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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 21 July 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

21 July 2017

Rights of public security officers

Question 1:
I am curious about the legality of security guards, in particular those that are used by the BTS system. All of them carry batons and handcuffs and maybe other items concealed in one of the many cases attached to their belts. Is a private security guard allowed to use the baton on a member of the public and is he permitted to handcuff and detain what he may consider to be an offender? Does any authority he may have extend beyond the premises of those that employ his services? Surely they are nothing more than civilian members of the public with exactly the same powers as anyone else, i.e. they do not have carte blanche to exert their authority on you or I?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
In case of any possible danger to society and the people nearby, a BTS/MRT/any other member of public security has the right to disarm and/or handcuff a person breaking the law and to then pass them on to the police for prosecution. This is only in case a person is not following the rules and regulations of the public places and transport systems by behaving abnormally, smoking or or drinking alcohol where it's prohibited.

Owning a company on a retirement visa

Question 2:
Can I own a company in Thailand and NOT have a work permit? I want to go to a retirement visa, but own my company and give up the work permit so I can hire another foreigner to run it for me.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Yes it is possible to be a shareholder of a company and not have a work permit and retain your retirement visa, however, you will not be a signing director, that is- you cannot sign any legal documentation to do with the company and that is done by the director with the work permit. You don't have to have a work permit if you are a Director but do not do any work in Thailand. This includes signing documents which would require be out of the country.

It is important to note that a director does not have to be a shareholder.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist you in setting up your business so that it is fully legal and you can retain your retirement visa.

Sunbelt Asia Business News 

Sunbelt Asia Offices will be closed on Monday, July 10 for the Buddhist holiday Visakha Bucha Day, a public holiday in Thailand.

The Ministry of Labor announced new penalties for illegal workers and employers who hire illegal workers last week. If an employer employs a foreigner to work at a forbidden position, the employer is fined with 400,000-800,000 Baht per employed foreigner. If an employer allows a foreigner to work in excess of the work stipulated in the work permit he is fined with not more than 400,000 Baht per 1 employed foreigner. If a foreigner works without having a work permit or work at a forbidden position, he/she is imprisoned not more than 5 years, fined with 2,000-100,000 Baht or both. If a foreigner works on an urgent and essential nature work without acknowledgment of the officer (form WP-10), he is fined with not more than 100,000 Baht. If a foreigner works in excess of the work as described in the work permit, can face prison of not more than 6 months and fines of not more than 100,000 Baht or both. If a person works as an agent stating that he/she can bring a foreigner to work with a domestic employer without a work permit that person will face imprisonment of 3-10 years, fines of 600,000-1,000,000 Baht, or both. Any person operating as a foreigner job agency without a license is imprisoned for 1-3 years, fines of 200,000-600,000 Baht, or both. Additionally the Ministry added a supplementary regulation requiring employers to take responsibility for repatriating their migrant workers upon the end of employment and to report that to the government. The Ministry said the rule will ensure the government will have up to date information on migrant workers and give legal migrant workers more freedom to work in areas provided with their work permits. The Prime Minister has urged the Ministry to come up with urgent measures to soften the decree as key industries such as construction and SMEs will face serious labor shortages and could see an impact on the economy.

Exports grew strongly in May up 13.2 percent from the same period last year to US$9.9 billion (676 billion baht), the highest in more than four years. Exporters had been worried about the stronger baht but the rise was driven by strong demand for rubber, sugar, rice, vegetables and fresh fruit especially durian which jumped 15.9 percent year on year. Agriculture and agribusiness exports grew 17.6 percent year on year while industrial exports including processed rubber, automobiles, electric circuits, computers and components grew 12.8 percent year on year. In the first five months of 2017 exports rose 7.2 percent to US$93.26 billion, while imports increased by 15.2 percent to US$88.21 billion giving the country a trade surplus of US$5.05 billion for the period.

