Sunbelt Asia Weekly Column
25 May 2018
Getting married in Thailand
I travel on a New Zealand passport. I live in Auckland but from time to time I also live in my condo in Pattaya, usually for no more than a few months at a time before I travel to a neighbouring country or back home where I still work albeit less and less. My usual visa in Thailand is a visa on arrival which I extend beyond 30 days with the assistance of an APEC travel card. My woman friend is a Myanmar national who travels on a Myanmar passport. When we live / stay together in Thailand she usually has the benefit of an education visa. We have agreed to marry and wish to do so in Thailand. Having said that, we do not wish to live in Thailand long-term or in retirement. We may return to New Zealand or we may live in Myanmar. What if any steps do two foreigners need to take before they can get married in Thailand. If there aren’t any, how do we go about getting a marriage licence in Pattaya (or Bangkok) and where do we do all this and what is the cost going to be?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Foreigners need to contact their respective Embassies or Consulates in Thailand first to determine their countrys requirements for marriage. Some countries will not recognize marriages overseas and it is important that this be checked first. Once it is determined that the country will recognize a marriage overseas then the foreigner (s) will need to sign an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry at their Embassy. This would then need to be translated into Thai and then both the original and translation certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before a marriage can take place at any District Office (Amphur). Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist with the translation and certification but it is key that you both determine your respective countries requirements regarding marriages overseas.
I am a US citizen married to a Thai lady who is now a US citizen. My question pertains to a life insurance policy she has here in the states. Right now I am the beneficiary with her wish that I give her father and brother 50% of the payoff. Both still live in Thailand. Are there any limits, taxes or restrictions on monies from such a policy? Or should we list them as beneficiaries even though they do not have US bank accounts or tax id numbers?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
Under Thai law entitlement to a Life Insurance Policy would be excluded from a normal estate distribution and so it would be at the beneficiarys discretion whether or not to share their right to the policy with other beneficiaries of the estate. However, as these are U.S. insurance policies you will need to check with local laws regarding inheritance of life insurance policies. It is possible for a non-US citizen to inherit it would depend on the insurance company and if they would allow benefits to be paid to someone who is not a residence of the United States.
Re-marriage after divorce
I am a UK national, married in Thailand and divorced in Thailand some three years ago. As required by Thai law, I swore an affidavit of freedom to marry at the British Embassy and had it legalised at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Will the Thai divorce certificate now serve as an Affirmation of Marital Status and be acceptable at an Amphur office?
Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds:
When registering a marriage at the District Office the foreign spouse must present his or her Affirmation of Freedom to Marry issued by their Embassy as well as the Thai translation, and both must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is unlikely the District Office or the MFA would accept a divorce certificate as a substitute document for the Affirmation. It would be best to take your divorce certificate to your Embassy and sign a new Affirmation of Freedom to Marry confirming your eligibility to marry. Once this is done you need to have it translated and taken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for certification and then you can get married at any District Office. Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors can assist you with the translation and certification once you obtain your signed and witnessed Affirmation at your Embassy.
Sunbelt Asia Offices will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday May 29 for the Buddhist holiday Visakha Bucha Day. This is a public holiday in Thailand and government offices will also be closed.
The Airports of Thailand have approved the construction of two new airports in Phuket and Chiang Mai. The new second airport serving Chiang Mai will be located in nearby Lamphun province while the second one serving Phuket will be located in Phang Nga province, each about 30 kilometers from the main airport. The budget for each airport is set at 60 billion baht and construction is expected to begin in 2019 and completed by 2025. Each facility will be able to accommodate around 10 million passengers. Chiang Mai International Airport, which does not operate around the clock due to its location near the city center, already serves 10 million passengers a year while the Phuket airport serves 16.9 million. Chiang Mai International Airport has already had expansion plans approved to increase capacity and while Phuket International Airport recently underwent renovation and expansion to handle 12.5 million passengers, it is still over capacity.
Construction of the Red Line from Rangsit to Bang Sue is expected to be completed by 2020 – the 26 km stretch has been under construction since 2013 and has faced delays due to political disruption and funding issues but is currently on 3 months behind schedule. The initial stretch from Taling Chan to Bang Sue has been completed since 2012 but cannot be opened until the main Bang Sue – Rangsit line is functional. The line is scheduled for opening in October 2020 and when the entire line is completed will stretch from Bang Sue to Salaya in Nakhon Pathom.
