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New Procedures for Granting a Business License
Under the Foreign Business Act

4 April 2008 | The Ministry of Commerce has issued new regulations easing the application procedure for alien businesses in the following 5 categories under List 3 of the Foreign Business Act.

Category 1: Service businesses for representative offices based on List 3 (21)
Category 2: Service businesses for regional offices based on List 3 (21)
Category 3: Businesses providing services or entering into business with the government sector or state enterprise as follows:

1) Providing engineering services based on List 3 (9)
2) Providing construction services based on List 3 (10)
3) Providing contractor services for projects based on List 3 (10)
4) Other service businesses according to List 3 (21)
5) Other businesses such as the retail business, with the government as purchaser of the retail products, for public utility.

Category 4: Provide services to businesses in the group as follows:

1) Providing accounting services based on List 3 (6)
2) Providing legal services based on List 3 (7)
3) Providing money loaning services based on List 2 (21)
4) Providing rental/leasing of land and business offices, including utilities based on List 3 (21)
5) Providing consultation services or other management services based on List 3 (21)

Category 5: Providing installation, repair, and maintenance services based on List 3 (21) as follows:

1) Machinery and equipment
2) Vehicles
3) Computer and electrical equipment

The 5 categories based on List 3 are (6), (7), (9), (10), and (21).

During the past 2 years, the Foreign Business Act has been the subject of great concern for foreigners based on various proposed changes or amendments that would tighten regulation of the Foreign Business Act. None of the proposed changes have been passed.

There have been current reports that changes have been made to the Foreign Business Act. According to Ministry of Commerce sources, no changes have been made to the act itself, but only to the procedure of granting business licenses under the act.

To benefit from the new guidelines to streamline the alien business application process, foreigners must apply for a business license as specified under section 17 of the Foreign Business Act and provide documents as evidence.

Foreigners who wish to enter into a business different from that stipulated by the Committee under List 3 may still apply for a business license. The Committee will consider each application on an individual basis.

Related links:
1. English translation of Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (1999)

2. The Foreign Business Act and other Foreign Business Restrictions

3. FAQ: Proposed Amendments to the Foreign Business Act

4. Commentary on Foreign Business Act


Chaninat & Leeds assists with the translations of Supreme Court decisions. Chaninat & Leeds specializes in Thailand real estate acquisition. Chaninat & Leeds is managed by an American attorney who specializes in immigration with a focus on K1 Visa Thailand


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