Tag Archive: license

  1. How to obtain a driving license in Thailand

    Comments Off on How to obtain a driving license in Thailand

    Foreigners who reside in Thailand and want to drive a car or motorcycle in Thailand should apply for a Thai driving license. The Thai driving license is essential since the international driving permit is not valid for driving in the country of residence. The purpose of an international driving permit is to translate the domestic driving license, certify the validity of the driving license in the country of residence, indicate the categories of motor vehicles that are covered by the driving license, and improve road safety worldwide.

    Though Thailand has not signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968), tourists are allowed to drive a car or motorcycle with an international driving permit in Thailand. This is due to the fact, that Thailand is still a member state of the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949). However, the international driving permit is not a substitute for a valid domestic driving license and can only be used in a foreign country, other than the country of residence.

    Provided that you are the holder of a foreign driver license, the application process for a driver license in Thailand is straightforward. Applicants need to submit the following documents at the Department of Land Transport to obtain the desired legal document:

    • the original valid driving license from your home country or an international driving permit and one copy
    • a translation of the license certified by the embassy if the license is not in English
    • the original passport and signed copies of the passport’s first page, the current non-immigrant visa and the last entry stamp
    • a residence certificate issued by the embassy/the immigration office, not older than 30 days or the original work permit and one signed copy as address verification
    • a medical certificate stating the applicant’s health condition, not older than 30 days; all hospitals provide standard medical certificates for the driving license application
    • Two photos (size 1 x 1 inch, photo service available at Department of Land Transport)

    The Applicant has to submit the required documents at the Department of Land Transport personally, undergo a physical test and a one-hour driving seminar. It is recommended to apply for the car and motorcycle license at once. The applicant will need to submit two sets of the required documents.

  2. Hotel License Application – Part II

    Comments Off on Hotel License Application – Part II

    This is Part II of a blog contribution that discusses the requirements for obtaining a permission to run a hotel under Thai laws and regulations:This is Part II of a blog contribution that discusses the requirements for obtaining a permission to run a hotel under Thai laws and regulations:

    3. The Applicant for the Hotel License (“Hotel Operator”)

    The Act also sets forth that the hotel operator, who is the owner or the operator of the hotel and applicant for the Hotel License, can be either an individual person or a juristic person. Section 16 of the Hotel Act stipulates certain circumstances that may preclude the applicant as hotel operator. If the hotel operator is a juristic person, the managing partner must comply with the aforesaid requirements.

    According to the Thai Foreign Business Act (as amended B.E. 2542, Annex 3), hotel undertakings are not permitted for foreigners. Therefore, private or public limited liability companies that engage in this business shall have Thai shareholding at a rate of 51% or more. The director of the company must be Thai (if there is 1 non-Thai director, there must be 2 additional Thai directors).

    running a hotel

    4. The Hotel License

    Pursuant to new Hotel Act, a hotel operation license will be valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance (hereto Hotel Act section 19). Current hotel operators who have already obtained a hotel license under the previous Hotel Act (B.E. 2478, 1935, as amended) remain license holders under the new Hotel Act. Their licenses remain valid and the license holders are able to continue operating their business until the licenses expire (hereto Hotel Act section 62).

    The Hotel License is transferrable to third parties if they transferee meets the aforementioned statutory requirements of the Hotel Act, Section 16.

    Remark: Additionally, the building of the hotel must comply with the Building Control Act (B.E. 2522, 1979, as amended) and the building permit must stipulate that the building may be used as a hotel (if located within the jurisdiction of the Building Control Act). In certain cases, other sub-licenses and permits are required to obtain the Hotel License, e.g. restaurant license, entertainment license, service vehicle license, generator permit, fuel storage permit, etc..

    5. Application Procedure

    The application process requirements include that various government agencies (local and provincial) are involved.

    The procedure includes the following steps:

    1. Application for a specific construction license at the District Office, which is signed and which should be filed by the civil engineer or architect;

    2. Application at the Provincial Office, which will forward the application to

    3. The Health, Environmental and Construction Authorities who will each have to inspect and approve the building and

    4. Issuance of the license by the Provincial Office.

    The process takes approximately six months, but may vary depending on the location of the hotel.

    Feel free to contact us [email protected] if you require assistance with regards to the operation of a hotel business, in particular with the application for a hotel license.