The Thai and Malaysian governments have increased the hours the Sadao Border Checkpoint is open to 5 am -11 pm on the Thai side and from 6 am to midnight on the Malaysian side. The two governments are investigating opening the checkpoint 24 hours a day 7 days a week to ease the congestion of trucks and visitors passing through the checkpoint. Sadao is the busiest checkpoint with 98 percent of all Thai - Malaysian border trade passing through the checkpoint. The report on the issues facing opening the checkpoint 24 hours a day will be issued next month and should address measures provinces and businesses will have to take.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the total number of foreign visitors to reach 34 million in 2017 as strong growth in the first half is expected to continue in the second half. The first half of 2017 saw the number of foreign visitors to Thailand hit 17.2 million, a 4 percent increase year on year. Tourist arrivals for the month of May reached 2.59 million, a 4.6 percent increase compared to April. Tourism revenue grew 6.1 percent during the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year, reaching 382 million baht.

The government announced that there will be no prohibition on entertainment activities during the period when Royal cremation ceremonies will be taking place but asked that businesses should consider the appropriateness of their activities and respect the ceremonies on Royal Cremation Day, October 26, 2017.

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


New Serviced Offices!

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.

Sunbelt Asia Business Listings

Specialty food manufacturer in Chiang Mai with distribution channels in place

A well-established specialty food manufacturer with established contracts with supermarkets, hotels and online food markets is available in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The business was established in 2015 and has seen great growth with contracts with major supermarket retailers, several high end resorts and seventy retailers, both online and in store, and the owners are in talks with distributors for export to Hong Kong and Singapore making this an ideal business for someone interested in seeing this business expand even further.

The business manufactures top quality fruit preserves and chutneys, sources from local farmers and is registered with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements organization. Production capacity could be easily increased with the purchase or rental of some specialty equipment and given that they currently offer nine products that are registered with the FDA Thailand and all products have nutritional information in line with USDA regulations for export as well as bar codes this business could see international growth as the desire for high end food products continues to climb.

There is a website, well maintained Facebook and Instagram accounts and email. There are one full time and two part time employees with a total monthly payroll of 30,000 baht. Rent on the factory building is a reasonable 8,000 baht a month. Sales last year reached 767,000 baht with a profit of around 100,000 baht but this could easily grow with an aggressive marketing campaign and reaching out to more sales outlets. All financial records are available to the serious buyer.

The owners are selling due to family issues.

ASKING PRICE: 750,000 baht (BKK15782)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Popular western food restaurant chain in Chiang Mai

If you are looking for a turnkey business in the North that already has a popular reputation and successful growth then this chain of hugely popular restaurants in top locations around the city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and one brand new location that has just opened in nearby Lamphun province is for you. This restaurant chain is popular with local Thais who love Western food; they are a key component of the restaurants' success, as well as with resident expats and tourists seeking comfort food from home.

Chiang Mai remains very popular as a retirement destination for both Thai residents and foreigners, the province and city are regularly voted in the top places to retire from various media and analysts because of its great climate, low cost of living, extensive infrastructure and friendly locals. Chiang Mai continues to grow as it becomes more well-known to domestic tourists, local residents, digital nomads, retirees and tourists.

This business takes advantage of all those aspects of Chiang Mai with four restaurants in top locations around the city. The business is so popular and so well-known that they consistently get offers to open new restaurants outside Chiang Mai and are just now opening one in the next province to the South, Lamphun, the new restaurant opens April 2017. Lamphun is the home of a large university, many foreign owned factories and its slow life style is appealing to Bangkokians seeking a change as well as expats looking for a simple, easy lifestyle.

There are six companies including the management company which runs the other four which cover each of the five restaurants, including the new one in Lamphun. One business is an Amity company that could be used as an umbrella to have no Thai partners for a buyer with US nationality. The other 5 businesses are Thai Co., Ltd.'s with net registered capital of 4 million Baht each.

Each of the restaurants have had positive cash flow and have built up a very good reputation as being well-run with consistently good food, good service and a friendly atmosphere. Sales reached 95 million baht in 2016 and profits hit 20 million after add backs. The profits are expected to grow in 2017 as sales mature at the new locations and the older locations grow clientele.

The package requires very little effort from the owner to maintain and a motivated owner could easily expand. The owner has an expansion plan in place should the new owner be interested. The restaurants have a complete management team including graphic design, marketing and social media, events, human resources, bookkeeping, a buyer, an office manager and an office worker. This business runs very smoothly and the new owner can easily step in and take over a profitable chain.

The restaurants all have top - class equipment with some having been totally upgraded quite recently and a few million baht spent in the upgrades and renovations. There is a computer system for sales used in all locations and all equipment is serviced regularly. More detailed financial information will be disclosed to a serious buyer. The business is being sold as a package and the owner will not sell them separately. The asking price includes five locations, real estate and nearly 3 million baht in deposits.

