Tag Archive: legal

  1. How To Legally Rent Out A Property in Thailand

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    As part of the steady economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, Thailand is gradually attracting tourists back into the country. Due to the increased number of visitors, short-term rentals through platforms such as Airbnb, including daily rentals, are in high demand, encouraging villa and condominium owners to set up short-term rentals by allowing tourists to stay in their properties. However, it is important to understand the legal implications of setting up short-term rentals in Thailand as a host.

    Below, we classify three different property scenarios:

    1. Condominium Units

    In most condominiums, daily rentals are usually prohibited as condominiums are not legally recognized as hotels under the law. As a result, condominium unit owners must check the rules and regulations of that particular condominium and the previous minutes from co-owner meetings before deciding to proceed with short-term rentals through Airbnb, booking.com, Agoda, or similar websites, as there may be certain restrictions.

    2. Landed Property

    Whereas for villas, short-term rentals are much more flexible as, in most cases, there are no rules and regulations applicable as in the case of condominiums. It must be noted that according to Article 1 of the Ministerial Regulation B.E. 2551 (2008), a hotel license is needed for villas or buildings with over four rooms and a capacity for over 20 guests. For most villas, this threshold for a hotel license is usually not met. Furthermore, Section 4 (2) of the Hotel Act B.E. 2547 states that the definition of “hotel” does not include accommodations established for the purpose of monthly rentals. As a result, if the villa qualifies as a hotel in terms of size and capacity, but the property is rented out monthly only, it will not be subject to the Hotel Act, which means that a hotel license or a notification of a non-hotel is not required.

    3. “Non-Hotel” Notification

    If the condominium units or villas qualify as a non-hotel through daily rentals by having less than four rooms and for a capacity of 20 guests or less, a notification must be submitted to the local district office using the following documents:

    • Land title deed/unit title deed
    • House registration book of the villa/condominium unit
    • Villa building permit
    • Villa floor plan
    • Company affidavit and other relevant company documents (if a company is the villa owner)
    • ID card/passport of the owner/authorized director of the company

    It is important to note that the illegal operation of a hotel is subject to a jail sentence for up to one year or a fine of up to THB 20,000 and an additional fine of up to THB 10,000 a day throughout the period of violation, according to Section 59 of the Hotel Act.

    If you have any questions related to property in Thailand, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

  2. FRANK Legal & Tax listed on Lexology

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    We are pleased to share that we are now listed on Lexology, one of the leading sites for international legal updates, analysis, and insights. At FRANK Legal & Tax, we strive to ensure that you can connect with us through various quality legal channels. Explore our hub here: https://www.lexology.com/contributors/frank-legal-and-tax

    If you have any questions about partnerships, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call us at +66 (0)2 117 9131 or 2.

  3. DBD Certification: Verification System and Trustmarks

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    This article discusses the different types of verification marks of the Department of Business Development (“DBD”). It will look at the requirements for each verification mark and the purpose of the verification system.

    In line with current economic trends, e-commerce has become an important part of our lives, yet most e-commerce websites lack credibility in customers’ eyes. To address this problem, DBD established a verification system named “Trustmark Thai”. Trustmark Thai is a system for issuing a certification mark that helps e-commerce businesses gain credibility and customer trust.

    It is noteworthy that the Trustmark Thai verification system is unrelated to the trademark registration system; furthermore, the verification system under the scheme should be distinguished from marketing and sales licenses.

    1. Verification System Overview

      DBD Registered” Trustmark

      The DBD registered certification mark is a certification that an e-commerce business can gain by registering with the DBD

       DBD Verified” Trustmark

      In e-commerce, the “DBD Verified” trustmark should inspire confidence. It is issued to e-commerce operators to boost their credibility, by showing that the website has passed the DBD’s e-commerce business quality standards assessment.

    2. DBD Verification System

    “Silver Verified” Trustmark

    The “Silver Verified” trustmark is issued to juristic persons who pass DBD qualifications as below:

    • Registered the business with DBD
    • Consecutively submitted financial statements.

    “Gold Verified” Mark

    Representing an excellent level, the DBD Verified Gold mark is available to juristic persons who meet the below DBD qualifications:

    • Registered the business with DBD for at least one year
    • Consecutively submitted financial statements for at least one year
    • Pass the following e-commerce quality standards
      • Disclosure
      • Fairtrade/service terms
      • Website Security
      • Privacy
      • Dispute resolution

    “Platinum Verified” Mark

    Representing outstanding level, DBD Verified Platinum Trustmark is available to juristic persons that pass DBD qualifications as below:

    • Registered the business with DBD for at least two years
    • Consecutively submitting financial statements for at least two years
    • Pass the following e-commerce quality standards
      • Disclosure
      • Fairtrade/service terms
      • Website Security
      • Privacy
      • Dispute resolution
    • The website has been awarded the gold level mark for two consecutive years.

