Breaking News – PDPA Effective Date Likely To Be Postponed

In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Rachada Thanadirek, Deputy Spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s Office, recently announced that the Cabinet is to issue a Royal Decree postponing the enforcement of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which was initially supposed be effective on 27 May 2020, by another year. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society proposed postponing the following parts of the PDPA:

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Basic Thailand Property Law

Foreign Ownership

Thai Law generally restricts foreigners from buying or owning land under freehold title, however it is currently possible in the following circumstances:

  • The Board of Investment (BOI) and the Industrial Estates Authority has power to permit promoted companies to own land for the purpose of the promoted business.
  • Permission can be granted under the Petroleum Act for use in approved projects.
  • Banks and financial institutes that have become foreign owned.
  • A foreigner who invests at least 40 million Baht in authorized securities in Thailand may buy up to 1 rai (1600 sq.m) for residential purposes only of the owner and their family.

This does not cater for the majority of foreign investors. The following are legitimate ways for a foreigner to purchase a property interests in Thailand.

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Foreign Investment in Thailand – Legal Restrictions and their Workarounds

Thailand is in competition with its neighboring countries regarding politically welcome investments from the private sector of the industrial countries. Thai policy makers are in a constant effort to balance the opportunities of new employment that may be generated and new industrial sectors that may established in the Kingdom with the concern of protecting the economy from foreign competition that it is not ready to compete with yet. Therefore, one of the principal consideration investors needs to be aware of are the restrictions on business activities that can be undertaken by foreigners in Thailand.

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Thailand Company Overview

Thailand is a country with many business opportunities for foreign investors; this includes the incorporation of partnerships and companies. There are two types of companies in Thailand, private limited companies and public limited companies. The main differences between the two is the governing law and the sale of shares. Private limited companies are governed by the Thai Civil and Commercial Code and sell shares privately. Whereas, public limited companies are governed by the Public Limited Companies Act B.E. 2535 (1992), and shares are traded on the Thai stock market.

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Using Trademarks As Collateral To Secure Loans

The Business Collateral Act B.E. 2558 (2015) (BCA) was enacted to provide additional means for creditors to secure primary obligations, such as amounts due under loan agreements. Collateral is a specified asset which serves as a security for the lender in the event the borrower defaults on the loan repayment. According to the BCA, there are two types of assets that can be used as collateral, namely, tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are assets that have a finite monetary value and usually a physical form such as land, buildings, automobiles, and machinery. Intangible assets are non-physical assets like goodwill, patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

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The Thai Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

The Thailand Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) is the latest piece of legislation which offers data protection regulations against the misuse of personal data that has been collected from individuals in Thailand. The PDPA was greatly influenced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which set a new standard for data protection regulations around the world.

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Dismissal of Employees in Thailand

The Thai Labor Protection Act

In Thailand, all employers, and employees, except for the government administration and state enterprises, are governed by the Thai Labor Protection Act of 1998 (“LPA”) (amended 2019). This act regulates the basic rights of both employees and employers by defining the working hours, welfare funding, holidays, sick leave, educational leave, maternal leave, overtime, and work safety. It also contains rules on how to legally end an employment contract, and the procedures to follow in case of wrongful dismissal.

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COVID-19 Relief Measures Phase 2 and 3

The Royal Thai Government announced phase 2  of a number of additional financial measures focusing on individuals that are not registered with the social security system. The measures include helping informal workers without social security benefits, including temporary employees and freelancers, and businesses that have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.

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COVID-19 Relief Measures

In light of the Covid-19 virus crisis that is causing the current economic downturn which is affecting businesses across the kingdom, The Royal Thai Government recently approved Phase One of a broad range of financial and fiscal relief measures designed to help Thai companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), alleviate the current business downturn.

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