  3. Hotel License Application in Thailand – Part 1 of 2

    Comments Off on Hotel License Application in Thailand – Part 1 of 2

    Residential properties which are rented out as daily accommodations for tourists are under intense scrutiny these days in Thailand, in particular with regards to the requirement to obtain a hotel license. The main reason is clearly the high increase of rentals through online portals such as Airbnb.

    This is Part I of a blog contribution that discusses the requirements for obtaining such a hotel license under Thai laws and regulations.

    Accommodation providers shall apply for a permission from the competent registrar and need to comply with the rules and regulations in order to operate hotel business, if their residential place falls within the definition of hotel in the Hotel Act. The rules and regulations have the purpose of controlling hotel standards, promotion of hotel business operation, promotion and preservation of environmental quality, sturdiness, hygiene and safety of hotels.

    Hotel license thailand

    Definition of “Hotel”

    The definition of “Hotel” under the Hotel Act is stipulated as lodging premises, established for commercial purposes to provide temporary accommodation to a traveler or any person for a consideration (see Hotel Act Section 4). Certain exemptions exist as follows:

    1. any residential premises open to the public for rental with no more than 4 rooms on all floors in total, whether in a single building or in several buildings, and with a total service capacity of not more than 20 guests, operating as a small business which provides an additional source of income for the owners. The owners of such premises are also required to report to the Hotel Registrar;
    2. an accommodation place that is operated by a government authority;
    3. an accommodation place established with an objective to provide accommodation by charging monthly rate only (note that therefore also so-called “serviced apartments” are considered as hotels according to the Act if they provide accommodation on a daily or weekly basis; short term villa rentals, however, are not);
    4. other places that are stipulated in the Ministerial Regulation.

    The “Hotel Manager”

    Under the Hotel Act, there is a distinction between “hotel operators” and “hotel managers”. The hotel operators are the persons obtaining licenses for hotel operation, while the hotel managers are the persons appointed by the hotel operators who shall be in charge of the hotel management. The hotel operators must notify the registrar of details regarding their hotel managers. The operators can be the same persons as the hotel managers.

    The Hotel Act sets forth qualifications which hotel managers (Section 33 Hotel Act) and operators (Hotel Act section 16) must have. Thus the managers for instance must have been awarded a certificate, have experience as prescribed by the Hotel Business Supervision and Promotion Committee (“Committee”) or have a certificate showing that they have attended a hotel management training programs certified by the Committee. The hotel manager can be either Thai or foreign with appropriate visa and work permission.

    <<<Continue to part II of this blog contribution>>>

    If you have any questions about hotel licensing in Thailand, please do not hesitate to contact us: [email protected]

  4. Liquor License in Thailand

    Comments Off on Liquor License in Thailand


    It should be noted that a restaurant business often entails the requirement of other licenses, such as a liquor license. Before a restaurant, store or bar can serve liquor in Thailand, it must obtain a liquor license from the Excise Department under Section 17 of Liquor Act B.E. 2493 (1950). A liquor license is a permit that allows an establishment to legally sell alcohol. Establishments that require liquor licenses include pubs, bars, restaurants, distillers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, hotels, clubs, theaters, grocery stores and liquor stores. To obtain the liquor license, the applicant must contact and file the application with the District Office or Local Excise Department. The penalty for any violation of this act would be a fine.


    General requirements for liquor license are:-

    1. Copy of company affidavit,
    2. Copy of lease agreement of business establishment and consent letter from the landlord,
    3. Copy of house registration of business establishment, and
    4. Map of liquor establishment for distribution,


    The liquor license is valid for one a year. The license must be annually renewed before its expiration.


    After the liquor license has been acquired, the licensee may sell the liquor in the specific place, date and time prescribed by the official. The liquor must not be transformed by contaminating with any other ingredient or type of liquor thereto without the official permission.


    Under the Alcohol Beverage Control Act, B.E. 2551 (2008), it is prohibited to sell liquor in close proximity to schools, religious areas and gas station. It is also forbidden to provide any sale promotion to the liquor. Otherwise, a penalty of imprisonment and fine may be imposed.

    Find out more about our licensing services

  5. Education license

    Comments Off on Education license

    Education license for institution:

    Under the Private School Act, B.E. 2550, private schools and institutions that are responsible for so-called “fundamental education” must obtain an education license prior to starting operations. A private school is private educational establishment providing formal or non-formal education.

