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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 18 August 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

18 August 2017

Bankruptcy or divorce claim on property in Thailand from overseas

Question 1:
If a foreigner (Western passport holder who resides outside of Thailand) owns a condo in Thailand, but has a bankruptcy or divorce claim against him in a different country, can that other country file a legal claim to seize ownership of this condo in Thailand? The condo is under foreign ownership with one single owner.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Much depends on the country where the legal proceeding is taking place, if that country has a legal agreement with Thailand to honor and execute court orders or not. Diplomatic agreements will vary from country to country, for example the Russian Federation has an agreement with the EU to execute EU court orders while there is no agreement with the U.S. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist you in researching the diplomatic agreements between Thailand and the country where the legal proceeding is taking place.

Traveling in and out of the Kingdom regularly

Question 2:
I'm considering a job in the Middle East. My Thai wife and daughter would stay in Bangkok as she runs a successful business here, while I would probably fly back to Bangkok twice a month for long weekends. What are the Thai visa options for doing this? I currently work for a multinational company in Bangkok and have a visa and work permit for that, but these would presumably expire at some point after I resign and I would need a different arrangement.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
You have two possible solutions; a marriage visa or a 30 day stamp on arrival. However, with frequent flights in and out of Thailand immigration officers may wonder and could ask you questions on your arrival. You could possibly get out of this by showing your marriage certificate and the birth certificate of your daughter. However – the first option is probably the best one to avoid questions and any hassle on arrival. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist you with this issue if you wished to pursue the marriage visa option.

The Thai Cabinet has approved a new "Professional Visa"; the visa, which would be valid for four years and include a free work permit and not require 90 day reporting, would be available to an as yet to be specified group of highly skilled professionals mainly in fields where Thailand has a shortfall, as well as investors in technology, technology based startup entrepreneurs , and high-level executives. Details will be announced online later by the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. Also announced by a ranking Immigration officer was the implementation of the 10 year retirement extensions, which are, in fact 5 years plus 5 years and eligible to people from 14 countries with 3 million baht in the bank. The eligible nationalities are Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Finland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada. The application fee will be 10,000 baht.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced that international tourist arrivals rose 4.8 percent year on year in July, to a total of 3.1 million. For the first seven months of the year the total international tourist arrivals reached 20.4 million, up 4.47 percent year on year. Four countries remained in the top arrivals; China, Malaysia, Laos, Korea and India. The government predicts that the number of tourist arrivals will reach 35 million this year, up from 32.6 million in 2016. Tourism accounts for around 12 percent of the Thai economy.

The Ministry of Finance plans on asking the Thai government to invoke Section 44 to push through a law that will enable startups to avoid the laws currently considered stumbling blocks to allow these companies to grow. The law would allow tech startups to temporarily bypass laws until they are amended. The new bill will clearly state the definition of startups, the government's incentives to support them and the types of startup businesses that can operate in Thailand; it will be for both local and foreign startups. The drafting of the bill is expected to begin next month and the Ministry hopes to have it in place this year.

The Cabinet agreed to extend the 7 percent VAT rate for another year, effective until September 30, 2018. The VAT was introduced in 1992 and set at 10 percent but was immediately cut to 7 percent at the time as business operators said the high rate cut into purchasing power. The 7 percent rate has been in place ever since. The Finance Ministry said the rate will stay at 7 percent to shore up the cost of living and boost public confidence in Thai economic growth. The Ministry is not concerned about revenues and that a VAT increase is not needed. Additionally the Bank of Thailand also kept the policy rate unchanged, saying that while domestic demand has grown at a gradual pace it is not sufficiently broad-based to warrant a rate hike. It is expected the policy rate, currently at 1.5 percent, will remain in place through the end of the year.

Business news on Sunbelt Asia

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



Pub in Chiang Mai Night Bazaar including buildings

You won't just be purchasing this long-running well-known pub, located in the heart of the busy tourist district of the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, but also property that has grown and will continue to grow in value in this booming city.

The bar and restaurant has earned a reputation for good food and good drinks both with tourists and locals and is well-rated on Trip Advisor for its authentic atmosphere and great location.

Included in the purchase are two units of property covering 4 floors with a total of 400 sqm of area. The restaurant seats 90 people and is fully fitted out. There are 15 staff with a total monthly payroll of 200,000 baht.

The value of the property alone is already 45 million baht. The owner is retiring from the business and so wishes to sell this popular bar.

ASKING PRICE: 49 million baht (BKK15793)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Fully licensed kindergarten in prime Pattaya area

This Kindergarten and International Education program provider is located in Pattaya and was established in 2013. The school is fully licensed with the Ministry of Education and is located in a prime location in the Pattaya area. With a fully developed curriculum the school has 24 students this term and receives 50,000 baht in school fees per term with three terms in a school year. The school usually sees higher enrollment numbers in December and January as this is the time many expats move into the area. The school currently expects to add more students next term, possibly up to 50 students due to the number of parents who have visited and expressed interest.

Additional fees are paid to the school throughout the year such as registration fees, school bus fees, lunch, extra classes and day care. There are 12 full time employees and wages of 295,000 baht a month. Total monthly expenses are around 450,000 baht including the 60,000 baht a month rent on the 500 sqm building. The lease on the building runs through to 2023.

The school has the capacity for 150 students so a motivated owner that markets the business aggressively can see room for growth.