The owner is selling as he wishes to retire from the business.

ASKING PRICE: 148,190,000.Baht (includes buildings 43 million Baht) (BKK15710)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Long-running Kanchanaburi travel and tour agency

This long established Kanchanaburi travel agency handles inbound tours to the popular province. Holding the valuable TAT license the business is turnkey for the new owner. The sale includes the shophouse with the business. The building is 320 sqm and the buyer will be owning a chanote title property.

Last year's sales reached 4.5 million baht with a net profit of 1.04 million baht. There are six employees with experience in the business with a total monthly payroll of 80,000 baht. There are several part time tour guides the company can hire freelance as needed.

The owner is now retiring and so wishes to sell the business

ASKING PRICE: 11.8 million baht (BKK15647)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Pattaya wine bar includes freehold property

Located in Naklua in Pattaya, this long established friendly wine bar and restaurant is very near to a five star hotel so there is regular walk in tourist business but the bar is also popular with both local Thai and foreign customers. The restaurant has earned good reviews on Trip Advisor and has become well known for great food and a stellar wine menu. The sale includes the property, which is freehold and has three stories with 500 sqm. The restaurant itself seats around 40 people.

There are five full time employees with wages of 82,000 baht and as the owner, no rent! The business has seen sales reach 7 million baht a year with profit at 2.4 million baht a year. The property itself is valued at 21 million baht.

The owner is moving overseas and so is seeking a quick sale, the sale price includes the company.

ASKING PRICE: 24 million baht (BKK15729)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Brand-new restaurant in new mall, near condos and school

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 sale and location) (BKK15783)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Well-established jade carving business with top rated Ebay store

With a thriving top-rated Ebay store and a long-running online presence this jade carving business is a turn-key ready opportunity for someone looking for an online business. The company has long-term contracts with seven master carving factories in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai to ensure a steady supply of high quality jade products.

There is also a large stock in hand and equipment necessary for in-house polishing and photographing the sculptures. Inventory is valued at over 13.6 million baht and includes large pieces of jadeite in addition to finished sculpture pieces. The business is currently located in Bangkok for ease of shipment and distribution and rent on the premises is only 10,000 baht a month but the new owner would need to negotiate with the landlord on a new lease. The business has seen annual sales of around 1 million baht with a profit of 250,000 baht. There is one employee with a monthly salary of 35,000 baht. The new owner would need to open their own limited company but this is often desirable so that it is ensured there are no liens on the business.

The owner has been running this business for the past 16 years but wishes to sell to retire and for health reasons and so is setting the price at only 3.5 million baht for a quick sale.

ASKING PRICE: 3.5 million baht (BKK15778)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Chic new restaurant near MRT in office building

This chic restaurant is located in a brand new office building not far from the Thailand Cultural Center MRT. The very nicely decorated the restaurant offers fusion food and has both indoor and outdoor dining areas and seats 60. Rent on the 149.75sqm space is 110,000 baht a month for three years. The business is open six days a week for 14 hours a day.

There are five full time employees with a total monthly payroll of 70,000 baht. Sales have reached around 400,000 baht a month and the business is now breaking even. However, the owner has had no time to devote to promoting and developing the business and feels a more committed owner would see those numbers rise rapidly due to the busy location.

The owner invested five million baht in the business and is selling it at a serious bargain as he has no time to manage the business.

ASKING PRICE: 3.8 million baht (BKK15731)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Specialist software maker seeks investors for expansion

This leading specialist software provider is seeking investors to expand the business.

Providing logistics and supply chain businesses with key software in Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia for the past 12 years, the company is looking to expand further into Thailand and a total of eight countries and is seeking a committed investor to fund the centralized team that will manage the expansion The company already has joint venture partners in every country show share 49% - 50% in those countries. By the end of 2017 the company should be operation in 8 - 10 countries.

They are seeking a 49% investor for 122.5 million baht

ASKING PRICE: 122.5 million baht for 49% shares (BKK15742)

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.

Sunbelt Asia Co., Ltd
26th Floor Fortune Town BR, 1 Ratchadapisek Rd,10400 Bangkok
Phone: 02-642-0213 Fax: 02-641-1995

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