    After registration with the DBD, it will issue a letter of authorization to use the verification mark and verification code on the website, which will be valid for one year and must be renewed every year.

    3. Conclusion

    The DBD created five different trustmarks, each with its own set of requirements. The trustmarks serve the purpose of establishing credibility for the e-commerce industry. The DBD created three tiers of verified

    Trustmarks to help customers decide which business is trustworthy. Furthermore, it should be noted that in order to operate an e-commerce business in Thailand, a sales and marketing license is still mandatory, such as a direct sales license.

    Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions about the above information.

  4. How FRANK Legal & Tax Can Assist You – Insolvency and Restructuring

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    As we offer various services to our clients, this series of articles intends to give you an overview on how FRANK Legal & Tax can assist you with your legal matters in Thailand.

    The advice we supply to clients on insolvency matters is designed to either avert insolvency or be used prior to imminent insolvency. We also help with issues connected to insolvency proceedings, and we develop and review insolvency plans.

    Our services include:

    Advising shareholders, creditors or business partners of distressed companies

    Giving an honest assessment of the state of a distressed company and advising stakeholders of their options going forward is a task our lawyers can undertake.

    Restructuring of financially distressed companies

    No matter the size of the restructuring task, our team of dedicated lawyers will find solutions that will give companies in a distressed state a better chance of future success.

    Insolvency application

    There are legal documents that require attention and duties that need to be undertaken during the application for insolvency process. We can help.

    Advice on liability issues for company shareholders and directors

    We can provide accurate legal advice concerning the company liabilities of shareholders and directors, bringing clarity to the responsibilities of each.

    Preparation and review of insolvency plans

    When insolvency becomes an inevitability, we can draw up insolvency plans or review those created by others from a legal perspective.

    Negotiations with creditors’ committees

    When faced with insolvency, we can step in on your behalf and conduct negotiations with creditors. Our aim will always be to get the best insolvency package for you, our client.

    If you have any questions or need legal assistance. Do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or call us at +66 (0)2 117 9131-2.

  5. Airbnb – Is it legal in Thailand?

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    Airbnb is a popular online platform that allows property owners (landlords) to rent out their property (partially or wholly) on a short-term (daily/weekly) basis. The online platform is present in over 100,000 cities across 191 countries and has effectively transformed itself into the world’s largest hotel. With the price of renting a property via the Airbnb platform often being cheaper than staying in a regular licensed hotel, the platform creates a viable option for travelers travelling on a budget.

    In Thailand, this practice is regarded by many as illegal, but there are conflicting opinions of legal scholars on this matter. On one hand, Airbnb is seen by many as an illegal way for landlords to rent out their properties on a short-term basis as it is without acquiring a hotel license. Section 15 of the Hotel Act, B.E. 2547 (2004), states that renting out a property on a weekly or daily basis without a hotel license is illegal. However, the Ministerial Regulation to the Hotel Act B.E. 2548 (2005) contains an exemption for certain properties which has given rise to a passionate discussion whether these exemptions from the Hotel Act also apply to condominium owners renting out their homes on short–term basis:

    The Hotel Act states that “any residential premises open to the public for rent with no more than four rooms on all floors in aggregate whether in a single building or several buildings and with a total service capacity of 20 guests, operating as a small business which provides an additional source of income for the owners” is exempt from the requirement of obtaining a Hotel License. The owners of such premises are required to report to the Hotel Registrar but do not need a Hotel License and do not have to comply with the requirements for hotels. The issue with this regulation is whether the term “residential purpose” refers to the condominium unit or the whole condominium (entire building).

    The Condominium Act states that commercial activities may only be conducted in designated commercial spaces within the condominium building (if any). This may be e.g. a retail area in the ground floor of a condominium.

    This regulation exists to ensure the peaceful cohabitation of residents. Hosting guests could disrupt the condominium’s community and lifestyle. However, landlords are quick to point out that section 1336 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) states that property owners are entitled to the benefits and fruits of property ownership, provided that their commercial activities, do not disrupt co-owners and residents. As for co-ownership, section 1360 of the CCC states that each co-owner is entitled to use the property in so far as such use is not incompatible with the rights of the other co-owners.