The National Economic and Social Development Board has revised its growth estimates for Thailand’s economy upwards to 4.5 percent from its previous prediction of 4.1 percent. The revised estimate was in large part due to a 4.8 percent growth rate in the first quarter, a twenty quarter high, brought about by a 3.6 percent boost in private sector consumption as results of the government’s assistance plan for low income citizens. Low inflation and interest rates, together with continued private sector investment from last year’s 4th quarter were also contributing factors. The country’s exports grew 9.9 percent in the first quarter near $US 61.9 billon in value. Exports grew for the 14th straight month in April, led by stronger shipments of cars and parts, computers and accessories, plastic pellets, finished oil, rice, tapioca products, frozen and processed chicken, and fresh, canned and processed fruits and vegetables. Exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products grew by 9.8% year-on-year in April to $US3.39 billion after shrinking 3.3% in March. The Commerce Ministry is maintaining a predicted 8 percent growth in exports for the year.
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Marine support services in Chonburi
Located in one of Asia’s largest marinas with full facilities for yachts and boats, this business provides marine services supported and backed by the worldwide leader in sail making. Offering standing sail storage, canvas and trimming work, service and sail repair as well as sales of brand name sails, this business caters to a popular and growing market in Asia.
The business has a great potential for growth with a well-trained staff and easy operating system. The business has protected product lines and established accounts. The loyal clientele create a lot of sales and referrals. This is a great opportunity for someone who loves the sailing lifestyle and can make money out of it.
The business is located in Chonburi with a 108 sqm upstairs sail loft for inventory, canvas work, and retail sales. Merchandising and marketing would boost this company further. The business has been operating for 6 years and there are four full time employees. The company has no real competition at this quality level. The owner is looking to sell as he is ready to “sail away”.
ASKING PRICE: 3.9 million baht
Pattaya based interior design service and high-end furniture factory
Located in Pattaya, this high-end furniture factory offers not just top quality fine furniture but also full service interior design for residential and commercial projects. The company has earned a reputation for attention to detail, unique and interesting design solutions and high-quality products. Offering a wide variety furniture, including stand alone and built-ins, the company has a full – service interior design solution for its customers.
The business has a 600 sqm showroom in a busy Pattaya area and a 2500 sqm factory on the outskirts. The company owns the land and showroom in town. There are 45 employees and the monthly payroll of 1 million baht includes the owner’s salary. The business is open 6 days a week.
Sales last year reached 50.8 million baht and net profit over 2.6 million baht. The owners have spent a great deal reinvesting in the business including property to continue its growth.
The sale price includes the company with showroom, factory and land
ASKING PRICE: 60 million baht
Samui dive school and marine tour business
This top -rated and highly reviewed dive school is located on Koh Samui and has been offering high quality, environmentally aware dive and marine tours and dive classes since 2002. Well reviewed on TripAdvisor the business offers exclusive high end daily joint trips and private charter snorkeling and diving speedboat tours to the best destinations in the Gulf of Thailand. The region’s first Scubapro Partner Centre, the award winning PADI 5 Star Dive center has garnered rave reviews and great word of mouth over the years.
This business could see growth by tapping into the expanding Chinese market as well as by increasing the private charter side of the business.
There are 25 highly trained dedicated staff with a monthly payroll of 580,000 baht. Annual sales are at 20 million baht with a net profit of 3.75 million. Approximately 60 to 65% of sales income comes from internet sales with 30 to 35% from resorts and remaining income coming via direct walk in and retail. The split between diving/non diving revenue is around 35% / 65%. The monthly rent is 35,000 baht for the 400 sqm building. The premises has space for reception/retail, office administration, classroom, store, garden areas for guest arrival/departure and a kit room containing high spec’ and well maintained dive & snorkeling equipment. The property also has a substantial 2 storey, 2 bedroom detached house with storage and an engine service workshop.
The business is fully licensed and assets valued at 10.5 million baht are included in the sale.