The owner invested 5.5 million baht in the building and facilities. The owner is selling as they are moving back to Bangkok.

ASKING PRICE: 5 million baht (BKK15640)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Hua Hin licensed English language school

Located in Hua Hin, this franchised very popular and successful English Language School is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, some 2 hours south of Bangkok.

The school teaches English, Thai and most recently Mandarin to individuals, schools and corporate businesses. It works closely with the local department of labour and it is their preferred supplier of English training. They are continuing to expand and will introduce Summer Camps for International Students in January 2018.

Licenced by the Ministry of Education the school is able to provide Education Visa's for International Students and has received a certificate of excellence from their recent inspection. The business has a licence to train teachers on TEFL courses, an area that could be easily expanded. It employs 5 native English speaking teachers and 2 Thai teachers plus a school manager and 3 admin staff.

No teaching experience is necessary and the handover period would be for up to 2 months in situ and longer if necessary from distance.

Full support is further provided by the Master Franchisor in Bangkok. Potential buyers will have to complete a standard confidentiality agreement before viewing.

ASKING PRICE: 4.5 million baht (BKK15788)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Well-established Thai Amity company seeks shareholders in biotechnology products business

A well-established Thai Amity company is seeking a Thai company as partners to assist in company expansion in their unique biotechnology products business.

The company currently imports two unique products, a biotechnology cleaning product from Canada and a water conditioning product line from South Africa. The potential partner should be an established Thailand company engaged in a business that strategically aligns with the products that the company distributes. They are looking for a company that sees the growth potential in adding these product lines to their existing customer base.

The company currently has import licenses for 21 products and four additional licenses are already in the process of approval. The company also has distributorship rights for the biotechnology cleaning products and water conditioning products. They have a large customer base in the hospitality, food processing and swimming pool markets. They have five authorized sub-dealers and two independent agents in Thailand.

Additionally, there is an office and warehouse in the Thonglor area of Bangkok, and the company product stock valued at 350,000 baht. There are currently four staff, including three sales staff.

The current owners are seeking up to 70% ownership of the company is available. If the new partner is interested in a majority stake the company, the current owner would be available to remain for training, new business development and maintenance of distribution relationships.

ASKING PRICE: 4,375,000 baht for 70% shareholding (BKK15792)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Guesthouse and restaurant near Phrakhanong BTS

This modern guesthouse and restaurant is a short walking distance from the Phrakhanong BTS station making it easy to access. The business was established in 2014 and has 20 rooms over 5 floors. Each room has air conditioning, a flat screen TV, a mini refrigerator, a safety deposit box and an electric kettle. There is an en-suite bathroom with a shower.

Well-reviewed on Trip Advisor for its convenience the occupancy rate last year averaged at 82 percent. Sales reached 4.3 million baht. There are 6 employees with a total monthly payroll of 112,000 baht. The guesthouse and restaurant have a 3 year lease and a monthly rent of 120,000 baht. The Thai company is included in the sale.

The owners are selling as they have no time to manage the business.

ASKING PRICE: 4.2 million baht (BKK15790)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Entertainment business in busy Ekkamai mall

Take advantage of one of the newest trends; the escape room! Great for corporate team efforts, tourists and just a fun night out, the owners of this business have set it with fun themes and it has received coverage in local magazines and great reviews online.

Located in a busy Ekkamai shopping mall, the business was established in 2014 and has built up a great brand name. The owners are selling the Thai company and all trademarks and brands. This would be a great franchising opportunity as well.

There are two full time and two part employees with a total monthly payroll of 33,950 baht. Rent on this prime space is 118,000 baht a month. Sales last year reached 1,225,000 baht.

ASKING PRICE: 6,035,000 baht (BKK15756)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Long-running home decor business

This long running home décor business has been manufacturing lamps since 2004 and has built up a good reputation for design and quality. The unique and beautiful designs are used in lighting and other fixtures as well as home décor and the company has become known as a leading designer of natural lamps and light designs.

The factory is 7,000 sqm and has a renewable three year lease with a monthly rent of 176,000 baht. The security deposit is not included in the sale. There are around 65 employees with a total monthly payroll of 1.1 million baht

The Thai Limited company is included in the sale but inventory is excluded. Fixed assets including equipment, computers, tools, company truck and leasehold improvements are included in the sale. Also included are the product designs, and showroom with samples. Remaining inventory can be purchased at cost. Sales have reached 70 million baht with a total profit around 20 million baht. The owners are moving back to their home country and so wish to sell the business.

ASKING PRICE: 33 million baht (BKK15766)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Brand new pub in great Sukhumivt location

Located in a great Sukhumvit neighborhood with many hotels, restaurants and bars, this brand new bar has only been open a short time but partnership issues are forcing a sale. Nicely decorated in a classic pub style the restaurant/pub can seat 90 seats 275 sqm. and has three floors.

The venue is quite large for the area and has a rent of 160,000 baht a month on a 3 +3 year lease. The pub is open from and there are eight employees with a monthly payroll of 120,000 baht.

The business has only been open a month but already saw sales of around 25,000 baht a day. A new dedicated owner will find this a great opportunity as everything is in place, you just need to walk in and start promoting the business.

Partnership issues are forcing a sale and so the owners are selling this turnkey ready business and are looking for a quick sale

ASKING PRICE: 2 million baht (BKK15725)

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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