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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 15 December 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

15 December 2017

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.

The Eastern Economic Corridor which comprises the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chonburi and Chachoengsao, saw the number of business permit applications and requests for expansion rise to 529, worth 140 billion baht in the first 11 months of the year. Chonburi saw the highest number of business permit applications and requests for expansion at 271 with a value of 19.717 billion baht. Chachoengsao had 117 valued at 34.8 billion and Rayong had 141 applications but with the highest value at 89.433 billion baht. Sectors applying for the EEC included automotive and auto parts, metal products, and plastic products. Operation in the EEC gives businesses many benefits beyond the usual Board of Investment promotions including personal income tax cuts for experts, exemption from import duty on necessary machinery, and a 50 percent corporate tax cut for five years for eligible industries. The EEC is looking to attract businesses involved in Smart Electronics, Medical and Wellness Tourism, Food Technology, Automation and Robotics, Aviation, Biochemical, Petrochemical and Eco-friendly Products, as well as development of infrastructure and logistics, Research and Development and Technology Support Services.

Qatar Airways launched direct Doha - Chiang Mai flights last week and is looking to expand further with Doha - U-Tapao Airport flights on January 28, 2018. The airline also plans on making its high season 5th flight out of Bangkok permanent next year. The airline currently flies 35 times a week to Bangkok, 14 times a week to Phuket and daily to Krabi. Currently Qatar flies four times a week to Chiang Mai but is looking to extend that to daily and U-Tapao will also see four flights a week when the route begins next month. Thai AirAsia is also looking to increase destinations, turning to India for new routes. The airline doesn't expect to add more Chinese destinations but is looking at increasing frequency to destinations they already serve. Thai AirAsia currently flies to 14 Chinese cities on 22 routes from Thailand. The airline is also looking to fly to Sihanoukville in Cambodia and increase interprovincial links in the domestic market.

Thailand was removed from the United States Trade Representatives Priority Watch List to the Watch List after showing improvement in tackling intellectual property violations. The USTR said that moves including the establishment of an interagency National Committee on Intellectual Property Policy and a subcommittee on enforcement against intellectual property infringement had been key in fighting IP violations. Thailand also addressed backlogs for patent and trademark applications, significantly increased the number of examiners and streamlined regulations. Thailand also joined the Madrid Protocol, which makes it easier for US companies to apply for trademarks, and took steps to address concerns regarding online piracy affecting the US content industry.

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.


New restaurant in asset & 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 (BKK15783)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Bangkok PVC factory with option to purchase land and warehouse

Located in Bangkok, the factory is in the Nhongjok area and manufactures PVC foam board for use in furniture, home and garden décor. The company has been in business for about a year and has been doing very well. Sales last year reached 26 million baht with a 10 million baht profit. The factory is 1900 sqm with a monthly rent of 50,000 baht and a 2 year lease. There are 10 full-time and 10 part-time trained employees in the business, monthly wages are 120,000 baht.

The owner has another business that takes up most of his time and so is wishing to sell the business. The buyer can purchase just the business or can also purchase the warehouse and 4 rai of land near the main road.

ASKING PRICE: 36 million baht 74 million baht including warehouse and land (BKK15795)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Italian restaurant in top 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 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 listing on Sunbelt Asia

Fitness studio with large active member base

This busy fitness studio offers Pilates, yoga fly, Zumba dance, and a boxing studio in the heart of Bangkok. Surrounded by condos, office buildings in the heart of the central business district the studio has 130 active members and was established in 2015.

Rent on the 285 sqm space is 179,550 baht a month and there are four full-time and two part-time employees with a total monthly payroll of 84,200 baht including commissions. Sales last year reached 6.5 million baht. There are 7 Pilates Reformer machines, twelve Yoga Fly stations, and a room for boxing and Zumba.

The owner is selling as this is not their area of expertise and is looking to sell it to someone who understands the business and is interested in coming in to an already thriving studio with a great location and strong customer base.

ASKING PRICE: 3 million baht (BKK15800)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Old-city Chiang Mai guesthouse walking distance from major attractions

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 (BKK15758)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

BOI promoted, fully licensed 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 corporate tax cuts, work permits, 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

Long-running Pattaya 2nd Road hotel

This long-running hotel and restaurant was fully renovated just this year for a new, modern look. Located on Pattaya 2nd road, the hotel now has a up to date, modern kitchen, bar, and restaurant with classic decor. There is an outdoor dining space as well and the entire restaurant seats 50 people.

The hotel has 14 rooms over 4 floors, in a three unit shophouse. Rent on this large space is only 100,000 baht per month. The hotel has income from a tour company of 15,000 baht a month, reducing the total overall rent to 85,000 baht a month. The lease is set for 4 years plus 3. There are 6 staff with a total monthly payroll of 70,000 baht a month. Located right on the main road and with good lease terms, this is a deal.

The owner is moving to Bangkok and so must sell the business. The sale includes all new equipment and the fully renovated restaurant and bar as well as a Thai company with work permit.

ASKING PRICE 6.5 million baht (BKK15804)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Luxury Samui island resort with beach frontage

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 (BKK15798)

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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