The Thai Government has taken a series of efforts in driving the economy through innovation and attracting highly skilled talents (Smart T), investors (Smart I), executives (Smart E) and startup entrepreneurs (Smart S) in its targeted industries – the so-called S-Curve industries – to Thailand. Therefore, the Smart Visa program was launched, which offers some significant benefits for the applicant, like no necessity for a work permit (even for spouse and children), no 90 days report and no requirement for a re-entry permit. While it went viral quickly, the number of applicants was low, as its conditions were hard to reach. To raise attractiveness and practical relevance of the program, the BOI has now updated the criteria for the Smart Visa program on December 24th, 2018, just 9 months after the program was launched. The main changes are shown as follows:
Under the Thai Social Security Act, B.E. 2533 a company was required to register as an employer at the Social Security Office (SSO) within 30 days after the first employee has started to work for the company.
Under the Foreign Business Act (“FBA”), foreigners are legally restricted in doing certain businesses in Thailand as prescribed in the lists Annexed to the FBA.
Fortunately, there are various possibilities to obtain official permissions. And there are also government schemes available which provide for tax exemptions and tax reductions. Until now the Thai government authorities offered investment promotions for international headquarters (IHQ) and international trading centers (ITC). These have been replaced by the international business center (IBC). The differences between IHQ/ITC and IBC are as follows:
Valuable gifts such as condominium units, houses and cars are not uncommon in Thailand, and most such gifts are made for specific reasons. The reasons for such gifts could not be more diverse, and personal disappointment might lead to great regret.
Litigation is usually the last resort to solve a dispute or enforce a claim. Many parties of a dispute try to avoid a litigation process because they fear the court costs or to lose the process. However, sometimes litigation is the only way for a party to obtain relief. Therefore, it is good to know, that the Thai justice system is generally accessible and unbiased. Also, the time it takes for a judgement is reasonably fast.
FRANK Legal & Tax will be holding another of our regular free events, designed to support the business community in Bangkok.
The upcoming event will provide an opportunity to explore the Board of Investment (BOI) promotion related to the tech industry in Thailand. We will be starting with a big-picture view of foreign business licensing in Thailand. This will be followed by insights into the various BOI categories that are relevant to IT, software development and tech business. In addition, Partner Fabian Doppler will briefly discuss the legal process for start-ups in Thailand.
Before its ban in 1934, cannabis was an essential part of the rural culture in Thailand. It was used as medicine, as fiber for clothing and even as a traditional spice for the Thai boat noodle soup. Under the Marijuana Act, B.E. 2477, released in 1934, the possession, usage and sale of cannabis was criminalized and punished. Although the climatic conditions to produce cannabis in Thailand are excellent and the value of the plant for agriculture is immense, Thailand followed the anti-drug course; as one of the original signatories of the International Opium Convention of 1912 (Den Hague) Thailand announced in 1976 the Narcotics Control Act, B.E. 2519 and its amendments in 1985 (Narcotics Act No. 2) and 1987 (Narcotics Act No. 3)
Overcharging tenants for electricity and water was a common practice among landlords in Thailand. Weak regulations laid the foundation for the collection of exaggerated deposits and punitive methods of landlords if tenants did not pay their rent.
Thailand has introduced a new program to attract highly skilled experts and investors. This program shall target several industries and enhance the scientific and technological sector. SMART Visa and its privileges will help to recruit various talents, senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors for the country’s development in the fields of next-generation automotive, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, future food technologies, automation and robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, digitization and health technologies.
On the 10th of May 2018, the Department of Employment (DoE) has published a letter to address the scope of the Work Permit under the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2561 (the “Decree 2018”). It especially elucidated the question whether a foreigner who has been granted a Work Permit once is able to work in another type of work, for another employer, at another workplace or work condition in Thailand.