The owners are retiring and wish to sell this thriving high end business
ASKING PRICE: 24 million baht
Fully licensed Samut Sakhon English school
This leading English school is available in Samut Sakhon, in the greater metropolitan Bangkok provinces. With a top curriculum, fully equipped school and a high enrollment of students on an annual fee basis, the school is quite successful and a leader in the area with a waiting list for students wishing to enrol. The school has an active presence on social media that has helped to promote its brand, communicate with prospective clients and public relations.
Located in a 160sqm building, there is a reception area, two large classrooms, an office, a library, a back kitchen, an outside kitchen and yard as well a bathroom on each floor. The building has ample parking in front as well as a car park on the side. Rent on the premises is 15,500 baht a month.
The school has experienced consistent growth year to year with a profit of 1,065,801 baht in its first year. Sales last year reached 2,660,766 baht with a profit of 2,160,964 baht. There is one full time and one part time employee with total wages at 12.620 baht a month.
The owner is moving overseas and so is selling the business
ASKING PRICE: 6.5 million baht
Restaurant & Bar in great Sukhumvit location
This restaurant and bar is in a great location on Sukhumvit soi 31, a busy soi with many hotels and guesthouses and has earned a great reputation for its food and ambiance, even winning a restaurant award in 2015.
The restaurant has 200 sqm and a good rental price of only 45,000 baht a month. There are 7 full time and 7 part time staff with a total monthly salary of 145,000 baht. Annual sales are around 12-14 million baht and the business made a net profit of 4.6 million baht last year.
The owner is selling the business as he has no time to manage it.
ASKING PRICE: 9.5 million baht
Asoke area restaurant in ground floor of hotel
This restaurant is located on the ground floor of a hotel, just off Asoke Montri Road and near Terminal 21, Health Land and many office buildings and hotels and has a booming lunch trade and is very popular with the locals in the area as well as tourists.
The restaurant can seat 85 people comfortably and a classically decorated private ventilated cigar room or VIP room. There are 7 full time staff with excellent team work, and food and beverage contracts with the hotel in the same building or provide breakfast service and room service offering a guaranteed income every month.
There is a cool room which stores wine and beer kegs, new kitchen equipment including charcoal grill, wok stove, oven, deep fryers, cooker, refrigerators and freezers included in the sale price. Rent on the 280 sqm space runs 155,000 a month with no key money. The lease runs until 2022 with a fixed rate. All construction maintenance is supplied and paid for by the hotel above.The website, email, Instagram, Facebook page (15k followers) are all included in the sale.
Total income is around 400,000 – 500,000 baht a month but can go higher with an owner with more time to spare for the business. The owner doesn’t have time to manage the business and so is looking to sell the business.
ASKING PRICE 3.6 million baht
Unique concept retail store with branches across Thailand and in Cambodia
With a unique and fun concept, this retail store has expanded rapidly and now has 39 branches around Thailand and in Cambodia. The stores are a destination and always have something new and fun to explore. Offering low priced fashion products and unique gifts that resonate with tourists and residents, the owners of this store have found that their success has outstripped their ability to manage the business. The company sources their products direct from the factory both locally and around the region. With an ever-changing trendy offering of fun products, the company has created a popular and well-known brand image.
The business has 39 locations of which one is the headquarters and warehouse in Min Buri, and a company owned store in a popular tourist district as well as one licensed store. Total rent and services on these locations is around 5 million baht a month. There is 188 staff with a total monthly payroll of 3.17 million baht. Annual sales reach 344 million baht giving a profit of 38 million baht. Inventory valued at 100 million baht is included in the sale.
The company is debt-free would offer the new owner a good income but this is ideal for someone seeking to grow the business through franchising and owner-operated stores as the retail concept has proven to be quite popular.
ASKING PRICE 180 Million baht
Prime Sukhuvmit restaurant with parking lot
In a prime Sukhumvit location surrounded by 5 star hotels and high end condominiums the concept of this well-reviewed restaurant could easily be changed by the new owner. There is 300 sqm with 7 years left on the lease over two floors with a balcony – the rent on this space is 372,500 baht a month. 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.
The owner invested 20 million in the business for kitchen equipment, decor, software and security systems with a CCTV camera as well. 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 owner is selling as he has another restaurant that takes up all his time and has no time to manage this one.
ASKING PRICE: 12 million baht