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Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column 22 September 2017

Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column

22 September 2017

Returning an old work permit

Question 1:
I worked at a job in Thailand for several years until, at the age of 50, I applied for and received a retirement visa. Several months later, I realized that I failed to return my work permit to the Ministry of Labour. No one has contacted me to return it. From what I have read online, it seems that 1. I can't return it after I have already left the job. And, 2. Failure to return the work permit can result in a 1,000 baht (or 2,000 baht?) fine. I will happily pay the fine but I don't know exactly how to proceed.

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
It is possible to cancel the old work permit with no penalty. You do need the original work permit along with two copies, your passport and copies of the visa page. If you are concerned about the process and need assistance Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors are happy to help. Changing ownership from company to individual

Question 2:
My girlfriend owns all the shares (apart from the 2 or 3 owned by lawyers to meet Thai laws) in a Thai company whose sole asset is the house and land where she resides, i.e. it is her house albeit for historic reasons held within a Thai corporate structure. She has no need for the company or the associated annual legal and accountancy costs and so would like to transfer the property directly in to her own name and close the company. The property is probably worth THB 5-6 million. Some basic research indicates this will be an expensive process in terms of taxes and legal costs, even though she is effectively transferring the asset to herself. Is there a cheaper option in this situation please?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
The only way for her to acquire the property is that a purchase agreement must be made between her and the company, while the director of the company can also be her and also as the buyer, the agreement still must be made and registered at the Land Department. She will be required to pay the tax on the sale of the land and house however. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist with drawing up the agreement and registering it at the Land Department as well as shutting the company down once the assets are transferred. Registering a Thai birth abroad

Question 3:
An American father and Thai mother (both USA citizens) had a son in the USA. Mother wants to register the child's birth in Thailand. It's unclear what "registration" means but appears to allow the child to have Thai benefits of having a Thai passport, owning land, etc. What exactly is "registering" and what benefits and obligations are the result of it? Is it legal to have a USA and Thai passport?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
In this case registering a birth means that the Thai government will issue a birth certificate for the child. The mother must still hold Thai nationality however, dual is not a problem but she must still have Thai citizenship. First the official US birth certificate will need to be translated into Thai and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who will then send it to the Embassy in Washington D.C. who will issue the birth certificate. You can then apply for a Thai passport for the child. The child can also be registered in a house registration book or Tabian Baan in Thailand and obtain a Thai ID. It is best to contact the Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. for advice on translation and certification.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced an 8.66 percent year on year increase for the month of August reaching 3.13 million international tourist arrivals. Revenues for the month grew 11.72 percent to 163.48 billion baht. Foreign tourists contributed .1.19 trillion baht to the Thai economy in the first 8 months of 2017, up 7.47 percent from the previous year. There were 23.54 million foreign tourists during the first 8 months, a 5.36% increase over the same period in 2016. Chinese visitors still topped at the highest number of arrivals and as spending the most. Visitors came from East Asia, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, Oceania and Africa in that order, while the biggest spenders after the Chinese were the Koreans, Japanese, and Malaysians. This was followed by people from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Laos and Hong Kong. Domestic tourism also grew; locals made 12.33 million trips in July, a 3.46% increase over the same period last year, and contributing 76.93 billion baht in revenues. In the first 7 months of the year domestic tourists made 83.70 million trips, contributing more than 500 billion baht to the economy.

Construction started on a new modern ferry terminal in Sattahip as part of the development for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the new terminal will service cruises, cargo vessels and ferries linking Pattaya, Chon Buri and Rayong with other destinations, including Koh Chang and Hua Hin. The new terminal will have souvenir shops, a food court, ticket counters and boarding areas, according to the navy and is one of 13 projects the being undertaken by the navy to develop the EEC. Pattaya is expected to benefit by the development of the EEC with private companies looking to invest in the area to tap benefits to the tourism industry from the EEC development. Pattaya lies within the EEC which spans Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao provinces.

Exports rose for a sixth straight month in August, jumping 13.2 percent year on year, far better than expected and the fastest growth in 55 months. In July exports rose 10.5 percent and in the first 8 months exports grew 8.9 percent while imports grew 15.4 percent according to the Minister of Commerce. Thailand had a trade surplus in August of US$2.09 billion much higher than the $520 million surplus that had been forecast. Many of the materials imported are assembled into completed goods and then exported.

Business news on Sunbelt Asia

Special offer on serviced offices for October!!

Starting October 1 we have two types of serviced offices available at a special promotional offer

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



Exclusive resort with chanote beach front land on Samui

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

Modern hotel near Pattaya Walking Street

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 (BKK15785)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Long-running Kanchanaburi 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

BOI export 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 tax cuts 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

Guesthouse and bar in Chiang Mai old city with chanote title

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: 25 million baht (BKK15758)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Specialty food manufacturer in Chiang Mai

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

Chic bistro in top Bangkok shopping mall

This chic new French-apartment style bistro in Siam Paragon opened only this year but has already garnered great reviews for delicious food and a charming atmosphere. Siam Paragon is one of the top luxury shopping malls in Bangkok and known for a variety of great restaurants, and is often a destination just for meals. It's great for those seeking to avoid the traffic but still want delicious home-style French food.

There are 12 staff with a total monthly payroll of 191,800 baht, rent on the 132 sqm space is 435,1000 baht a month while sales in the first six months have already reached 7.8 million baht.

The owner is moving overseas and so is selling the business.

ASKING PRICE: 20 million baht (BKK15786)

View this listing on Sunbelt Asia

Gorgeous French restaurant on Sukhumvit

Set in a beautifully decorated French country style home with an outdoor garden terrace dining area, this well-known and popular French restaurant is located on a Sukhumvit soi. There is even parking for 20 cars in this space, a rarity in the Sukhumvit area. The business has earned a good reputation for delicious home-style French cuisine and a charming, relaxed ambiance since its opening in 2014.

Rent on this spacious premises (120 sqm for the restaurant, 40sqm for the kitchen plus the garden area and parking) is 90,000 baht on a two year lease. There are eight staff with a total monthly payroll of 148,000 baht. Sales reach 7.8 million annually.

The owner is moving overseas and so is seeking to sell the restaurant.

ASKING PRICE: 7 million baht (BKK15787)

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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