence also grew in October, for the third straight month. According to the survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce the CCI index reached 76.7 in October, up from 75 in September and 74.5 in August. Rising exports and the government's new smart card welfare scheme have helped boost confidence while lower oil prices and the announcement of a clear schedule for general elections have helped boost confidence.

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.


Home-style Italian restaurant in busy Sukhumvit neighborhood

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. The restaurant 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 listing on Sunbelt Asia

Well-known education consultancy in Bangkok

This well-known worldwide specialist education consultancy business has been in operation since 2002 and earned a top reputation for providing students with great overseas education opportunities. The business has a 45 percent market share of its niche sector of Thai secondary students seeking overseas education and study tours. Located in the center of Bangkok the business has earned a good reputation with schools and good relationships with overseas schools. The business has an excellent marketing program with over 19,000 followers on social media.

The business has an established model, systems and contracts that can be expanded to the China market in addition to Thailand and On- shore Australian services. The programs for short term study in Australia, UK, NZ , Canada and USA can be expanded in addition to short "Summer " study tours and an English language school can be added to the business easily to sync with the already existing customer database. This is a turn key sale - all systems , expertise , IP , contracts with Education institutions , Tourism and other licenses built up over 15 years is available for a buyer to walk in and take the business to the next level.

There are 16 full time employees with a monthly payroll of 700,000 baht and the office in central Bangkok has 186.91sqm and a monthly rent of 78,277 baht. The company has seen sales reach 48 million baht last year and a net profit of 6.2 million baht. The company sale includes all assets including a house valued at 12 million baht. Included in the sale is a TAT license for outbound and a company with enough registered capital for 2 work permits.

The owner is selling the business due to family concerns.

ASKING PRICE 40 million baht (BKK15771)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Brand new restaurant in asset & location sale

In an asset and location sale, this brand new restaurant is only 9 months old but the owner is forced to sell as other business interests take up all their time - this is a great deal for someone looking to open a new restaurant in a new location. The restaurant is set in a new shopping mall and has a large outdoor terrace as well as 150 sqm inside.

The area is building up quickly with eight condo buildings nearby, a new international school going in soon and plans for a new dermatological hospital.

The terrace has been underutilized and with a good bartender and promotions the new owner could easily boost sales by 30 percent. Sales in the first nine months were 440,000 baht a month. The rent on this large space is 134,000 baht a month and the new tenant will be granted the first three months rent free and the next six months after that at 50 percent off. There are currently nine staff with a monthly payroll of 150,000 baht.

The owner invested 6.8 million baht in building this space but is selling the entire thing at only 3.5 million baht in what is essentially just an assets sale. This is almost half of the investment as the owner is keen to sell quickly.

ASKING PRICE 3.5 million baht asset & location sale (BKK15783)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Well-known event management brand & website

A well-known event management 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 listing on Sunbelt Asia

Online health food store based 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 4.5 million baht (BKK15709)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Popular Chaweng beach bar on Samui island

This popular long-running bar on Koh Samui 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: 2.5 million baht (BKK15724)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Sunrise Tacos franchise in new Terminal 21 building in Pattaya

Interested in joining the successful Sunrise Tacos franchise? Then this is just the place for one lucky restaurateur - a great location in the beautiful Terminal 21 mall in Pattaya scheduled to open next year. Centrally located right in the middle of the third floor food court, this is a prime location in this new mall available only to Sunrise Tacos.

The opening of Terminal 21 Pattaya is highly anticipated and there is a huge waiting line for space in the food court. Terminal 21 has been a huge success with its unique concept in Bangkok and Khon Kaen and the buzz about the new mall in Pattaya is predicting another huge success for this uniquely branded mall. The owner of Sunrise Tacos is very excited about this new location, he loves the Terminal 21 and the Sunrise Tacos in Terminal 21 has proven to be very successful. This is a great location for great Mexican food.

This space includes enough area for seating, making it a proper restaurant for guests. Lease on the 77 sqm area is 2500 baht a square meter not including the Common Area Fees which are 360 baht per sqm. There is a 3 + 3 year lease available. Costs of the build out are not included - and will run around 6 million baht - but this prime space is only available for a new Sunrise Tacos franchise.

TOTAL RENT 192,000 baht a month plus Common Area Fees plus franchise costs (BKK15789)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Long-running energy construction business in Rayong - includes building and land

Located in Rayong this construction and fabrication company is a specialist in the energy field, a key focus of the Thai government's focus in Thailand 4.0. The company has been in business for 20 years and has long established contacts and concessions in the business.

The factory is located in Rayong and has a total area of 24,000 sqm as well as the land the factory is located on. The business is ISO 9001/2008 certified and has a registered capital of 30 million baht, ensuring the ability to have multiple work permits.

The factory building, land, and all equipment are included in the sale. The owner is retiring and so seeks to sell the business.

ASKING PRICE 130 million baht (BKK15740)

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 Economjic 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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