[Thailand Purchase Strategy] Overseas Investment Threshold Conditions
Some buyers have concerns that they will have to go through a troublesome procedure to buy a house or villa in Thailand. Questions arise such as:
- What conditions do I need to meet to make a purchase?
- Will my legal rights to buy a house in Thailand be protected?
Passport and Funds
Generally, to buy a home in Thailand, only passports and money are needed. Foreigners can legally own foreign freehold condominiums, and have the same rights as Thais to these properties. Property rights can be passed onto the next generation without paying inheritance taxes. You can live and even work in Thailand with renewable long term visas such as business and retirement visas to name just two.
Freehold Land or Villa Purchase via a Thai Ltd Company
In Thailand a foreigner is allowed to own a building in their own name but not the land that it occupies. This works as follows:
You would set up a Thai Ltd Company, in that company you would be the sole director (unless you wanted to put another person in) and would make all executive decisions within that company. You would have a shareholding of no more than 49%, you would also have 2 Thai shareholders who would between them own no less than 51% of the shares.
The company would be structured in such a way that you are fully protected throughout the ownership of the company and for when you resell the company/property in the future.
If you wanted you could own the building directly in your own name and just have the land held in the company then lease the land back to your name for 30 years.
Leasehold purchase – In Thailand a residential property can be registered for a maximum of 30 years at a time. Many sellers offer contractual extensions of additional 30 year increments although the extensions would still have to be registered at the land office at the start of each extension.
Of course the above is only for guidance and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Thailand has a policy of issuing “Thailand Elite” visas, and foreigners can stay in Thailand for 5 to 20 years after payment of the fee. The government can also issue 1 year renewable business, retirement, education and family visas to those that qualify. The Thai government is very welcoming to people from all over the world who want to settle long-term in Thailand.
As long as someone is over 50 years old, they can apply for a retirement visa in Thailand. The only condition for this type of visa is a deposit of about 800,000 THB, or to show verifiable evidence of high income. After the procedure is complete, the money in the bank account can be taken out at any time. This type of visa is valid for one year, and is multiple-entry, so you can leave and come back as many times as you want.
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