    The location of the school is important in establishing whether a private school requires a license. In this point, a seminar that is held consistently in the same specific place and contains fundamental teaching courses may be deemed as the institution of a private school.

    Seminars that are set occasionally in varying places such as hotel convention rooms are not considered fundamental education.


    Education license for teacher and education personnel:

    Also teachers and education personnel may require a teaching license personally, as the professional license. Such licenses are often required due to the responsibility involved with educating, supporting and supervision in an education institution.

    The Teacher and Education Personnel Act. B.E. 2546 provides for the following four types of professions that need a license of operation:

    1. Teacher;
    2. Education Institution Administrator;
    3. Education Administrator; and
    4. Other Education Personnel.

    The aforementioned professions will need a teaching license only in a fundamental school or institution that includes teaching courses lower than university or college level.

  6. Restaurant License in Thailand

    Comments Off on Restaurant License in Thailand

    From street food to high-end restaurants, and from Thai to international cuisine, Bangkok is a paradise for foodies. According to statistics in the month of June 2015, there were 10,056 companies in the restaurant business with a total investment amount of approximately 67 Billion Thai Baht. As the hospitality sector is restricted to foreigners, naturally the majority of investment comes from Thai nationals with 84%. Foreign investment comes in with Americans (3%) and Japanese (2%) on top of the list.


    The operation of a restaurant requires a license, that is, a permission by the Thai government. There are two types of government permission with regards to restaurant businesses, (1) the restaurant license and (2) a certificate of notification.


    1. The Restaurant License

    If the applicant wishes to set up a restaurant having an area exceeding 200 square meters, he must apply for a restaurant license from the local government.

    The local official shall issue the license within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application. All licenses are valid for one year from the date of issuance. They shall be displayed openly and conspicuously in the business establishment and can be used only in the jurisdiction of the issuing government agency.

    If the licensee fails to comply with the provisions of the ministerial regulations issued under the law of public health, or with the conditions specified in the license, the local official shall have the authority to withdraw or suspend the license (for an appropriate period but not exceeding 15 days).


    2. The Certification of Notice

    If the area is smaller than 200 square meters, the applicant is only required to notify the local government. A certificate of notification shall be obtained before setting up the restaurant (Section 38 of the Public Health Act).

    The following documents will be required to support the notification: ID card of the applicant, lease agreement, medical certificate of staff, and any related license from a government agency (see below). The certificate shall be issued within 7 working days from the date of receipt of the notification. After receiving the certificate, the recipient must display it openly and conspicuously at the business establishment.

    The licensee must renew the license annually before the expiration date. If the local official refuses to issue or renew the license or certificate and the order receiver does not agree with that order, he has a right to appeal, within 30 days from the date of refusal.

    Small restaurants located in a food court or market are subject to specific rules.


    3. Related Licenses

    It should be noted that a restaurant business usually entails the application for other licenses, such as a liquor license and a construction permit.


    a) Liquor License

    A liquor license is a permit that allows an establishment to sell alcohol legally. Establishments that require liquor licenses include pubs, bars, restaurants, distillers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, hotels, clubs, theaters, grocery stores and liquor stores. To obtain the liquor license under the Liquor Act, the applicant shall apply with the District Office or Local Excise Department.


    b) Construction Permit

    Furthermore, the premises of the restaurant must comply with building regulations (in particular the Building Control Act of 1979) and the applicant shall apply for a construction (or modification) permit for the restaurant. The application for such construction permit shall be granted or rejected within 45 days from the date of receipt thereof. As supporting documents, the applicant shall provide details concerning the plans for the building’s design, and state the names of building architects, contractors or engineers. It is important to note that specific laws exist for different types of construction.


    4. Operating without License

    Operating without a restaurant or related license constitutes a violation of the respective laws and regulations. It shall be punished by fine and/or imprisonment under the Public Health Act, the Liquor Act and Building Control Act respectively.


    5. Conclusion

    It is interesting to note that a significant number of restaurants, in particular in tourist resort locations, operate without a legally required restaurant license or certificate of notice. The reasons for the lack of compliance are various. However, stringent enforcement of the existing laws is certainly desirable to achieve the Public Health Act’s goals of transparency and quality control, and to maintain the high quality of food in Thailand.