    As you can see, there are those who are against Airbnb and those who are pro Airbnb. To further complicate things, in May of 2018, a court in Hua Hin charged two condominium owners with renting out their condos on a daily and weekly basis and violating the Hotel Act.

    The offenders were both made to pay a fine of 10,000-15,000 THB for their infringements.

    With the court ruling in Hua Hin, many say that it is now clear that renting out your property on a short-term basis on the Airbnb platform (Airbnb hosting) is illegal. However, in Thailand, court rulings set a clear guideline for future cases, but judges are free to make their own decisions. This means that the case in Hua Hin is not binding on other judges, but Thai judges tend to follow court rulings set by previous judges. Additionally, there are still many property owners renting out their property on a short-term basis on the Airbnb platform who are confident that they are not violating any laws and thus will continue renting out their properties on the Airbnb platform.

    In addition to renting out condominium units, renting out houses or villas on a short-term (daily/weekly basis) without a hotel license is also illegal. However, home and villa owners argue that A Hotel Act Ministerial Regulation states that houses or villas with less than 4 rooms, and a capacity of 20 people or less are exempt from the Hotel Act and are not considered a “hotel”. Therefore, they can rent out their house or villa on a short-term basis. In our opinion, renting out a house or a villa on a short-term basis is safer than renting out a condominium unit due to the fact that unlike the short-term rental of condominium units, there is no court decision prohibiting such short-term rents for houses or villas.

    The popularity of Airbnb services among tourists has generated abundant incomes from tourism in many parts of the world. Since the short-term rental of unregistered or unlicensed is still illegal in Thailand, we recommend property owners to rent out their properties on a monthly basis, and tourists to stay in licensed hotels in order to avoid any legal consequences.

    If you have any questions regarding this matter, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call us at +66 (0)2 117 9131-2.

  6. FRANK Legal & Tax will be relocating to 208 Wireless Road on 2nd May, 2019

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    We are excited to announce that we are moving to new premises at 208 Wireless Road on 2nd May, 2019. We have been at our current location since 2013 and have now outgrown our current facilities. The time has come to move and we are pleased that we could secure new offices at the exclusive 208 Wireless Road building, which is centrally located and nearby our current location. Our full address will be Unit 1104, 208 Wireless Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330.

    Please see a Google Maps link as follows: https://goo.gl/maps/7CdbddGXmRz7hQJ86

    We look forward to welcoming you in our new premises!

  7. FRANK Legal & Tax Featured in Thailand Starter Kit (ExpatDen) guide

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    We are delighted to have been featured in the well-respected professional blog Thailand Starter Kit (ExpatDen), in their recommended lawyers section.

    The two guides FRANK Legal & Tax are featured in highlight how to select a first-class lawyer in both Bangkok and Phuket.

    Thailand Starter Kit was created with the intention to share know-how and experiences to make life easier for anyone looking to move, live and work in Thailand. It has since grown to be a renowned guide for anyone looking for information about services and life in Thailand.

    The ethos of the publication is to provide free and unbiased guides for people who looking to live, work, retire or start a business in Thailand.

    At FRANK Legal & Tax, we understand the importance of our legal and tax advice for the business decisions of all our clients, in Thailand and further afield.

    We have expertise in all areas that are important to small and medium-sized businesses. Furthermore, in particular our Phuket offices specialize in real estate matters and offer in-depth expertise on an international level, for both real estate developers and buyers of property.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us for inquiries at [email protected]

  8. FRANK Legal & Tax supports German Help Association

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    We are proud to announce that FRANK Legal & Tax Ltd. sponsored the German Help Association event at the Fest der Deutschen which was held on 11th March 2017, Ballroom at Plaza Athenee Hotel.

    German Help is an association that primarily assists German nationals who encounter problems while staying in Thailand. The Association also offers support to Thai projects.


  9. First Frank Legal MeetUp – Establishing a Company in Thailand

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    FRANK Legal & Tax’s first MeetUp on Establishing a Company in Thailand was held successfully on February 10th, 2017 at the company office in Athenee Tower, Bangkok. We plan for the forum to take place once a month, covering a range of subjects related to corporations in Thailand. The next event “Company Formation In Thailand” will take place on March 9th from 18.15-19.45 at our Bangkok office.

    Frank Legal, Meetup, bangkok

  10. FRANK Legal Tax represents fun park company during market entry in Thailand

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    FRANK Legal & Tax advises and represents a foreign company in legal matters related to establishing fun parks in Bangkok, with a total investment value of approximately 200 Million THB. Our services include the incorporation of a group of companies, license applications and other related matters.

    Find out more about our corporate and commercial services